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Daryl Washington Reinstated By NFL

Cardinals say it is "premature" to speculate about linebacker's return to team

Linebacker Daryl Washington hasn't played since the 2013 season.
Linebacker Daryl Washington hasn't played since the 2013 season.

Linebacker Daryl Washington was conditionally reinstated by the NFL Tuesday, almost three years after he was suspended by the league indefinitely because of violations of the league's policy on substances of abuse.

What his future is with the Cardinals remains unknown, however.

The team released a statement after learning the news of Washington's reinstatement.

"Considering we have been prohibited from having any contact with him over the last three years, it would be premature today to discuss a potential return to the team.

"As everyone is aware, the 2017 NFL Draft is just days away and that is where our energy and attention is fully focused right now.

"At the appropriate time, we will address the issue of Daryl Washington further."

Washington also had pled guilty to an aggravated assault charge, but the Arizona Republic reported the NFL will not give Washington any further suspension after sitting out all this time.

Washington has not played in a game since December of 2013. He was suspended in May of 2014. His contract "tolled" at the time he was suspended, meaning that he remains under contract with the Cardinals with the four seasons it had remaining at the time.

When Washington was suspended, he was among the top linebackers in the league, and made the Pro Bowl after the 2012 season. He will turn 31 in October.

After the news, Washington released a statement to

"I'm honored and humbled to be back in the National Football League," the statement read in part. "These last three years have been the most difficult of my life without the game I love so much. That said, I've used this time to make tremendous strides as a man and have grown into a proud husband, father, and contributing member of my community.

"Physically I'm in the best shape of my life and have maintained a strenuous six-day per week workout plan for over a year in anticipation of this day and next season. I understand the physical and mental demands that it takes to be an all-pro linebacker in this League, and I fully intend to play at that level this season."

With his reinstatement, Washington would now be allowed to join the Cardinals at their facility, take part in meetings and conditioning work. Washington still would need to confirm his situation with "clinical resources" before he would be allowed to participate in practices and games, according to the NFL.

The league would then review Washington's progress prior to the start of the regular season before being fully reinstated for the season.

Whether the Cardinals will let him do all that is to be determined.

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