Even in prosperous times, the Washington Redskins can't get out of their own way.
The NFL on Tuesday suspended cornerback Cedric Griffin four games for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing drugs. He will miss the rest of the regular season.
That tainted the afterglow of the Monday's 17-16 win over the division-leading New York Giants. The Redskins have surged into playoff contention with three straight wins over NFC East rivals, but now they'll have to complete a postseason push without their third cornerback, starting with Sunday's home game against the Baltimore Ravens.
Griffin, 30, could not be reached for comment. The Redskins announced the suspension Tuesday afternoon minutes after coach Mike Shanahan concluded his meeting with reporters.
Griffin plays on the outside against multireceiver sets, when DeAngelo Hall moves inside to the slot. He played 43 of 66 snaps against New York.
He has 33 tackles, four pass breakups and one forced fumble in nine games this season. The Redskins won two of the three games Griffin missed with a strained right hamstring earlier this year.
Rookie Richard Crawford played in his absence, but he has been inactive for the past five games.
Newly signed cornerback DJ Johnson also might play more with Griffin out. He played two snaps in Washington's victory Monday.
Griffin is suspended without pay. He will lose out on $294,118, which is four-seventeenths of his annual salary of $1.25 million.
He is eligible to return to the active roster after the regular season finale, so he could participate in the postseason if the Redskins qualify.
Shanahan: Cap penalty 'fires me up'
Coach Mike Shanahan didn't use his team's $36 million salary cap penalty to motivate his players for Monday night's victory over the Giants.
The penalty was on his mind, though, because Giants co-owner John Mara serves on the NFL management committee that levied it in March.
"It fires me up," Shanahan said Tuesday.
Quotes attributed to Mara about the penalty were posted on Redskins coaches' office doors last week, according to ESPN and USA Today reports that cited anonymous sources. Shanahan said Tuesday he did not speak to his players about the penalty.
Less than two weeks after the NFL penalized the Redskins on the eve of free agency in March, Mara publicly supported the controversial disciplinary action that gave his team a competitive advantage over its NFC East rivals.
"I think they are lucky they didn't lose draft picks," and, "I thought the penalties imposed were proper," Mara told reporters at the time.
Hall on crutches
Cornerback DeAngelo Hall walked with the help of crutches when he showed up Tuesday afternoon for his weekly radio appearance on 106.7 The Fan. Chad Dukes, the show's co-host, tweeted a picture of Hall on crutches. Hall said he suffered an ankle injury, but he expects to play against Baltimore on Sunday.
Coach Mike Shanahan said the Redskins suffered no significant injuries in Monday night's game, and he did not disclose Hall's injury to reporters.
Inside linebacker London Fletcher (sprained left ankle) and left tackle Trent Williams (bruised left thigh) were sore after playing through their injuries, and it's premature to determine their status for Sunday.
The Redskins' win over the Giants was the fourth-most-viewed cable television program this year, according to an ESPN announcement. The telecast's 11.9 household coverage rating represented an average of 11.7 million households, according to Nielsen.
Staff writer Stephen Whyno contributed to this report
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