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Phillip Buchanon Will Be Activated Monday After Serving Month-Long Suspension
ASHBURN – Phillip Buchanon, who was officially suspended for the first four games of the season for a violation of the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances Sept. 2, will be reinstated Monday and is expected to be added to the Washington Redskins’ active roster, head coach Mike Shanahan said Saturday.
Buchanon, 31, re-signed with the Redskins when the owners’ lockout ended in late July. He played in just one preseason game, the Redskins’ finale against Tampa Bay on Sept. 1, but left in the second quarter with a right shoulder injury.
“When he left here, he was a little banged up, so we’re going to see how he is with that shoulder and see what type of conditioning he’s in and then make a decision on which direction we’re going to go,” Shanahan said.
Buchanon, who has been home in the Miami area since the suspension began, was given a conditioning and rehabilitation plan by the Redskins before leaving. The team has not been allowed to contact him while he was suspended.
The nine-year veteran was expected to be the Redskins’ third cornerback this season, a role currently occupied by Kevin Barnes. With Buchanon away, Barnes has had six tackles and an interception, which came in the third quarter of Monday’s 18-16 loss at Dallas.
Byron Westbrook and rookie Brandyn Thompson have also played in Buchanon’s absence. When cornerback Josh Wilson left the Redskins’ victory over Arizona with a back injury and Barnes subsequently sustained a lower leg injury, Westbrook took over for Wilson and Thompson played as the nickelback.
Westbrook forced a fumble later recovered by Reed Doughty to preserve the 22-21 victory.
“I thought they’ve stepped up and they’ve shown they can play in the National Football League,” Shanahan said. “Every game they seem to get a little bit better, so it’s been a good plus for us.”
Activating Buchanon will require a corresponding roster move by the Redskins, which will be their first of the season.
Buchanon has averaged nearly 3.5 tackles a game and has 20 career interceptions since entering the league in 2002 with Oakland.