The Redskins‘ first four opponents are unknown at this point, but even without that important piece of information, their opening four-game stretch just got a little bit tougher.
That’s because the NFL suspended linebacker Trent Murphy for four games Friday after he violated the league’s performance-enhancing substances policy. Murphy’s suspension was first reported a month ago by Master Tesfatsion of the Washington Post; that report indicated Murphy was appealing the suspension. So, Murphy appears to have lost that appeal.
He will still be allowed to partake in offseason and preseason activities.
A year ago, Murphy recorded a career-high nine sacks and finished as Pro Football Focus’ seventh-most productive pass rusher among all 3-4 outside linebackers. He registered 55 total pressures on 372 pass-rushing snaps. Only Ryan Kerrigan finished with more sacks on the team.
Here’s what I wrote about Murphy when the initial report of his suspension broke:
His production was particularly impressive given what happened before the season. As Tesfatsion explained his story, Washington wanted Murphy to make the switch from linebacker to defensive end last offseason, so Murphy packed on 30 pounds to fit the part. But when Junior Galette lost his season to an injury suffered in late July, Murphy switched back to outside linebacker, which means he had to lose the 30 pounds he had already gained. Despite the tough circumstances, Murphy finished second on the team in sacks.
It was Murphy’s breakout season, as the former second-round pick struggled in his first two seasons, accumulating a total of just six sacks. Really, Murphy’s strongest attribute before his breakout was his durability, as he missed just one game in his career.
The four-game suspension pretty much renders that aspect of his game useless.
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