- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Veteran cornerback Phillip Buchanon, who re-signed with the Washington Redskins this week, will miss the first four games of the regular season because he was suspended by the NFL. Coach Mike Shanahan told reporters of the suspension but would not discuss details.

Buchanon was not made available to comment after Tuesday’s practice, the first he has attended since signing.

He released a statement via his publicist: “I’m excited to return to the Washington Redskins and continue to be part of this great organization. I look forward to putting the suspension behind me, returning to the field and helping my team.”

A league spokesman declined comment. Buchanon’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, did not immediately respond to a request to comment.

Buchanon was suspended “a while back,” Shanahan said, and the team knew about the suspension when it re-signed him.

Buchanon started five of the 16 games he played in last season. He had 46 tackles, two interceptions, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.

“That’s a little setback for us,” Shanahan said.

The suspension positions third-year cornerback Kevin Barnes to play more against the first four opponents (New York Giants, Arizona, Dallas and St. Louis).

“I think Kevin has made great strides from the first year he’s been here, and we expect him to take a bigger stride this year,” defensive coordinator Jim Haslett said recently. “That’s something we’ll monitor as we go through camp.”

Barnes has been working with the first string because Buchanon and free-agent cornerback Josh Wilson are ineligible to practice until Thursday.

Newcomer Wilson slotted in

New cornerback Josh Wilson has extensive experience playing the slot, so you can see why the Redskins signed him to replace Carlos Rogers. Rogers played outside in the base defense last season and moved to the slot in sub packages. Wilson is comfortable playing both spots.

“I did a lot of it in Seattle,” Wilson said. “I had a lot of picks [in the slot], four or five interceptions.”

Wilson hasn’t practiced the Redskins‘ defense on the field, but he already knows what he likes about how Haslett uses his corners.

“I like to play with vision,” Wilson said. “I saw DeAngelo [Hall] get all those picks. I want to have that Chicago game, too [four interceptions, one TD for Hall]. The ability to be able to see the ball and to make a play on the ball is huge.”

Wilson grew up in Upper Marlboro, Md., in the shadow of FedEx Field. He had a Mark Rypien jersey and a plastic Redskins helmet growing up.

“I’m glad I have the opportunity to play for the home team,” he said.

Top pick Kerrigan still sidelined

Rookie linebacker Ryan Kerrigan did not participate in team drills, but he did wear a jersey, helmet, shells and a brace on the right knee he hyperextended last week. His bone bruise probably will keep him out until the weekend, Shanahan said.

“They’re going to be a little more cautious than usual,” Shanahan said. “We want to make sure he’s ready to go. He’s never been set back by injuries, so we want to make sure he’s healthy before we throw him out there.”

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