RICHMOND - The Redskins lost a big piece of their planned 2017 pass rush when Trent Murphy blew out his knee against the Ravens in the preseason opener. Murphy registered nine sacks last year in a breakout campaign and was working through an impressive training camp.
Granted, Murphy was scheduled to miss the first four games of this season with a PED suspension, but still, his loss changes the dynamics at outside linebacker for the Redskins. Without Murphy, the team will need increased production from a pair of question marks: Junior Galette and Ryan Anderson.
Both players have ability. That's not the question.
Anderson, however, is a rookie. It could take some time for him to find his way in the NFL.
Galette presents a different equation. He's produced at the highest level, logging 22 sacks in New Orleans in 2013 and 2014. But he hasn't played since that 2014 season, missing the last two years with the Redskins with Achilles injuries. Galette also missed the Redskins first preseason game last week with a hamtring injury.
Even with the injury concerns, Washington Senior Vice President of Player Personnel Doug Williams believes in Galette.
"I do believe if we can get him on the field, we'll see some of the Junior Galette that we are looking for," Williams said Sunday. "I think we can get something out of him."
Williams explained that Galette has already proven his desire to get on the field by working all the way back from consecutive Achilles injuries. That's no easy feat.
"How many guys can have two Achilles on different ankles and work as hard as he has to get back to this point? I think he did that."
The Redskins can count on Ryan Kerrigan, who has never missed a game in his six-year career with the Redskins. Despite a rolled ankle in training camp, Preston Smith has shown similar durability, not missing a game in two seasons in Washington.
Jay Gruden and Greg Manusky know what they have in Kerrigan and Smith. Anderson and Galette will be wild cards until they prove it on the field. With Murphy gone, the team will need that production. Starting now.
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