Redskins

Quick Links

Jay Gruden's latest update on Quinton Dunbar's nerve injury doesn't sound good

Jay Gruden's latest update on Quinton Dunbar's nerve injury doesn't sound good

The Redskins rolled the dice a bit this offseason and entered Week 1 with Quinton Dunbar as their starting cornerback opposite Josh Norman. The plan worked.

Dunbar got off to a hot start this season, grabbing an interception in the team's Week 1 win in Arizona and playing a large role in Washington's early defensive success.

Things slowed down though when Dunbar suffered a msyterious injury at practice before a Week 7 contest against the Cowboys. Dunbar would miss that game against Dallas, and then another one Week 8 in New York. 

The team revealed Dunbar was dealing with a nerve pain in his leg. At first it was in his shin, but later, the problem was in his hamstring. 

Dunbar tried to play Week 9 against Atlanta, but was ineffective and played less than half of the defensive snaps. He sat out two more games, against the Bucs and then the Texans, before a disastrous return against the Cowboys on Thanksgiving. 

On one play against Dallas WR Amari Cooper, Dunbar simply fell down and did not have the speed to catch up. In the second half of that game, it became clear Dunbar was not healthy, and he couldn't match Cooper's speed at any point.

Redskins head coach Jay Gruden acknowledged Dunbar was not at 100 percent in the second half of the Dallas game, and it sounds like the coach doesn't know when his cornerback will get back to full strength. 

"This is a unique deal. When you're talking about the nerve and you're talking about that area for a guy who utilizes his speed, it's tough," Gruden said. "We're trying to do everything we can as far as rehab is concerned, seeing the doctors and specialists for the nerve, but at the end of the day it's all about what he feels comfortable with. Last week, he felt comfortable enough to play but, you could see he was struggling with it as the game went on."

Without Dunbar, the Redskins must lean on rookies Greg Stroman and Danny Johnson. Stroman was taken in the seventh round and Johnson was undrafted. While both players have shown some flashes, neither is polished, or even particularly ready for significant NFL action. 

Listening to Gruden, however, it doesn't sound like Dunbar will be back anytime soon.

"He'll get it back, eventually. I just don’t know when. I don’t think anybody can really tell when," the coach said. "He has just got to continue to do what he's got to do in there and see as many people he can and stay off of it I guess."

The entire injury has been weird. Nerve issues often recover at their own pace, and Dunbar's is fitting that bill. And even with all the medical attention available to Dunbar from the Redskins, the core problem still hasn't been exactly pinpointed. 

"They kind of have it narrowed down to what it is and where it is. It’s just a matter of when he feels comfortable, where he can actually push off and run fast. I think he can run a little bit but when he tries to put a lot weight on it and push and extend his speed, that's where I think he has trouble. He loses function as far as power in his leg. It feels weak."

A cornerback needs speed. Dunbar needs speed. The Redskins need Dunbar. 

Unfortunately, it doesn't seem like Dunbar will have his speed for the Eagles game on Monday night. In turn, don't expect the Redskins to have Dunbar on the field. 

When will he be back? Jay Gruden got asked that exact question.

"I don't know." 

MORE REDSKINS NEWS:

 

Quick Links

Redskins sign former Eagles cornerback Ronald Darby to boost secondary

Redskins sign former Eagles cornerback Ronald Darby to boost secondary

The Redskins signed former Eagles cornerback Ronald Darby to a one-year contract on Sunday.

Darby, a second-round pick by the Bills in 2015 who played college ball at Florida State, grabbed six interceptions in three years playing in Philadelphia but dealt with major injuries throughout his time there, including an ACL tear in 2018. The deal was first reported by ESPN's Jeremy Fowler.

Washington needed to sign another cornerback after trading away disgruntled CB Quinton Dunbar last week.

With the new addition, expect the Redskins to let Kendall Fuller start on one side of the field and Darby and fourth-year pro Fabian Moreau compete for the starting spot on the other side of the defense. Jimmy Moreland projects as the inside slot corner.

The money on this deal won’t break the bank for the Redskins, but with two corners added in free agency and significantly more cash spent on Fuller, the Redskins 2020 secondary is starting to come into shape.

Washington probably feels somewhat comfortable with Fuller, Darby, Moreau and Moreland and will likely draft another corner in April. The team also signed Sean Davis from Pittsburgh with the intention to pair him with stalwart Landon Collins at the two safety spots.

For Redskins fans pushing for a reunion with former draft pick Bashaud Breeland, the Darby signing could end that possibility. Team sources said for weeks that Breeland wasn’t a strong consideration anyway.

Interestingly, Washington has now signed three defensive free agents in the secondary all with local ties. Darby grew up in Oxon Hill and played at Potomac High, Fuller went to Good Counsel High School and Davis grew up in D.C.

Stay connected to the Capitals and Wizards with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.

MORE REDSKINS NEWS:

Quick Links

Rewatching 'All Or Nothing': This scene is a prime example of Ron Rivera's integrity

Rewatching 'All Or Nothing': This scene is a prime example of Ron Rivera's integrity

Pete Hailey is rewatching Amazon's All Or Nothing, a behind-the-scenes look at the 2018 Panthers, to learn about Ron Rivera and other key people who are now a part of the Redskins. Here's his review of episode six, "That's How Football Works."

When an NFL team fires a head coach, they almost always try to move on like they're closing an Internet tab; just hit the 'X', get rid of the window and move on.

But when the Panthers parted ways with Ron Rivera last December, it was a totally different process. Rivera held a 30-minute press conference after the news broke. Veterans labeled it the worst day they had ever been a part of in the league. He even came back to the area a few months later to hold a yard sale, which ended up acting as a goodbye event that 3,000 people attended.

Yes, the coach was very successful during his tenure with the Panthers, but that kind of send-off doesn't happen for someone just because of division titles and a Super Bowl appearance. Those kinds of farewells are reserved for the people who are revered for their integrity, character and impact on everything, not just their impact on the field.

And in episode six of Amazon's 2018 edition of All Or Nothing, viewers were shown an example of what separates Rivera from most who share his position in the sport.

The early part of this installment focuses on Devin Funchess' inconsistent season and includes a flashback to an earlier practice where the receiver confronts then-QBs coach Scott Turner for being too slow with his play calling. 

After that incident, Funchess, Rivera and Turner step away to hash things out, at which point Funchess reveals his cousin had been killed the week before and the funeral had just taken place. Funchess apologizes repeatedly for his behavior. Turner then hugs him and does his best to calm him down.

Rivera, though, wants to take more time with the wideout to further talk to him and show his support. So, he brings Funchess to a bench, sits him down and puts his arm around him for an emotional one-on-one.

"I don't know what you're going through, but I can feel for you, all right?" Rivera says. "I appreciate you sharing that with both Scotty and I right now."

"If you ever have situations like that or something like that, you need to talk about stuff like that," he continues. "You know you can always talk to me all right?"

A few seconds and a few more encouraging remarks later, the two stand up, with Funchess returning to action and Rivera walking slowly behind him. Just before the scene ends, the latter sighs and appears to wipe a tear away.

In a show filled with crunching tackles and slow-motion touchdowns laid under triumphant music, this quiet exchange was easily one of its more powerful moments. It also was all one needs to see to understand why so many in Carolina were so affected when Rivera was fired.

So much about being a winner on the sidelines in the NFL is about schemes and creativity and strategy and risk-taking. But relating to players and supporting them and earning their trust is arguably more crucial than any system or depth chart decision ever could be.

Rivera's interaction with Funchess was a strong illustration of that second point. The Redskins aren't just getting an impressive coach; they're getting an impressive person. He's going to look out for his roster in every way, and in turn, that roster will likely do all it can for him.

Links to past reviews:

Episode 1: Rivera doesn't flinch after adversity hits

Episode 2: Rivera shows his feelings on distractions

Episode 3: Special teams truly mean something to Ron

Episode 4: Young Redskins will have a chance in 2020

Episode 5: Rivera goes off, and you'll want to see it