The Redskins reeling defense suffered a devastating blow Monday when it was announced that star linebacker Brian Orakpo will miss the remainder of the season with a torn left pectoral muscle.Orakpo, two-time pro bowl selection, suffered the injury early in Sundays 31-28 defeat in St. Louis while wrapping up Rams quarterback Sam Bradford for his first sack of the season. Its the same pectoral Orakpo tore in the 2011 regular season finale and aggravated in the preseason. This tear, though, in a different spot.Rak tore his pec in a little different spot on the right side, Shanahan said. It will be about four-month recovery time. So hell be gone for the season as well.Moments earlier, Shanahan confirmed what most had suspected: Defensive end Adam Carriker will also miss the remainder of the season. He tore a ligament between the quadriceps and knee, Shanahan said.The loss of Orakpo, however, was a stunner.After getting hurt early in the game, the 26-year-old returned to the game twice, including early in the second half. Both times, however, he was forced to leave the field again.According to the MRI, its a completely different area than the initial tear, Shanahan said, asked if the new injury was related to the prior one.Shanahan said Orakpo and Carriker will have surgery this week. Shanahan said Orakpo will miss four months, while Carriker will be sidelined five.Neither player was available to speak to reporters Monday.Orakpo is expected to be replaced by Rob Jackson, who said earlier in the day that he was preparing as though he would be the starter against Cincinnati. Orakpo's absence figures to result in Chris Wilson will receiving additional playing time, too. Shanahan hinted that Jackson and Wilson could compete to be Orakpo's full-time replacement.They both have to step up and play at a very high level because we all know what Rak has meant to our defense and how well hes played, Shanahan said of Jackson and Wilson.Orakpo has averaged 9.5 sacks per game during his first three seasons in the NFL. And after an offseason spent rehabbing and working on technique, he was hoping to have a breakout year."He's a guy who can do it all," Shanahan said. "He can cover, he rush, he can play the run, he's very physical, very smart, a team player. All the things you look for in a Pro Bowl player. Obviously, we're going to miss him."
The Redskins are having three visitors today in Ashburn. Depending on how they go, they could mostly be done with free agency or still pushing to fill some needs.
They have been making an effort to hire one of the top defensive linemen on the market since before free agency actually started. They had former Jet Muhammad Wilkerson in for a visit last Tuesday, something they could do because Wilkerson had been released. The team put on a good sales push that lasted most of the day, but Wilkerson left without a deal. Shortly after he left he decided to sign with the Packers.
They made runs at Dontari Poe and Sheldon Richardson, but they signed with the Panthers and Vikings, respectively. The prospects were looking slim until the Colts decided to cut Jonathan Hankins on Saturday. He weighs 320 pounds and turned 25 on January 1. Hankins probably isn’t going to make any All-Pro teams or post double-digit sacks, but he will help you stop the run for the next half-decade, at least. In case you haven’t noticed, that’s the Redskins’ biggest defensive problem for the last several seasons.
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Hankins is visiting today and he is someone the Redskins would very much like to sign. The other two visitors may be fallback plans.
Cornerback Orlando Scandrick is a veteran who can play in the slot. That is what the Redskins are looking for but Scandrick does not appear to be their first choice. Last week they had former Giants cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie in for an extended visit that included a physical. However, they could not come together on money. Scandrick, who has missed time with injuries in each of the last two years, could be an alternative to Rodgers-Cromartie or it could be that he is being used to put some pressure on the Redskins’ preferred choice.
Edge rusher Pernell McPhee is also clearly a second choice. The Redskins have an offer on the table for Junior Galette to return. He tweeted yesterday that the Redskins were the best fit for him but that the money “has to be fair.”
McPhee has played well but injuries have limited his impact the last two years. He started the 2016 season on injured reserve with a knee injury and he missed a total of seven games. Last year he missed three games with shoulder and knee injuries.
The Redskins likely are interested in McPhee for the right price. That price is considerably less than the $7 million he was going to make from the Bears this year before they let him go on February 26. There does not seem to be a hot market for his services; he has been a free agent for three and a half weeks and this is his first reported visit.
The Redskins would rather bring back Galette, who was much more effective as a pass rusher last year than his three sacks would indicate. But the price has to be right for both sides and apparently there is some work to be done towards working that out.
Here is what you need to know on this Monday, March 19, 38 days before the NFL draft.
Free agency notes and nuggets
Looking at the 2018 depth chart—offense
The Redskins are likely to make a few more free agent acquisitions and there is the draft, but the depth chart is beginning to settle in. Let’s take a look at where the offensive side of the ball stands now. The defense is up tomorrow
Quarterback: Alex Smith
Backups: Colt McCoy
The only question here is if the Redskins will draft a late-round project quarterback to develop as the backup. McCoy is in the last year of his contract and he may not be back in 2019.
Running back: Samaje Perine
Backups: Chris Thompson, Rob Kelley, draft pick
This is an area to watch. Thompson could end up being the only carryover if they get a draft pick who can start and decide to keep 2017 late-season addition Kapri Bibbs or if they find another veteran. They also could go with only three running backs.
Wide receivers: Josh Doctson, Paul Richardson, Jamison Crowder
Backups: Maurice Harris, Robert Davis, Brian Quick
They may not carry six, so Harris, Davis, and Quick might battle it out for two spots. It’s possible that they will put a draft pick into the mix as well.
MORE REDSKINS: The Redskins week that was
Tight end: Jordan Reed
Backups: Vernon Davis, Jeremy Sprinkle
As of right now, this appears to be one of the few position groups you can write in with a Sharpie. If the Redskins are going to be better in 2018, a lot of the improvement will have to come from improvement of 2017 draft picks like Sprinkle. If he can develop into a solid blocker and a moderate receiving threat he will be an asset.
Offensive line: LT Trent Williams, LG Arie Kouandjio, C Chase Roullier RG Brandon Scherff, RT Morgan Moses
Backups: T Ty Nsekhe, G/T Tyler Catalina, G Kyle Kalis, T T.J. Clemmings
Kouandjio is a placeholder at left guard for the moment. He was solid pass blocking but struggled in run blocking in six starts in injury fill-in duty. I think that if they bring in another interior O-lineman in free agency or in the draft, Roullier will remain at center. I think Jay Gruden likes the way he is developing there and wants to continue.
Tandler on Twitter
If you have to restructure Kerrigan to get an extension done for Preston Smith you do it. But 1st year cap hits on extensions off of rookie deal generally low. https://t.co/WIvIp5PoBw— Rich Tandler (@TandlerNBCS) March 18, 2018
—Offseason workouts begin (4/16) 28
—Training camp starts (approx. 7/26) 130
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 174
In case you missed it
- Looking ahead—Key Redskins 2019 free agents
- The 2018 salaries of 5 Redskins become fully guaranteed today
- LB McPhee reportedly visiting with 'Skins