Not too far into the off-season, the Arizona Cardinals knew they were going to be without the services of linebacker Daryl Washington. April 3rd is when the NFL announced his four-game suspension to start the 2013 season. Fast forward six months and three days, Washington played like he didn’t miss a beat and the Cards needed every bit of him in the 22-6 victory over the Carolina Panthers on Sunday.
Washington, who faces possible further NFL suspension and law problems amid his arrest for domestic abuse on an ex-girlfriend, came back strong on Sunday. He had two sacks, nine tackles total, three of which for a loss, plus an interception. You can’t ask for more from a defender on any given Sunday. The fact that Washington did it in his first game of the season is something else. Also, with the linebacking unit decimated by injuries over the first four weeks of the season, his performance couldn’t have bee more timely.
With his other legal troubles waiting for him when the season ends, he can now focus on football. The Cards got him back just in time. They go to San Francisco, home against Seattle, and home games against Houston and Atlanta over the next four weeks. If he continues to play like that during that rough stretch, then the Cards could come away with a couple of wins. However that is a big if. Those teams all have offenses that can make you look bad or average in a heartbeat.
For today, Washington was outstanding. One game at a time. It sure is nice to have D-Wash back. He’ll usually give you a chance and for the Cards that’s all you can ask for.