The Redskins almost got out of minicamp without a scratch.
For weeks the Redskins went through their offseason program without anything resembling a major injury. They looked around their own division and saw Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee get knocked out for the season with a torn ACL and Giants linebacker John Beason suffer a foot injury that likely will cost him some of training camp and possibly the regular season.
Their luck finally ran out as the offseason drew to a close, although their injury issue doesn’t appear to be as serious as the others around the division. Jason Hatcher will undergo arthroscopic knee surgery. He said that he isn’t sure if any one moment caused him to need the surgery, which has been described as a cleanup procedure. He missed minicamp and he is expected to be sidelined for 4-6 weeks.
Training camp opens five weeks from today. Given the timetable, Hatcher could miss a week of camp or he might not miss any at all.
Is this something to be concerned about? Compared to the issues in Dallas, New York, and elsewhere, no. Even if he does miss a week or so of camp you have to figure that a veteran like Hatcher can still do what he needs to do to prepare for the season.
Still, there has to be some degree of apprehension over a veteran who will be 32 next month having an ailing knee two months prior to the start of the season.
Since becoming a starter in Dallas in 2011, Hatcher has been reasonably durable but not an iron man. He missed three games in 2011 due to a calf injury and he was on the injury report as questionable or probable for 11 games last year with neck and shoulder injuries. Hatcher did end up missing one game with injuries last year.
Missed games would be a big issue for the Redskins’ defense. Hatcher was a major part of their offseason plan. They couldn’t find many players that would upgrade their secondary at a price they wanted to pay so they went all in on getting a big pass rush. Hatcher was the key acquisition on defense. He had 11 sacks last year, more than the entire Redskins defensive line has registered in the last two seasons combined (6.5). This is a player who is not easily replaceable.
But let’s hit the brakes here. We are a long way from Hatcher being on an injury report or missing a game. Let’s see how things play out before panicking.
In reality, the fact that this knee issue came to light now could have been a blessing in disguise for Hatcher. If it had come up a week or so into training camp, the four to six week rehab would have threatened his availability for the start of the regular season.