Through the first few days of 2018 training camp, Daron Payne looked every bit like the beast defensive lineman the Redskins were hoping they'd get when they landed him with their first-round pick in the NFL Draft.

Unfortunately, the team won't get to see him continue to develop in Richmond for a while.

Payne had his ankle stepped on in Friday's practice, and on Saturday, Jay Gruden informed the media that he'll miss two to three weeks and will spend the first week of his down time in a boot. The coach tried his best to downplay the issue, though.

"He's in great shape so it's not a big deal," he said. "He's already very smart and knows the defense."

That all may be true (those Alabama D-lineman tend to be strong and sharp), but Gruden and the 'Skins are likely much more disappointed by the news than they're letting show. After all, Washington's last two first-rounders — Josh Doctson and Jonathan Allen — both missed large portions of their debut seasons, so seeing their most recent top selection get sidelined this quickly may spark some nasty flashbacks.

Luckily, this is happening early on in camp and No. 95 will only have to sit out preseason games looking at his current injury timeline. Also luckily, the Redskins' defensive line is one of its most stocked positions.

But still, the franchise drafted Payne to be a crucial piece of their run defense, and for a key part of his early time as a pro where learning is supposed to happen, he won't be there.



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