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NFL conditionally reinstates Cardinals LB Daryl Washington

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By now, you may have forgotten about Daryl Washington, the Cardinals linebacker who had become one of the best defensive players in the NFL before off-field issues, that included a domestic violence incident, derailed his career.

But after missing the first four games of the 2013 season due to violating the league’s policy on substance abuse, he returned to play in 12 contests, recording three sacks and again looking like a key part of the team’s future.

Then, in the offseason, it was learned he was suspended indefinitely due to another substance abuse violation.

Since then, the team has barely talked about the linebacker, and by all accounts has moved on from the 2010 second-round pick who was a Pro Bowler in 2012.

The NFL, apparently, may not be quite done with him. ESPN’s Adam Schefter first reported the NFL had “conditionally reinstated” the linebacker, adding Washington expects to play in 2017.

Since then, the Cardinals have confirmed the news regarding his reinstatement in a pair of media releases.

According to the Cardinals, Washington, who is 30 years old and still under contract, may now join the team at the training facility for meetings, conditioning work and similar activities.

More from the release:

Once arrangements have been confirmed regarding Washington’s clinical resources in Phoenix, he will be permitted to participate in all preseason activities, including practices and games.

Prior to the start of the regular season, the NFL will review Washington’s progress. Based on his compliance and engagement with his program and resources, he will be permitted to participate in all regular season activities beginning in Week 1. He will be evaluated later in the season for full reinstatement.

While this may seem like a path for Washington to rejoin the team, the Cardinals said they have been prohibited from contacting Washington over the last three years, and therefore it would be premature to discuss any potential return to the team for him.

Chosen 47th overall out of TCU in 2010, Washington amassed 394 total tackles, 18 sacks, six interceptions, one forced fumble and two fumble recoveries in 59 games.

And, at least one of Washington’s teammates is glad to see the suspension lifted.

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