Redskins LT Trent Williams Suspended Four Games

The Pro Bowler violated the league's substance abuse policy, the league announced Tuesday evening.

Huge news involving Washington Redskins left tackle Trent Williams released Tuesday by the NFL surely blindsided the fan base.

The Pro Bowl lineman has  been suspended without pay for the team’s next four games for violating the NFL Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse, the league announced. 

The 28-year-old was suspended four games in 2011 for failed drug tests.

Williams, often considered the best player on the team, will be eligible to return to the Redskins’ active roster following the team’s December 4 game against the Arizona Cardinals.

The Redskins released the following statement.  

 “Today, Trent Williams was suspended by the NFL under the terms of the Policy and Program on Substances of Abuse for the next four games. We met with Trent today to discuss this unfortunate news. 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. Any questions related to this matter should be directed to the NFL or NFLPA.”

The suspension impacts all involved.

Washington (4-3-1) is entering its bye week after playing Sunday in London. The lone practice was set for Tuesday, but was cancelled shortly after coach Jay Gruden spoke with the local media during a teleconference Monday. 

My reaction: Wow. 

During the summer I ranked Washington's most indispensable players. I ranked Williams No. 1 and I'm hardly alone in that assessment. The offensive line performed adequately this season and better than that at times, but so much hinges on their left tackle anchor. 

Ty Nsekhe will replace Williams. While a solid player, he cannot replace the security the former top-5 pick provides his fellow linemen and quarterback Kirk Cousins, though general manager Scot McCloughan previously said Nsheke is one of the five best OL on the roster.

Isaiah Williams could fill Nsheke's backup role if promoted from the practice squad, but that option appears unlikely at this point, a source tells Breaking Burgundy.

The Redskins return to action against Minnesota and Green Bay, two teams with formidable defensive lines.

Check back for more information.

Ben Standig is the Publisher of Breaking Burgundy and the Huddle Report's 2012 NFL Mock Draft champion. You can find him on Twitter @benstandig and on Google+.

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