With supportive teammates and coaches, Washington Redskins linebacker Trent Murphy has remained positive and focused on on-field improvement as he awaits a Week 6 return during the regular season.
Washington Redskins linebacker Trent Murphy said it was "extremely disappointing to find out" that he had been suspended for the first four games of the 2017 season, but he's ready to move on and remain active with his teammates while he can.
Murphy, 26, can still practice with the team throughout the remainder of offseason workouts and at training camp in Richmond, Va., and is allowed to play in the team's four preseason games. But he will miss the first four games of the season before being eligible to return in Week 6 against the San Francisco 49ers following the Redskins' bye in Week 5.
"It was kind of like a gut-wrenching feeling. It took me by total surprise," Murphy told reporters Wednesday at the Inova Sports Performance Center at Redskins Park in Loudoun County, Va. "I'm extremely disappointed by it, but now I can just move forward [and] get ready for [the season]. It's going to end up being Week 6 because the bye week follows, so I'll do everything I can to help out the team and put myself in a good position: be in shape, be ready to go, firing at all cylinders."
Murphy, a second-round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, is coming off the best season of his career. In 16 games, the 6-foot-5, 290 pounder posted career highs in tackles (47), sacks (nine) and fumbles forced (three).
From Weeks 2-6, the Stanford product recorded a combined five sacks including two against Dallas Cowboys rookie quarterback Dak Prescott.
While he'll have to wait until six weeks in the 2017 campaign to repeat his breakout performance, Murphy is moving on from his suspension the only way he knows how.
"I kind of moved on really, one way, I could move on, which is just to get back to work and keep my head down and keep grinding," Murphy said. "It's disappointing. It doesn't reflect who I am as a player, but at the end of the day I just do what I can for the team, put myself in a great position to help out and win football [games]."
Murphy said the advice he received from the coaching staff to best cope with the suspension is to "stay in shape, stay focused [and] stay in football."
"My team has rallied around me," Murphy said. "They've been very supportive, so I'm just going to do the best I can to recover from this."