With a new general manager in charge, new faces throughout the lineup as well as new assistant coaches bringing new ideas to the table, the Redskins are a team in transition. Between now and the start of training camp, CSNWashington.com reporters Tarik El-Bashir and Rich Tandler will examine the top questions facing Jay Gruden and Co. as they prepare for the season.
Are any of the rehabbing Redskins a concern entering training camp?
Key veterans Trent Williams, Ryan Kerrigan, DeAngelo Hall and Jordan Reed all spent OTAs and minicamp on the sidelines because of injuries. Each has said they’ll be on the field later this month in Richmond. But anyone who’s followed pro football long enough knows that a player’s expectations and the medical staff’s timetable aren’t always in perfect agreement. Should Redskins fans be concerned that any of the injuries could linger into the season?
El-Bashir: I’m not all that worried about Kerrigan or Reed, both of whom underwent knee procedures after experiencing some soreness. At last check, Kerrigan’s recovery was on schedule and the team expected Reed to be ready for the start of camp.
As for Williams and Hall, I’m a little more concerned about them.
Williams is tough and able to play through pain; we witnessed that last season. But this ankle injury, which he suffered in the regular season finale and aggravated in Pro Bowl practice a few weeks later, was still sore enough six months later to keep him out of veteran minicamp. Six months. That’s an awfully long time to be dealing with a sprain, and you can bet it’s something everyone will be watching closely in the opening days of camp.
Hall, on the other hand, has recently said he hopes to be full-go on Day 1 of camp, while also conceding that the training staff will probably attempt to ease him back into football situations. Here’s why I’m worried: Hall is 31. He tore his Achilles not once but twice. And because he’s battling for a job, he might feel pressure to get on the field sooner rather than later, putting himself at risk for a setback.
Tandler: I’m not necessarily worried about Reed’s knee, at least not this particular issue with this particular joint at this particular time. But the fact that he had a problem that sidelined him for virtually all of the offseason is a big red flag. He has been on the Redskins’ roster for 32 games and he was either on injured reserve or the injury report for 17 of them. His ability to stay on the field is a major question mark.
As for Hall, I’ll reiterate something I discussed in a post this morning. His contract, which calls for a $4 million salary, puts him in a very sticky situation. The Redskins will rightfully be concerned about the possibility that the Achilles will be reinjured, which could leave them on the hook for his entire $4 million salary. There may be some contract renegotiation before Hall steps on the field.
And speaking of contracts, Williams is on the last year of his deal. It’s great that he can play through pain as Tarik noted. But the Redskins, or any team, will be hesitant to pay premium left tackle dollars to someone who seems to be playing on one leg on a regular basis. As to the question at hand, he’ll be ready for camp and for Week 1.
Previously on Redskins offseason Q&A:
- Who will start at strong safety?
- Who will return punts and kickoffs?
- Who will be the third down back?
- Which rookie will have the most impact?
- How will the carries be divvied up?
- What will the QB depth chart look like?
- Who will the third running back be?
- Which free agent will have the most impact?
- Which new assistant coach will have the biggest impact?
- What team is the biggest threat to win the NFC East?
- Will Jason Hatcher live up to his contract?
- Who will be the training camp phenom?
- What will the cornerback depth chart look like?