Few players created more excitement from Redskins fans without ever delivering on the field than pass rusher Junior Galette.
The lack of production has not been Galette's fault. Both in 2015 and in 2016, the former Saints sackmaster tore his Achilles, and was lost for the season. This year, after two long years away from the game, Galette finally made it through training camp healthy, and Washington fans allowed themselves to grow excited.
In 2014, his last season on the field, Galette logged 10 sacks for New Orleans. In 2013, he had 12 sacks. While double digits seemed an ambitious expectation, Galette seemed capable of six or maybe eight sacks in 2017 based on a strong showing in Richmond.
Then the season started, and it started slowly.
Galette didn't get more than 20 defensive snaps until Week 4. That made sense, as the team wanted to be sure the outside linebacker was all the way back from the injuries.
After the bye, Galette saw his heavier usage against the 49ers and the Eagles, though he was still on the field less than 50 percent of Washington's defensive snaps.
Against the Cowboys in Week 8, Galette's snap count again dropped below 20.
Week 9 in Seattle, the number popped back up to a season-high 31 snaps. Some of that might have been because the Redskins defense played a season high 83 snaps that game, and defensive coordinator Greg Manusky needed more from every healthy player on the roster.
Regardless of the circumstances, Galette appeared to play well in Seattle. He got good pressure on Russell Wilson in spots, and had been solid in run support as well.
That's what made his usage in the loss to the Vikings weird.
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Galette played just 19 of 61 defensive snaps against Minnesota. And the Redskins defense registered zero sacks of Vikes QB Case Keenum.
Let's be clear, though. Ryan Kerrigan and Preston Smith are off to strong starts this season and deserve to play the bulk of the snaps at pass rusher. That's obvious. Both players, however, usually work in as part of a rotation, an effective mechanism to keep fresh legs late in football games.
Galette might not have the speed he did in 2014 in New Orleans, but he has shown the ability to get pressure off the edge. Galette doesn't need to be on the field every snap, or probably even every other snap, but he shouldn't be an afterthought, either.
Ed. Note: Snap count data pulled from Pro Football Focus.
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