Regardless of the result of Sunday’s game in St. Louis, the Washington Redskins will welcome another member to the team when they return Monday, the first day veteran cornerback Phillip Buchanon is eligible to return to work after serving a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing drug policy.
Coach Mike Shanahan said Saturday the team will evaluate Buchanon – with whom they’ve been prohibited from having contact since the suspension officially began Sept. 3 – and decide whether to add him to the 53-man roster, which would require moving someone else off.
“We’re going to bring him in,” Shanahan said. “When he left here, he was a little banged up, so we’re going to see how he is with that shoulder, see what type of condition he’s in, and then make a decision what direction we’re going to go.”
Team officials could not be in contact with Buchanon during his suspension, but Shanahan said the Redskins provided a specific plan for him to stay in shape and take care of his shoulder injury.
The team currently has three backup cornerbacks – Byron Westbrook, Kevin Barnes and rookie Brandyn Thompson – playing behind starters DeAngelo Hall and Josh Wilson. If the Redskins add Buchanon, a 10-year veteran who played all 16 games for the Redskins in 2010, it’s possible they would try to move Thompson, a seventh-round draft pick from Boise State, to the practice squad. All three of the backups have been active for all three games.
“I thought they’ve stepped up and they’ve shown that 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.”