You can't say this one was hard to predict.
Oft-troubled Arizona ILB Daryl Washington has been suspended for the entire 2014 season due to a substance abuse policy violation. This violation follows a similar one in 2013 that saw him sit out the first four games of the season as well as a domestic violence incident to which he took a plea deal back in March.
So there are a couple things to note immediately. First and foremost, this is no longer isolated incident territory. Washington needs help. Here's hoping he gets it soon.
Switching from the personal to the professional, the Cardinals did themselves no favors by leaving themselves so exposed at ILB. Washington led the Cardinals in tackles in 2011 and 2012, dropping to third on the team in 2013 due to that four-game suspension. In his absence, Arizona will be forced to rely upon some combination of Kevin Minter, Larry Foote and Kenny Demens, a trio that totaled just seven tackles in 2013. While Minter and Demens are just approaching their relative NFL peaks as third and second-year players (respectively), Foote is nearly 35 years old.
It would seem the NFC West battleground just got a little bit easier for three teams while Arizona sees their manpower reduced pretty significantly.