Cedric Griffin defends against New York Giant WR Victor Cruz Monday night. (John McDonnell/Washington Post)

Washington Redskins cornerback Cedric Griffin has been suspended for four games without pay for violating the NFL’s policy on performance enhancing drugs, the league announced Tuesday afternoon.

The seventh-year veteran, who signed as a free agent for one year at $1.25 million during the offseason, has recorded 33 tackles and four pass deflections while appearing in nine games this season. Griffin had served as Washington’s third cornerback and played frequently because opposing teams routinely use multiple receiver sets.

Griffin will be eligible to return to Washington’s active roster on Monday, Dec. 31, following the team’s Dec. 30 regular season finale against Dallas.

With Griffin injured early in the season (he missed three games), Washington used rookie Richard Crawford as its third corner.  But Crawford has gone unused for much of the season since Griffin returned from his hamstring injury.