Just when you thought the Redskins were finally done with the self-defeating off-field drama that seemed to spread like the plague through the locker room in previous seasons, they deal perhaps the hardest blow to fans yet; left tackle Trent Williams and tight end Fred Davis will miss the remainder of the season for failed drug tests. Multiple drug tests.
Both players were formally suspended Tuesday for the final four games of the season. This morning they apologized during a team meeting. For the most part the team seemed extremely receptive to the apology, exhibiting a surprising degree of empathy for the two player’s selfish mistakes.
Santana Moss, who last year exclaimed in frustration that the Redskins were their own worst enemies said he didn’t need an apology, explaining “I feel like what they done to themselves, they [needed to] apologize to themselves before they apologize to me.”
DeAngelo Hall said, among other things, that it’s tough not having them play “for the wrong reasons,” such as an injury or other factors outside their control. “This was something that they could control. Like I said, it’s tough.”
On a team already inundated with injuries in almost every position, and an offense that has been struggling tremendously, fans can share Hall’s sentiment. Fred Davis was showing a lot of promise on offense, both as a blocker and as the Redskins leading receiver. He has had 59 receptions this season for 796 yards and is currently ranked as the fifth best tight end in the NFL.
With the offensive line being as inconsistent and underwhelming as it has been this season, the loss of Trent Williams will likely take a large toll. He had been showing marked improvement over last season and will most certainly be missed.
So how will the team account for these losses? Dominique Byrd, who also played at USC, was originally brought in after Chris Cooley suffered a season ending injury. He was released after only two weeks but has been re-signed and is reportedly staying at his former college teammate’s house. Hopefully Davis’s success will rub off on the 6’3” 255-pound tight end.
Chris Baker, a nose tackle out of Hampton, has been promoted from the practice squad to replace Williams.
On the upside, the suspended players will be allowed in the team’s facilities to train, work out, and attend meetings at the discretion of the team. Perhaps next year they will return stronger than ever and will step back onto the field still wearing the burgundy and gold, a sense of humility, and the knowledge that they have something to prove.
In the meantime, however, they are making it increasingly difficult (and painful) to be a Redskins fan.