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Jay Gruden says Redskins will examine team's injury prevention program

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Jay Gruden says Redskins will examine team's injury prevention program

The numbers are staggering.

The Redskins finished the season with 20 players on injured reserve. There were a few more who spent some time on IR who were waived. Starters and key reserves missed a combined 145 games.

The injuries that caused missed games hit from head (concussions suffered by S Montae Nicholson, TE Niles Paul, and others) to toe (DL Terrell McClain) and just about everywhere in between.

Were all of the injuries just simply bad luck? Certainly, some of them were. But could many of them have been prevented? Safety D.J. Swearinger, who came to the team in March after playing for three different teams in four years in the league, thinks so.


“I’ve been on a team where a lot of guys got injured but I’ve never been on one with this many injured because we’re not in shape or not doing the things we need to do to stay on the field,” said Swearinger. “Some injuries are freak injuries, you can’t control them. Pulls and strains and things like that you can sort of control those things with hydration, getting your treatment when you don’t need it, little things like that can definitely control those smaller injuries.”

Swearinger has some credibility when it comes to being able to stay on the field. He was on the injury report just once this year. In his previous four seasons in the league, he missed just two games with a toe injury.

Ryan Kerrigan also is someone to whom everyone should listen on the subject of injury prevention. He has started every game since the Redskins drafted him in 2011, a streak of 112 regular-season games.

The Redskins’ 2017 sack leader said that he tries to incorporate something different into his offseason regime every year, whether it’s something like improving his flexibility or taking a food allergy test to see what he needed to change in his diet. This offseason he plans to follow up on a tip he got from 13-year veteran tight end Vernon Davis, who has missed just five games since becoming the starter in San Francisco in 2007.

“He said he takes care of himself the same way in the offseason as he does in the season,” Kerrigan said of his conversation with Davis. “That was something that really kind of struck me, kind of stuck with me. You start to think, during the season you do all of this stuff to take care of your body and maintain. Out of season you lift and you run but you might not do as much of the chiropractic work and cold tub and stuff like that. I think that’s key not only for guys like myself with eight years in the league but also young guys can develop those habits.”


Jay Gruden said that the organization will take a look at all aspects of injury prevention and treatment to see if they can improve their chances of keeping players on the field.

“I don’t think there’s any doubt that’s something we have to take a close look at, whether it’s recovery after games, whether it’s how to prevent injuries, how we practice, what have you,” said Gruden during his year-end press conference on Tuesday.

Gruden went on to say that many of the injuries the team suffered were just football injuries that really can’t be avoided. But he said that he will not write it the mountain of injuries off to bad luck.

“How many of them are actually preventable?” he asked rhetorically? “That’s what we have to look at.”

Gruden said that he didn’t anticipate any changes being made to the training staff. They will look at everything they can do to keep the players on the field.

“What we can do though is do a better job maybe of the postgame recovery or give them some more options as far as maybe, I don’t know, yoga, Pilates, I don’t know what it is,” he said. “Could be something. We’ll look into everything we can.”

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.


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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—All-Redskins mock, fast-fading interest in Dez

Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—All-Redskins mock, fast-fading interest in Dez

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, April 21, five days before the 2018 NFL draft.  

The Redskins week that was

A look at some of the most popular posts and hottest topics of the week on Real Redskins and NBC Sports Washington

Should the Redskins pursue Dez Bryant? This topic was one like a meteor, very hot for a short period of time before it quickly faded out. It started to heat up as soon as the Cowboys cut Dez (about a month too late) and when it was reported that he wanted to play against Dallas twice a year it really picked up steam. But then people started to actually think and figured out that signing Bryant didn’t make much sense for the Redskins. Add to that the reports that the Redskins had no interest and would not look into signing Dez in the future and the Redskins fans quickly lost enthusiasm for the topic.

Seven-round Redskins mock draft—I think that most Redskins fans would be happy with this mock. Well, I’ll say some Redskins fans, most is a pretty strong word in this case. 

Is the draft pool deep enough for the Redskins to trade back? There is plenty of talk about the Redskins trading down in the first round to recoup the third-round pick they gave up in the Alex Smith trade. But they need to be careful. Many consider the draft to be top heavy and they may lose their chance to pick up an impact player if they trade back too far. The question then becomes one of quality vs. quantity. 

Three questions as offseason workouts get underway—There will be plenty more questions that we can ask about this team. But we don’t really know what to ask before the draft, particularly when it comes to the defensive line and running back. One the personnel settle into place we will know what we don’t know. 

Tweet of the week

On Chris Cooley’s thought that the Redskins might try to trade back and get Da’Ron Payne in the draft and the use the assets obtained to move up to get Derrius Guice. 

This is related to the questions about trading back. On paper it looks like a good idea, assuming the Redskins want Payne. We’re pretty sure they would like to have Guice but we haven’t heard as much about the Alabama defensive lineman. 

I had many reply that Guice won’t be there in the second round. It’s possible, perhaps even likely, but you just don’t know. There was zero chance that Jonathan Allen would be there at No. 17 last year, right? 

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, and follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCS.


Days until:

—OTAs start (5/22) 31
—Training camp starts (7/26) 96
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 141

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Redskins' schedule "rest disparity" is very fair in 2018

Redskins' schedule "rest disparity" is very fair in 2018

The NFL started taking into account a new factor when putting together its schedule this year. The concept is called rest disparity. It stems from a complaint made by the Giants last year. And, of course, when the Giants have a cold, the NFL sneezes and immediately does whatever it takes to cure the cold. 

Here is how Peter King laid it out this morning on the MMQB:

Last year, I heard the Giants were not pleased with their schedule because they felt they were too often playing teams more rested than they were. In consecutive October weeks, they played teams coming off byes, for instance. The NFL calculated a figure for every team based on the number of combined days of rest for their foes or for the team, calculating, for instance, in those two weeks, the Giants were a minus-14 (minus-seven for each of the foes, Seattle and Denver, coming off byes). In all, by my math, the Giants were a league-worst minus-22 in “rest disparity.”

So the schedule makers worked to minimize the rest disparity this year. According to King, the worst rest disparity in the league this year is minus-11. The Giants are minus-eight. 

The question that Redskins fans will have immediately here is if the Giants’ rest disparity was reduced at the expense of the team in burgundy and gold. The answer that will surprise many is no. 

The Redskins rest disparity in 2018 will be either minus-one or zero. The variance is due to the possibility that their Week 16 game in Tennessee will be flexed to a Saturday game (see details here). If the game stays on Sunday, they will be at minus-one in rest disparity. If it gets moved, they will have had exactly as much rest over the course of the season as did their opponents, in aggregate. 

If you're interested in the nitty-gritty, here is how it breaks down. In eight or nine of their games, they will have had the same amount of rest as their opponents. They play one game coming off of their bye, a Monday night game in New Orleans. The Saints play the previous Sunday, giving Washington a plus-seven in days of rest. That is canceled out when they play the Falcons in Week 9 after Atlanta’s bye. 

Due to their Thanksgiving game, they get three extra days off going into their Week 13 Monday night game in Philadelphia. Two weeks later the Jaguars will have those three extra days of rest when they host the Redskins, having played on Thursday in Week 14.

They lose a day relative to their opponents coming off of those Monday night games against the Saints and Eagles. The Redskins get an extra day prior to visiting the Giants in Week 8 as New York has a Monday night game in Week 7. 

So far, that comes to minus-one in rest disparity. That will remain in place if they play the Titans on Sunday, December 23. If the game is flexed to Saturday, they will gain a day of rest on the Eagles in Week 17, zeroing out the rest disparity for the season. 

More Redskins

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.