The Washington Redskins are unfortunate enough to have the injury bug visit them before they’ve even taken any meaningful snaps. Tight end Jordan Reed will most likely miss the entire preseason due to an injured toe. Outside linebacker Preston Smith suffered a sprained right ankle during practice last week and will miss the first preseason game against the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday. But the most unfortunate injury occurred this past Sunday, with second year wide receiver Josh Doctson suffering a right hamstring injury. Durability remains an issue for Doctson, who missed all but two games of his rookie campaign last season due to injuries to both of his Achilles.
Doctson, Reed, and Smith are all expected to contribute greatly if the Redskins are to have any success this season. Their likely absence from tomorrow’s preseason opener shouldn’t be looked upon as concerning. Smith’s absence will give much needed work to rookie Ryan Anderson and veteran Trent Murphy, who will be eligible to play in preseason games before he serves his four game suspension to start the season. Linebacker Junior Galette could also get some valuable preseason snaps too. He hasn’t played a snap in a Redskins’ uniform due to injuries the past three seasons, so Washington will be anxious to see how Galette will perform against true competition from the Ravens.
The Redskins’ offensive outlook isn’t that optimistic. If Reed and Doctson aren’t at full strength in time for the Week One season opener against the Philadelphia Eagles, there’s no guarantee that their potential production can be replaced. While veteran tight end Vernon Davis played well in Reed’s absence due to injury last season, he’s seen more as a complementary player when Washington goes to two tight end sets. Wide receivers Brian Quick, Ryan Grant, and Maurice Harris don’t strike fear in opposing defenses. Slot receiver Jamison Crowder would have to assume much of the burden caused by Doctson’s potential absence to start the season. That could have an adverse effect on Crowder, considering that increased responsibility as Washington’s second receiver could detract from his punt return duties.
But this is all speculative. Chances are Reed, Smith, and Doctson will be all set for the Eagles’ opener. But for now, it’s time for Washington’s depth to show what it’s really made of.
Gregory Bradshaw is the staff writer for the Washington Redskins at EndZoneScore.com. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/knisheatah or contact him at [email protected]