The Washington Redskins' attempt to defend the NFC East title took a big hit Tuesday.

Trent Williams, the Pro Bowl tackle who protects Kirk Cousins' blind side, was suspended four games for violating the NFL's Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse, the team announced.

The Redskins have a bye this week so Williams won't be eligible to return until Dec. 5 following the game against the Arizona Cardinals.

"We met with Trent today to discuss this unfortunate news," Washington said in a statement. "Per the terms of the Policy, Trent will be permitted to participate in team meetings and workout at the Redskins' facilities throughout this time. The Redskins are counting on Trent to help our team when he returns from suspension. Our focus will now turn to the Minnesota Vikings after our bye this upcoming weekend. Any questions related to this matter should be directed to the NFL or NFLPA."

It wasn't specified which substance Williams took, but he was suspended for marijuana usage in 2011.

Williams, 28, is considered one of the game's elite offensive lineman. Incredibly fast for a big man, he's the lynchpin of the Washington offense and the leader of the locker-room.

He's been voted to the Pro Bowl four times and has started 84 games since being drafted by the Redskins No. 4 overall in 2010.

Washington (4-3-1) has an adequate replacement in Ty Nsekhe, who will be aided by the bye week as he readies for the Minnesota Vikings defense.