Trent Murphy To Face Four Game Suspension For Violating NFL’s PED Policy
Trent Murphy just came off of his best season for the Washington Redskins. Now, he may be forced to miss time after testing positive for performance enhancing substances.
Going into the 2016 NFL season, the Washington Redskins had some serious questions at the rush linebacker position. Ryan Kerrigan and standout rookie Preston Smith had performed well in 2015, but the team lacked a steady backup presence. Junior Galette had suffered another serious injury and the desperate Redskins were forced to commit to using Trent Murphy as their backup linebacker.
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Murphy was entering his third league season in 2016, and many were deeming him a bust as an edge rusher. Originally a second round pick, Murphy was solid in run support, but ultimately lacked the skill to become a strong enough edge rusher in the team’s 3-4 defense. In his first two years combined, he had only six sacks. For that reason, the coaching staff had asked him to bulk up and play the defensive end position in the front. Murphy added 30 pounds before being asked to switch back to linebacker.
When Murphy suited up during the 2016 season, he looked like a beast. He shattered his season high sack total with a whopping nine, and really helped to make the edge rushers a strength for the Redskins. He worked alongside current defensive coordinator Greg Manusky to ensure there was at least one strength on the Redskins defense. For 2017, Murphy was expected to be a big part of their plans in terms of rushing the passer. Then, news broke that Murphy was facing a suspension.
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According to the Washington Post’s Master Tesfatsion, Murphy is facing a four game suspension for violating the NFL’s policy on performance enhancing drugs. Murphy is in the process of appealing the suspension, but it he loses he will be sidelined for the first four games of the season.
On the surface, if the allegations against Murphy are true, they would not be entirely surprising. Any time a player is asked to put on 30 pounds before a season can be really taxing on a player. If Murphy needed to gain an edge, he could have used something to give him that extra boost. That would possibly explain his crazy ability to change his weight and his improved on the field performance. Of course, he just as easily could have not used anything, but he will still have to fight against the test.
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Overall, if this is true it could be a problem for the Redskins early in the season. They are not deep at rush linebacker, and they could elect to draft one in an attempt to improve their depth. This is a quality draft class for edge guys, so do not be surprised to see the Redskins use one of their numerous picks on a high upside athlete at the position.