Redskins reportedly lose linebacker Trent Murphy to four-game PED suspension

When the Redskins open up the 2017 season, they’ll likely be without one of their key pass rushers. 

According to the Washington Post’s Master Tesfatsion, linebacker Trent Murphy was suspended four games for violating the league’s performance-enhancing drugs policy. Tesfatsion reported that Murphy is appealing the suspension.

That’s some bad news for Washington considering Murphy finally cashed in on his potential in 2016 after two disappointing years in the league. A second-round pick out of Stanford, Murphy registered just six total sacks in his first two seasons.

But in 2016, Murphy submitted a nine-sack season. He finished the year as Pro Football Focus’ seventh-most productive pass rusher among all 3-4 outside linebackers, accumulating 55 total pressures (sacks, hurries, and hits) on 372 pass-rushing snaps. 

His production was particularly impressive given what happened before the season. As Tesfatsion explained his story, Washington wanted Murphy to make the switch from linebacker to defensive end last offseason, so Murphy packed on 30 pounds to fit the part. But when Junior Galette lost his season to an injury suffered in late July, Murphy switched back to outside linebacker, which means he had to lose the 30 pounds he had already gained. Despite the tough circumstances, Murphy finished second on the team in sacks.

Clearly, Murphy will be missed if he doesn’t win his appeal considering Washington already lacks depth at the position with Galette coming off a torn Achilles. It could also cloud Murphy’s future with the team, as his contract is set to expire after the 2017 season. So, no, Murphy’s contract year, like Washington’s upcoming season, is definitely not off to a great start.

But hey, at least Washington added a mustache-less Jim Tomsula to its coaching staff. By the look of it, he could fill in for Murphy if the team needs some additional help.

CBS Sports Writer

Sean Wagner-McGough joined CBS Sports in 2015 after graduating from UC Berkeley. A native of Seattle, Sean now resides in the Bay Area. He spends his spare time defending Jay Cutler on Twitter. Full Bio

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