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Jay Gruden's Monday injury updates contained, somehow, more bad news for the Redskins

Bob Youngentob

Jay Gruden's Monday injury updates contained, somehow, more bad news for the Redskins

The Redskins’ injury problem has become a math problem.

Coach Jay Gruden said Monday that there are 13 players who currently are questionable for the game in Seattle this Sunday. They have only seven spots on the game day inactive list so they may need to perform some triage to figure out who will wear a uniform.

There are some players who already are penciled into that inactive list. Gruden said that TE Jordan Reed (hamstring) and DL Matt Ioannidis (hand) are unlikely to be able to play against the Seahawks.

Reed will need at least this week off to heal his hamstring strain. Ioannidis will have surgery to repair a broken bone in his hand on Tuesday. He may be able to play through the injury at some point but it won’t be this week.


The offensive line remains in limbo due to the injury issues. As usual, the team will hold a walkthrough on Tuesday and Gruden said that he doesn’t know who will line up at the critical left tackle spot for that workout. Trent Williams is still nursing a knee injury that eventually will require surgery and forced him to miss the Dallas game. Ty Nsekhe, the primary backup at tackle, has been out since Week 4 with a core muscle injury and will start to ramp up his workload this week. And T.J. Clemmings, who started at left tackle on Sunday, has an ankle sprain and his status is day to day.  

Gruden was hopeful that they will be able to get Pro Bowl right guard Brandon Scherff back on the field to play against Seattle. He suffered a Grade 2 MCL sprain in Week 7 against the Eagles and it forced him to miss a game for the first time since the team drafted him in 2015.

Center Spencer Long is week-to-week with knee tendonitis. It would be surprising if he played this week. Gruden did say that he was pleased with how well rookie Chase Roullier played in his place.

Here are the other injuries mentioned by Gruden:

  • TE Niles Paul—Concussion protocol
  • S Stefan McClure—Hamstring
  • G Shawn Lauvao—Stinger, decreased strength in arm
  • CB Bashaud Breeland—Knee and groin soreness
  • WR Jamison Crowder—Hamstring and lower leg contusion
  • S Montae Nicholson—Stinger and AC joint aggravation

The status for all of these injured players will be determined during the week.


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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Da'Ron Payne's first reaction after being drafted No. 13 by the Redskins

Da'Ron Payne's first reaction after being drafted No. 13 by the Redskins

Many top draft choices chose to head to the NFL Draft, hear their name called and get the pomp and circumstance that comes with all that is the NFL Draft. 

The Washington Reskins' No. 13 pick Da'Ron Payne was not one of those prospects. 

Instead, Payne watched the draft surronded by close friends and family.

The reaction was memorable: 

Some draft picks choose not to come for fear of slidding down draft boards, or worse: not being picked in the first round at all. 

So he doesn't get to meet Roger Goodell. He doesn't get a Redskins' jersey on draft night.

But this video wouldn't exist if the defensive tackle from Alabama chose to go to Dallas, Texas on draft night. 


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Redskins hope Da'Ron Payne will be able to solidify a porous run defense

Redskins hope Da'Ron Payne will be able to solidify a porous run defense

Doug Williams said that the Redskins would draft the best available player when they were on the clock. 

“It’s always going to be the best player available,” said the team’s senior vice president of player personnel during the team’s pre-draft press conference earlier this week

After their selection, it appears that they took a pick that was more for need. They picked defensive lineman Da’Ron Payne with safety Derwin James and linebacker Tremaine Edmunds still on the board, Jay Gruden said that there was some discussion. 

“There were quite a few guys were worthy of that pick, quite frankly,” said Gruden. “But for what we were looking for, with the fit, I think Da’Ron was perfect for us.”

The words “for what we were looking for” seem to indicate that they took Payne because they thought they needed someone at that position. 

While Payne is unlikely to be a pick that the Redskins will regret, they may look at what James and Edmunds, both players that most analysts had ranked considerably higher than Payne, accomplish during their careers and wonder what could have been. 

Then again, Payne is a pick that is about eight years overdue. The Redskins have been running the 3-4 defense since 2010 and they have never drafted a good nose tackle. Others they have tried, like Terrance “Pot Roast” Knighton, have been short-term solutions. For the past two years, the position has been manned by veteran Ziggy Hood, who is more suited to playing the end position. 

The result of the nose tackle situation in particular and neglect of the defensive line in general has been a rushing defense that has consistently in the lower half of the league, bottoming out at No. 32 in rushing yards allowed in 2017. The need to stop the run took a step up in importance earlier in the draft when the Giants selected running back Saquan Barkley with the second pick in the draft, a factor that Gruden cited when talking to the media after the pick. They already had twice-yearly dates with the Cowboys with Ezekiel Elliott at running back and the Eagles, who have a stable of effective running backs. 

Although at 311 pounds Payne may be considered a bit on the light side for a traditional nose tackle, defensive line coach Jim Tomsula has said in the past that a lighter player can be effective in that role in the team’s defense. 

The main concern about Payne is if he can rush the passer. In his three seasons at Alabama, he compiled just three sacks. Gruden said that that number doesn’t tell the whole story. 

“He can, he can get back there,” said Gruden. “A lot of times, the sacks that don’t show up on the stat board, he enabled other guys to get them, because push from the pocket forces the quarterback outside. I think that [Redskins edge rushers] Ryan Kerrigan, Preston Smith, Ryan Anderson will be very happy to have Jonathan Allen and Da’Ron Payne in the middle pushing that pocket.”

Gruden also expressed confidence Tomsula will be able to coach Payne into being an effective NFL pass rusher. 

We will see what Tomsula and the rest of the coaches can do with Payne. If they can get some pressures and sacks out of him and the ability to stop the run translates to the NFL, the Redskins will have received good value for the 13thpick, even if James and Edmonds go on to be stars.