Redskins sign TE Chamberlain

Updated: October 6, 2003, 7:42 PM ET

ASHBURN, Va. -- Tight end Byron Chamberlain signed with the Washington Redskins on Monday, a week after he was cut by Minnesota after returning out of shape from a drug suspension.

To make room for Chamberlain, the Redskins released tight end Zeron Flemister.

Chamberlain was suspended for the first four games after testing positive for the stimulant ephedra -- a violation of the NFL's policy on banned substances. He wasn't allowed to practice with the Vikings during the suspension, and was released the day he returned.

Chamberlain said he wasn't surprised by Minnesota's decision.

"I put myself in that position," he said. "I kind of had to deal with the consequences."

Chamberlain said he was unaware he had been using a product that contained ephedra.

"I thought I was taking a safe product," he said. "And it turns out it wasn't."

The Redskins are hoping Chamberlain will be ready for their game against Tampa Bay on Sunday.

"He might be five, 10 pounds over his playing weight," coach Steve Spurrier said. "But during his workout he ran very well."

Chamberlain worked out in Arizona during his suspension, but said it might take a week or two to get back in full playing shape.

"There's no way to simulate actually going out there and playing football," he said. "I can catch from a guy, but it's nothing like catching from an NFL quarterback."

Chamberlain joined the Vikings in 2001 after six seasons with Denver. He made the Pro Bowl after he set career highs with 57 catches for 666 yards and three touchdowns in his first season in Minnesota, but his production slipped last season as he struggled with injuries and conditioning.

The Redskins have had little production from their tight ends this season. Flemister and Robert Royal have combined for just six catches for 54 yards. Flemister, who missed two games with a hamstring injury, had just one catch this season.

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index

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