Safety DeJon Gomes has an excellent opportunity in front of him and it would help both him and the Redskins if he could take advantage of it.A fifth-round pick in last years draft, Gomes played enough to get his feet very wet in 2011. He appeared in 15 games, getting in on defense in eight of them. Gomes first start came in Week 11 against the Cowboys and he played 74 of the 77 defensive snaps, posting seven tackles, three assists, and two quarterback hurries.He started the last four games of the season, playing 122 of 249 snaps. Gomes never did match the solid performance he turned in during that Dallas debut but his play was passable for a rookie.This year, starting safeties LaRon Landry and O. J. Atogwe are gone. However, Gomes play was not good enough to cause the Redskins to immediately promote him to the starting job. The team brought in free agents Tanard Jackson, Brandon Meriweather, and Madieu Williams and drafted Jordan Bernstine in the seventh round. It will be a challenge for Gomes to make the team and to get as much playing time as he did last year.It seems a good bet that Jackson, who played for defensive backs coach Raheem Morris in Tampa Bay, will get one of the starting safety jobs. Meriweather might be penciled in for the other one at this point in time but Gomes, Williams, and Reid Doughty will all have an opportunity to knock him out of the job before training camp is over.Since the NFL lockout wiped out the offseason program last year, Gomes needs to take full advantage of it this year. He has looked fine during OTAs but, as Mike Shanahan always says, you cant judge running backs or safeties until they put the pads on. That wont happen until training camp starts in late July.He will be one to watch during training camp. If Gomes can build on what he learned last year during the offseason this year and put everything together in August he has a chance to get a lot of playing time and perhaps even start a lot of games.Even if Gomes cant nail down a starting job in 2012 he could prepare himself to get one next year. Williams, Meriweather, and Jackson all signed one-year contracts and none of them is necessarily considered to be a long-term solution. If Gomes can be a solid role player this year he could set himself up well for the future.That would be good not only for Gomes but for the team. They will be operating with a reduced salary cap next year and if they can fill a starting job with a player who is making around the third-year minimum salary of 630,000 they will have more money to work with elsewhere.
During the last month, the average Redskin fan learned more about post-surgery infections than most football fans ever considered.
The news surrounding Alex Smith's recovery from a broken leg has been upsetting, particularly that Smith has dealt with a serious infection and had to undergo multiple procedures to clean up the wound. Smith's situation was unique, he broke the tibia and fibula in his right leg, and the fracture wasn't clean.
Still, alarming news emerged this week that Smith was not the only Redskins player to deal with post-surgery infection.
Rookie Derrius Guice injured his knee in the preseason, ending his season and ruining a full offseason of momentum. Before he ever played a game, Guice became a fan favorite with his engaging enthusiasm. Then, he injured his knee in the preseason and was lost for the year.
For many players, surgery is tough, but then rehab begins.
For Guice - like Smith - that wasn't the case.
After his knee surgery, Guice suffered an infection that lasted two months and required three additional procedures, The Washington Post reported. That required seven weeks of antibiotics which included significant use of IVs, swelling, flu-like symptoms and having his knee drained.
The experience forced Guice to stay in Louisiana for months, closer to Dr. James Andrews office in Gulf Breeze, Florida, and away from his Redskins teammates in Ashburn.
Now, finally, Guice is feeling better and expects to be all the way back for offseason work in 2019. That's great news for the Redskins.
Guice was considered to be the focal point of the Washington offense before the knee injury in the preseason, and he's a running back with immense potential.
On some level, however, it's quite alarming that both Smith and Guice suffered infections after major injuries.
Smith's injury was grotesque enough that there were immediate worries of infection. Even with the advanced concern, the infection still came.
Guice's injury was severe, but not like Smith. And still, the infection came.
It would take a forensic medical team to compare the situations and figure out if there is something the Redskins need to address. That won't happen on this page.
At the same time, however, what were the odds back in training camp that the Redskins' then starting quarterback and running back would not only need surgery on their leg, but both would suffer from post-op infection?
Like many things with the Redskins' 2018 season, there seem to be more questions than answers. The good news, Guice should be back for 2019. As of now, the same can't be said for Smith.
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- Working Out: Guice lifts weights with Reuben Foster
- Hit the Books: Josh Johnson is cramming for his first Redskins start
- Still Hope?: Redskins path to the playoffs
REDSKINS PARK —The surprise has worn off now and the work has begun in earnest for Josh Johnson, who will start his first NFL game in seven years when the Redskins play the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday.
That is not something he or the Redskins would have thought possible during the summer. Alex Smith was going to be the new starting quarterback and Colt McCoy was set to be his backup. Then Smith and McCoy sustained broken legs in a nine-day span last month and the unthinkable happened.
Behind an offensive line decimated by injuries once again, Johnson at least moved the ball when called upon down 40-0 against the New York Giants on Sunday at FedEx Field. Redskins coach Jay Gruden immediately made the decision to give Johnson the start against Jacksonville. A career backup now on his 12th NFL organization will start for a team whose season has cratered during a four-game losing streak.
Johnson says he’s ready and that his journey around the NFL is part of the reason why. The Redskins had an extended practice on Wednesday with scripted sessions and walk throughs at the beginning and end to get him comfortable with the offense. He’s familiar with Gruden thanks to their time together in Tampa Bay and Cincinnati, when Gruden was the offensive coordinator. But it’s a lot to cram into one week and the playbook will naturally be limited.
"It has helped because I’ve been around a lot of different quarterbacks, a couple Super Bowl quarterbacks, a Hall of Fame quarterback, first-round picks, fifth-round picks,” Johnson said. “I’ve experienced coaching from numerous coaches and you pick up on some common traits. You pick up on different things where you can apply it when necessary whether it is preparation, performance, mental stability. Everything becomes a full circle, so it’s getting me ready for Sunday."
But prior to Sunday’s loss to the Giants, Johnson last threw a pass in a game on Dec. 11, 2011. Ironically, that came for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers against the Jaguars in a 41-14 loss. Johnson’s last start was the week before that in a 38-19 loss to the Carolina Panthers.
Cam Newton was a rookie. So was Redskins linebacker Mason Foster, who was Johnson’s teammate that day, too, as a starting rookie linebacker for the Buccaneers. Johnson appeared in two more games with Tampa Bay and then began his journey around the NFL.
His stops included Cleveland, Cincinnati and San Francisco twice each, Indianapolis, Buffalo, Baltimore, New York with both the Jets and the Giants, Houston, his hometown Oakland Raiders this past offseason and now the Redskins.
“The one thing that I really respect about Josh Johnson is he is a very confident guy,” Gruden said. “He believes in his ability to be a quarterback in the National Football League despite being on  teams. He has a skill set that’s pretty good but hasn’t been able to stick anywhere, but still, the game's not too big for him.”
Indeed, Johnson came on with 5:31 left in the third quarter and his team down 40-0 against New York and completed 11 of 16 passes and had seven carries for 45 yards with a passing touchdown and a rushing touchdown plus two two-point conversions. He didn’t look nervous.
With Washington’s situation at both left and right guard so disastrous because of injury, there isn’t much Gruden can do to change the playbook. Johnson’s mobility allows the Redskins to use him a little differently than Mark Sanchez, who originally took over for McCoy but struggled against New York and was benched.
Johnson is still grasping the new terminology, though. He was with Gruden in Cincinnati in 2013, a backup on a team that made the playoffs, but much of that wording was changed when Gruden arrived in Washington in 2014. But Jon Gruden – Jay’s brother and the Raiders’ head coach – once told Johnson to keep a manual on what coaches across the NFL are doing when he was between jobs so he’d be prepared if a call came. It did, but this time from a familiar face. They all hope it helps.
“To come back and kind of experience a similar culture and being in something that I've been comfortable with before, it's kind of a blessing for me,” Johnson said. “Because I don’t really have to go through the rigors of a coach trying to figure me out. It's more of just figuring me in.”
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