Washington Football Team puts trainer Ryan Vermillion on leave for criminal investigation

The Washington Football Team has placed head athletic trainer Ryan Vermillion on administrative leave for what a spokesperson called an ongoing criminal investigation unrelated to the club.

Vermillion is in his second season with coach Ron Rivera in Washington after 18 seasons working for the Carolina Panthers.

The Drug Enforcement Administration and the Loudoun County Sheriff's Department conducted a search at Washington's practice facility on Friday, a source confirmed to ESPN. NBC Sports Washington was first to report on the search.

Team officials did not know about the investigation until DEA agents showed up at the facility on Friday, a source told ESPN's John Keim.

The DEA talked to multiple former players about Vermillion earlier this year, a source with knowledge of the situation told Keim. One ex-player who spoke with the DEA said he did not have any useful information to share with them.

Vermillion did not travel with Washington this weekend to its game at Atlanta.

Vermillion's attorney, Barry Coburn, declined comment.

Washington coach Ron Rivera, who brought Vermillion with him from Carolina, declined to comment during his weekly news conference Monday. He referred to the team's statement.

"I won't comment on how I personally feel about what's going on," Rivera said.

Washington hired Vermillion shortly after Rivera in January 2020, with owner Dan Snyder calling him a perfect fit and "one of the most respected and seasoned head athletic trainers in the NFL."

Vermillion also is Washington's infectious control officer, managing the team's health and safety protocols for COVID-19.

Before his time in Carolina, Vermillion spent one season as Washington's director of rehabilitation. Before that, he spent nine seasons on Hall of Fame coach Don Shula's staff with the Miami Dolphins: four as head trainer and five as rehabilitation director.

Vermillion graduated from the University of Miami in 1987.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.