When the Redskins arrived at Cowboys Stadium last Thursday, Coach Mike Shanahan wasn't sure Pierre Garçon’s injured foot was going to allow the team's No. 1 wide receiver to perform on the artificial turf.
Shanahan's concerns, however, disappeared after Garçon’s acrobatic, 59-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter of the team’s 38-31 victory.
“I wasn’t sure if he was going to play,” Shanahan said Monday. “You were always hoping there was no setback once he gets on the turf. But I’m not surprised by how well he played because at full speed – you can see on that one catch – people just don’t make that very often. And for him to keep his feet and outrun some fast guys was quite impressive.”
The touchdown was Garçon’s second of the season and first since he suffered a plantar plate tear in his right foot early in the team's season opener.
Since then the Saints game, Garçon has been in and out of the lineup because of the injury. But his standout effort on Thanksgiving – he hauled in five passes for 93 yards – has given the 26-year-old hope that he’ll be able to continue to contribute down the stretch, despite playing at less than 100-percent.
“When you perform well on an injured foot, it makes the injury a little better, not totally go away,” Garçon said. “It’s still a long ways away. There’s still a lot of treatment, a lot of things that need to be looked at. But it’s coming along. It just makes you feel a little bit better.”
Garçon has played in two consecutive games after missing four straight because of the injury. He said he’s been able to return to the lineup, in part, because he now knows what to do (and what not to do) during the practice week.
"You don’t want to take too many reps throughout the week," Garçon said. "Don’t want to bang it up too much. Don’t want to do anything crazy. I just want to continue to get the work in but not have any setbacks.”
Shanahan said it's been a learning process for the coaching staff, too.
“The main thing is he's feeling good about where he's at and what he has to do,” Shanahan said. “We are not going to overwork him, but we are going to give him enough reps where he can be effective just like he was Thursday. Hopefully he keeps on playing at that level.”