Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan described Cedric Griffin as a “a great kid” and one of his favorite players.
But Shanahan also expressed disappointment Wednesday, a day after the veteran cornerback was suspended by the NFL four games for violating the NFL’s policy on performance enhancing drugs.
“It’s tough to lose a football player …that has been doing a good job for us,” Shanahan said.
A physical cornerback who also tackled well, Griffin was suspended for using the banned stimulant Adderall, according to CSN Washington’s Chick Hernandez.
Asked if he ever wanted to hit a player over the head after a drug suspension, Shanahan cracked, “Not a big hammer, a smaller hammer.”
“This situation was one that I think he wish he had over again,” Shanahan said. “He’s a great kid. I love the kid, how he handles himself. He just made a bad decision.”
Griffin’s locker was completely cleared out at Redskins Park. The nametag had been removed and his jersey – No. 20 – has been given to a new practice squad player.
Asked about Griffin's empty locker, Shanahan said the team will make a decision on the player's future when the suspension ends.
Shanahan also wouldn’t tip his hand about Griffin’s replacement. Richard Crawford, D.J. Johnson and Jerome Murphy are all candidates to be the team's third cornerback.
Whoever it is, Griffin’s teammates said it’s time to move on.
“It’s been our thing all year: anytime we start to get gelling, we put another chink in the chain,” fellow cornerback Josh Wilson said. “It’s another challenge we have to overcome. It’s called next man up. Every man in this league got an opportunity because another man went down.”