Cornerback Phillip Buchanon has been suspended for four games by the NFL for violating the league's policy on performance enhancing drugs.
The NFL released a statement on Friday afternoon on Buchanon's status:
"Phillip Buchanon of the Washington Redskins has been suspended without pay for the team's first four games of the 2011 regular season for violating the NFL policy on performance enhancing substances.
"Buchanon's suspension begins on Saturday, Sept. 3. He will be eligible to return to the Redskins' active roster on Monday, Oct. 3 following the team's Oct. 2 game against the St. Louis Rams."
With Buchanon sidelined, third-year player Kevin Barnes likely steps up as the nickel cornerback.
The decision could open the door for young players such as Byron Westbrook, Reggie Kelly and 2011 seventh-round draft pick Brandyn Thompson to secure a roster spot, at least for the first four weeks.