Washington Redskins coach Mike Shanahan addresses players earlier this year during the rookie minicamp.
During the Mike Shanahan coaching era, the Washington Redskins have had five players suspended for violating the NFL rules on performance-enhancing substances. They are tops in the NFL along with the Seattle Seahawks in PED suspensions, and near the top in overall drug suspensions with eight since 2011.
According to The Washington Post's Mark Maske, players on the Redskins are recognizing the frequency of suspensions not only on their team, but also league wide. Ultimately, it is the players who need to be more responsible according to two Redskins starters.
“Eight is a lot,” cornerback DeAngelo Hall said. “I didn’t know that. I wasn’t really paying attention. But I’ll tell you what, they’ll get it right. It’s their career at stake, their livelihood. They’ll wake up and smell the roses.”
“It’s an unfortunate situation," linebacker London Fletcher replied. "Obviously one suspension is too many. I think the organization does a good job of letting us know what we can and can’t do."
The NFL announced the suspension of defensive end Jarvis Jenkins Friday after testing positive for PEDs earlier this year. He will not play in the first four regular-season games but will be allowed to participate in training camp.
So far in 2013, without a regular-season snap having occurred, the statistic-tracking online site Spotrac.com lists 12 NFL players who have already been suspended by the NFL—resulting in more than 50 games and more than $2 million in lost or forfeited salary.
And the regular season has yet to begin.
More alarming news than the trend of PEDs in the league, and specific to the Redskins organization, is the high number of suspensions so far this year, more than in recent years and mostly all drugs related.
Counting defensive end Jenkins and linebacker Jackson, six other Redskins have been suspended by the league for either PED use or substance abuse—eight Redskins players in 22 months, according to the Associated Press.
In 2012, both cornerback Cedric Griffin and tackle Jordan Black received four-game suspensions by the NFL for testing positive for PED use.
In August 2012, safety Tanard Jackson was suspended without pay for at least a year for violating the league's substance abuse policy. This was Jackson's third drug suspension since being drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2007. He will be eligible to apply for reinstatement August 31, 2013.
In December 2011, both left tackle Trent Williams and tight end Fred Davis received four-game suspensions for violating the NFL substance abuse policy.
Earlier that year in August, cornerback Phillip Buchanon received a four-game suspension for something Coach Shanahan said was issued "a while back" by the NFL, according to ESPN.com. The league's drug-testing programs were not in operation during the 2011 lockout.
With the latest announcement of Jenkins suspension July 26, Shanahan told reporters, via CSN Washington, that the Redskins coaching staff reminds players of the dangers taking any supplement.
“It’s something we do a lot of,” Shananan added. “Obviously not well enough.
“You always hate to see something like what happened to Jarvis because that’s something you can control. That’s something that you have got to be well aware of, what you put in your body.”