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Phillip Buchanon Suspended Four Games

ASHBURN – Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said Phillip Buchanon, who announced Monday evening on his Twitter page that he would return to the team, will be suspended for the first four games of the regular season.

Buchanon, 30, signed with the Redskins last March and served primarily as the team’s nickelback. He had 46 tackles and two interceptions, and forced two fumbles, recovering one.

“He was suspended for the first four games,” Shanahan said Tuesday morning, following the team’s practice. “I won’t get into details now, but that’s a little setback for us.”

Shanahan added that the suspension “came down a while back,” but Tuesday was the first public acknowledgement Buchanan will miss time.

With DeAngelo Hall and the recently signed Josh Wilson projected to start at cornerback, Buchanon figures to hold the same role as last season. As for whether or not the Redskins look to sign another player to fill Buchanon’s shoes early in the season, Shanahan said he is “always looking at all different positions to upgrade” the team.

Because it is a league suspension and seemingly a violation of the personal conduct policy, Buchanon will be allowed to practice with the Redskins and play in the four preseason games.

“I’ve always been a big Phillip Buchanon fan,” Shanahan said. “I like the way he handles himself. I like the way he works. He’s what you look for in a football player. Obviously we’re going to miss him the first four games – that’s always tough to lose a guy for that length of time – but he’ll be here for the rest of the season.”

UPDATE (1:51 p.m.): Buchanon’s publicist, Lauren Renschler of EAG Sport Management, sent along the following from Buchanon:

“I’m excited to return to the Washington Redskins and continue to be part of this great organization. I look forward to putting the suspension behind me, returning to the field and helping my team.”