On the same day that they get cornerback Bashaud Breeland back from a one-game suspension, the Washington Redskins learned they will lose cornerback Chris Culliver for the coming game as a punishment from the NFL.
The suspension for Culliver, who signed with Washington on a four-year, $32-million deal in March, stems from his involvement in a hit-and-run incident in March of 2014.
Culliver originally was charged with misdemeanor hit and run and felony possession of brass knuckles for his involvement in the incident, in which he hit a bicyclist and fled the scene, and then threatened a citizen with brass knuckles. This past spring, his attorneys argued for the felony charge be reduced to a misdemeanor. In June, Culliver pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors to resolve the case.
He will serve his one-game suspension without pay.
Meanwhile, Breeland — who served a one-game suspension for the Aug. 2014 citation for possession of marijuana — returns to action this week. He wasn’t allowed to practice or play last week. He was, however, allowed to take part in practices and games in the preseason. However, Breeland missed three preseason games and a good chunk of training camp after spraining the medial collateral ligament in his right knee. He returned to play in the final preseason game and exhibited some rust, but said after the game that the action would have positioned him to better catch back up to the speed of the game after his suspension was lifted.
The league hadn’t announced Culliver’s suspension at the time of Jay Gruden’s Monday press conference, but the coach said that Breeland’s return was much welcomed.
“It’ll help considerably. … Breeland is a versatile guy,” Gruden said. “He can play corner, he can play nickel. He’s brings a level of toughness to our defense. H’es a great tackler, plays physical, loves the game and competes his butt off, so he’s a welcome addition back there.”
Breeland, a fourth-round pick in 2014, took over as a starting cornerback once DeAngelo Hall ruptured his left Achilles’ tendon in Week 3. The Clemson product recorded 66 tackles, two interceptions and two forced fumbles.
Washington’s cornerback ranks took a hit on Sunday as well. Nickelback Justin Rogers left Sunday’s game with plantar fasciitis, and his status for Week 2 remains in jeopardy.
Monday marked a busy day at Redskins Park. In addition to signing a new kicker, cutting Kai Forbath, losing Culliver and welcoming Breeland back, the team also made another pair of minor transactions.
The team waived backup outside linebacker Houston Bates, and re-signed defensive end Frank Kearse. Washington had promoted Bates off the practice squad on Saturday because fellow linebacker Jackson Jeffcoat was plagued by a mild hamstring strain. The team cut Kearse to make room for Bates on the 53-man roster. With Jeffcoat expected to be healthy and able to practice fully this week, Washington now brings Kearse back. Bates is expected to re-sign with the practice squad.
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