Washington Redskins defensive end Jarvis Jenkins said he was shocked, but apologetic, that he was suspended without pay for the first four games of the 2013 regular season for violating league policy on performance enhancing substances.
The team announced the suspension Friday. Jenkins is eligible to participate in preseason practices and games but will not be on the team's active roster until after the Sept. 29 game against the Oakland Raiders. The substance in question was not identified.
"When I learned that I tested positive for a substance that is banned under the NFL policy, I was shocked and confused," Jenkins said. "It's an obscure substance that I've never even heard of, and I still don't know how it got into my body. My only guess is that it came from one of the supplements I was taking around the time of the test, even though none of them listed anything banned.
"I'm very sorry for the effect of this situation on my teammates and coaches, and I also apologize to my family and all Redskins fans. I will be very, very ready to contribute as soon as I get back for Game 5."
Jenkins played in all 16 regular-season games last season and finished with 24 tackles.
Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan said Friday he hopes Jenkins' situation serves as a lesson for other players.
"Hopefully our players will learn that without the label of NSF, you can't take any supplements because you never know what's going to be in those supplements," Shanahan said, referring to the National Science Foundation's seal of approval on products cleared for NFL player use. "So, we'll pay the price for it. He'll be suspended for four games and hopefully our players will learn from it."
Shanahan then discussed the team's options with Jenkins missing the first four games.
"We've got some depth there. Obviously (Chris) Baker's been playing there. (Kedric) Golston's been playing there," he said. "We've got a bunch of competition. We're a lot deeper right now than we have been in the past. Obviously we needed that type of depth for situations like this. But hopefully we can stay healthy."
And since no Redskins press conference can be complete without the latest status on quarterback Robert Griffin III as he rehabilitates his knee, here is what Shanahan said after Friday's practice, which seemed to be pretty much the same as he said Thursday, and may sound familiar again Saturday:
"I think very similar to what we saw yesterday. He is getting a lot of good work in individual work; he's got 30 minutes there. Then he gets a period of 10 plays in 7-on-7. He gets eight of those 10 plays.
"Sometimes if there's a mistake or something along those lines, he'll get an extra one or two plays. During that 20 minutes of special teams, those two 10- minute periods, he goes over there and every play that he misses in team, he goes over there and runs that play," Shannahan said.
"So he gets a chance to work the whole offense in the first couple of days. He doesn't skip any reps. The only thing we're not doing is putting him in a team situation where we're going against a defense in 11-on-11 for obvious reasons which we talked about yesterday," he added.