by Grant PaulsenBy Grant Paulsen

Cornerback Phillip Buchanon returned to the practice field at Redskins Park on Tuesday morning, participating in his first team-sanctioned workout since the end of the preseason.

Buchanon, a 31-year-old, 10th-year cornerback, was suspended for the first four games of the 2011 season for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing supplements. While suspended Buchanon wasn’t permitted to visit Redskins Park and wasn’t allowed to talk with team officials.

Upon reporting to work on Monday, Buchanon’s shoulder – injured during the Redskins’ final preseason game – was evaluated by Washington’s training staff. On Tuesday he was back on the practice field, watching much of the day’s activities beside members of the Redskins’ coaching staff.

“[I’m] definitely happy to be back,” Buchanon said. “I feel pretty good right now,” he said about his shoulder. “I’ll be here pretty much this whole week to try to get back to try to help this team get some more wins.”

A year ago Buchanon led the Redskin in passes defended. He made five starts and played in all 16 of Washington’s games in 2010. The suspension was announced shortly after he tested the market as a free agent prior to re-upping with the Redskins.

“It was an honest mistake, things happen,” Buchanon said about getting suspended. “I don’t want to talk about it. It was just a mistake. That’s it. Just a mistake. It’s over with.”

Without Buchanon’s services Washington’s defense has played impressive football, ranking fifth in the league in yardage allowed and third in scoring allowed. The stingy unit is ranked first in forced fumbles and tied for first in sacks and third-down defense.

“We’re 3-1 right now which is a good feeling,” Buchanon said. “Unfortunately for me I wasn’t able to be a part of the first four [games] but I look forward to being part of the next 12.”

Buchanon says he plans on being a regular at Redskins Park throughout the team’s bye week.

“I had my bye week the first four weeks. I’m looking forward to getting back on the field.”


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