UPDATED 6:28 p.m.
According to a report by Sports Illustrated moments after the Redskins kicked off against the New York Jets on Sunday, the NFL has suspended left tackle Trent Williams and tight end Fred Davis four games each for violating the leagues substance abuse program.
The two players were linked three weeks ago to a report saying several players had flunked drug tests since the end of the lockout.
Williams and Davis both started today against the New York Jets, but if the suspension is upheld, they will not play again this year. Davis caught a team-high six passes for 99 yards in the Redskins 34-19 loss.
Once the suspension kicks in, Williams and Davis wont be paid and will be banned from the teams facilities.
According to the report by SI.com, Williams and Davis failed tests after the grace period of two to four weeks ended following the lockout. The positive tests for marijuana came during the season and were the third failed tests for each player., SI.com said.
Redskins coach Mike Shanahan was typically broad in his quick comment about the disciplinary decisions.
No. 1, I have received no information about it so I cant comment on it at this time, he said, adding he would comment in the next day or two.
Davis and Williams were not made available to reporters.
When the locker room opened, both players stalls had been cleaned out save for Williams playbook. The players showered and dressed in the coaching staffs locker room, which is off-limits to the media.
Once ready to leave the stadium, Williams and Davis were escorted to their cars by Redskins security.
In the locker room afterward, one player said the team was told not to answer any questions about the suspensions.
Youre just telling me about it, receiver Santana Moss said. Were dealing with whats going on right now. I hope that settles itself. I dont know anything about it.
Said center Will Montgomery: You guys get all of the inside info before I do.
Added quarterback Rex Grossman: Im not going to talk about that. Ill talk to you on Wednesday once I know more about it.
Other players were slightly more forthcoming in their reaction, speaking mostly in generalities.
Guys have to be accountable, linebacker Lorenzo Alexander said. We know the rules and whatever comes out, comes out. Its a shame. These are two significant players on our team. Its definitely going to hurt us if the suspensions are true.
One veteran player said hes been tested two to three times this regular season. Players are given notices taped to their lockers at Redskin Park when theyve been selected to take a test.
Nose tackle Barry Cofield said players are informed of the perils of taking a banned substance like marijuana.
We have player reps who inform us but people make mistakes, Cofield said.
If their seasons are over, Williams will be remembered for his eight penalties (second on the team) but generally solid play the last few games. Davis, meanwhile, is leading the Redskins in catches (59) and receiving yards (796).
Both players are still playing on their rookie contracts Williams signed a six-year, 60 million (36.75 million guaranteed) after being drafted fourth overall. The suspension, though, could cost Davis millions.
A second-round pick, Davis four-year, 3.5 million contract expires after the season. He would have had great leverage in negotiations because of his production in Chris Cooleys absence. But teams, including the Redskins, would be understandably wary of giving Davis a lucrative deal because another failed test would likely result in a season-long suspension.
He was dominating his position and dominating his opponent and thats something you want from a young guy getting his chance, Moss said. Hes been really big for our offense.
If Davis and Williams are gone of the year, the Redskins new starting tight end is second-year player Logan Paulsen and the new left tackle is likely veteran Sean Locklear.
The Redskins are 4-8 entering the final quarter of their season.
Said Cofield: Whoevers here is here and whoevers not, we have to move on.
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