Washington Redskins tight end Fred Davis and left tackle Trent Williams officially were suspended without pay for the final four games of the season for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy, the league announced Tuesday.
A statement attributed to an unnamed NFL spokesman said the pair will be eligible to return to the Redskins' active roster Jan. 2, the day after the season finale against the Philadelphia Eagles. Davis and Williams are not allowed to be at Redskins Park while they are suspended, the league confirmed.
A Redskins spokesman declined comment, saying coach Mike Shanahan will address the suspensions after Wednesday's practice.
The suspensions were expected after SI.com and other media outlets reported Sunday that the league and the NFL Players Association settled over the weekend on terms of disciplinary action for 11 players, including Davis and Williams, who tested positive for banned substances after the four-month lockout ended in July.
Several outlets, citing anonymous sources, reported that Davis and Williams were suspended because they have tested positive at least three times during their careers, including once since the regular season started.
The suspensions are a significant blow to the Redskins’ offense. Davis, a second-round pick in 2008, leads the team with 59 receptions and 796 receiving yards. His three touchdowns are tied for most on the team. He is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent after this season, so it’s possible he has played his last game with the Redskins.
Williams, the fourth-overall draft choice in 2010, is the cornerstone of the offensive line. He’s an exceptionally athletic blocker who coach Mike Shanahan hand-picked for his zone-blocking scheme.
Neither Davis nor Williams immediately returned phone calls. Under terms of NFL suspensions, they must forfeit 4/17 of their respective 2011 base salaries — $141,176 for Davis and $1.85 million for Williams.
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