Cards’ Washington hopes to reduce or eliminate suspension

GLENDALE, Ariz. – Arizona Cardinals inside linebacker Daryl Washington said Wednesday that he will be in New York on Monday to meet with league officials in an attempt to either reduce or lift his four-game suspension, levied in April, for violating the NFL Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse.
Washington did not elaborate on his reasons for challenging the suspension, and he called Monday’s trip more of a conversation than a formal meeting or appeal. He said he won’t meet with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, although he’s been “trying for about six months.”
The hope is to have the ban lifted altogether, but Washington said if he can get the suspension reduced to two games, he would be satisfied. He has never revealed the specific reason for the suspension.
Washington also appeared in court on Tuesday. The appearance stemmed from his arrest this spring on suspicion of aggravated assault. Washington said Wednesday that he got a continuance until October.
If it’s true that Goodell has declined to meet with Washington, it would seem unlikely that Washington’s wishes will be met, but we’ll know more next week.
There’s been a lot of talk about the changes first-year coach Bruce Arians has brought to the organization. Carson Palmer summarized them in one word on Wednesday: efficiency.
“There’s no nonsense. There hasn’t been one time I’ve been on the practice field where I was like, ‘Why are we doing this?’ ” Palmer said, adding that there is no standing around or wasted time. “It’s very fast, it’s very efficient. A player at my age and lot of the vets on this team really respect an efficient practice.”
Palmer said that philosophy carries over into the team’s off-field work, as well. It’s been noted before that Arians expects his players to stretch before they hit the field to conserve valuable practice time.
“You have to get yourself prepared to play, and if you don’t know how to do that, you shouldn’t be here,” Palmer said. “I love it because I hate stretching.”
Palmer said even team meetings are efficient, which is a break with his past.
“I’ve had meetings about meetings,” he said. “That wears on you as you’re in Day 10, 12, 15, 18 (of camp).
“He’s been extremely efficient and done a great job of getting the most out of us. Our meetings have a purpose. You don’t walk out of a meeting going, ‘We could have done that in six minutes; it took 25.’” 
Running back Andre Ellington was being evaluated for a stiff neck and a headache after leaving Tuesday afternoon’s practice. 
“We’re going to do the concussion protocol just to be careful with him,” Arians said. “He’ll see a neurologist (Wednesday) to make sure he’s OK for this ballgame (Friday in Green Bay).”
If Ellington can’t go and Rashard Mendenhall is still limited by knee tendinitis, the Cards will have just two healthy backs for Friday’s game, as Ryan Williams (right knee) will not play. In that event, Arians hopes Mendenhall would play one quarter with Stepfan Taylor and Alfonso Smith splitting the final three.
“I don’t like going into the regular season with just three, let alone a preseason game,” Arians said.
Arians said all of the other injured players will remain in Arizona while the team travels to Green Bay.