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Arizona Cardinals set to face life without Daryl Washington

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Cardinals star linebacker Daryl Washington had his sentencing come down on Wednesday morning in downtown Phoenix and to put it lightly, it was quite minor. Washington was sentenced to one year of supervised probation after he pleaded guilty to assaulting the mother of his child back just last month.

The details of the incident read as follows.

Washington was arrested May 3, 2013, when he surrendered to police in his attorney's office, two days after the mother of his child went to police with the alleged assault complaint, according to court documents.

She told officers Washington had visited her at her apartment where she lives with their daughter. During the routine visit, the woman told police Washington pushed her with two hands causing her to fall and break her collarbone, according to the documents.

After dealing with the legal system in Arizona, D-Wash will now have to face the NFL to see what they decide. Washington's case is said to be still "under review" and he will more than likely have to meet with commissioner Roger Goodell at some point in the near future.

Washington's past legal issues don't bode well for him as far as disciplinary action goes. The young linebacker was suspended for the first four games of last season for violating the league's substance abuse policy.

Goodell usually comes down hard on repeated offenders. If I had to venture to guess, Washington will at the very least get four games and will more than likely receive a six to eight game suspension considering how serious of an offense this is.

Either way, the Cardinals will be without their star linebacker for at least a portion of this coming season. Last season, Arizona went 2-2 without Washington with both losses coming on the road to the Rams and the Saints.

During the offseason, the Red Birds depth at inside linebacker took a bit of a hit with the departure of Karlos Dansby, who signed a multi-year deal with the Cleveland Browns. There are certainly some question marks at the position and Washington's status being up in the air doesn't help matters.

Second-year player Kevin Minter, who played on mostly special teams during his rookie season, is expected to start at one of the two inside 'backer spots. Lorenzo Alexander, who missed nearly all of 2014 with an injury, could take Washington's spot while he's out. The Cardinals could look to add some depth to the position during next month's draft as well.

Time will tell how many games Washington ends up missing. As a fan of this team, I would love to see it be as minimal as possible because Washington is that big of a difference maker on the Cards D, but at the same time, a somewhat lengthy suspension could help him make get his life in order and realize that putting your hands on a woman is a matter that shouldn't be taken lightly.

Here is to that being the case and Washington continuing to play at a Pro Bowl level once he returns.

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