Washington Redskins left tackle Trent Williams was suspended four games Tuesday for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy.
It’s his second four-game suspension and first since 2011. He tested positive for marijuana multiple times over the summer of 2011 and served it that season.
Williams will miss Washington’s games against the Minnesota Vikings, Green Bay Packers, Dallas Cowboys and Arizona Cardinals. He’s eligible to return to the team Dec. 5.
“We met with Trent today to discuss this unfortunate news,” the team said in a statement that deferred questions to the league and NFL Players Association. “Per the terms of the policy, Trent will be permitted to participate in team meetings and workout at the Redskins’ facilities throughout this time.
“The Redskins are counting on Trent to help our team when he returns from suspension. Our focus will now turn to the Minnesota Vikings after our bye this upcoming weekend.”
The four-time Pro Bowl left tackle has missed only three games dating to 2012. His propensity to battle through injuries has drawn rave reviews from teammates and coach Jay Gruden, who said of Williams: “Usually he’ll play with just about anything.”
Williams played Sunday against Cincinnati with a sore knee that Gruden described as “structurally OK.” He had a glute injury and a left knee injury earlier this season.
“Something has to be torn or broken” to miss a game with injury, Williams said. “Other than that, a sprain, I can get through that. Bruises, I can get through that. As long as the doctor tells me it’s nothing structurally wrong with what I’ve got going, then I’m going to do everything I’ve got to do to get on the field.”
In 2012, Williams said the 2011 suspension was something of a wake-up call. He wanted people to know how much he had matured.
“I don’t want to be known for the guy who failed multiple drug tests,” Williams said at the time. “That is me, in a sense. It did happen. I embrace that wholeheartedly. That happened, but I have an opportunity to change it, and that’s what I want to do.”
Williams has been an offensive captain for Washington since 2011 and is one of the most respected players in the locker room.
With Williams out, Ty Nsekhe is expected to move into the starting left tackle spot. Nsekhe started two games for the Redskins (4-3-1) last season.
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Redskins’ Williams suspended 4 games for substance abuse – USA TODAY