From Comcast SportsNetASHBURN, Va. (AP) -- The early glow from Robert Griffin III's fast start faded quickly for the Washington Redskins on Monday when defensive starters Brian Orakpo and Adam Carriker were declared out for the season.Two-time Pro Bowl linebacker Orakpo tore the pectoral muscle near his left shoulder, and defensive end Carriker tore the quad tendon in his right knee in the first quarter of Sunday's 31-28 loss to the St. Louis Rams.The injuries rob two players from a team that has allowed 63 points and more than 800 yards in its first two games, tempering the early promise by Redskins (1-1) have shown with rookie quarterback Griffin."It's an opportunity for somebody else now," linebacker London Fletcher said. "We're a no-excuse football team."Orakpo had surgery on the same shoulder after a suffering tear in the final game of last season, then damaged some scar tissue in the shoulder during a preseason game last month.Coach Mike Shanahan said the latest tear is in a different part of the muscle. Orakpo will have surgery and require four months of recovery time.Orakpo, a first-round draft pick in 2009, had at least 8 sacks in each of his first three NFL seasons. He was injured Sunday while making his first -- and only -- sack of this season. He returned to the game twice but was unable to keep playing."He's obviously everything you look for in a Pro Bowl player," Shanahan said. "And we'll miss him."Shanahan said Rob Jackson and Chris Wilson, a pair of career backups without an NFL start between them, will compete to take Orakpo's outside linebacker spot.Carriker was hurt on the Rams' second offensive play and did not return. The fifth-year veteran, who had 5 sacks a year ago, will require five months of rehabilitation after his surgery.He will be replaced by Jarvis Jenkins, a 2011 second-round pick who missed his entire rookie season with a knee injury."A real big opportunity," Jenkins said. "Coming off the knee injury, I get a chance to prove I'm a hard worker and just make plays."Two other defensive starters also are nursing injuries. Cornerback Josh Wilson left Sunday's game with a concussion and will be reevaluated Wednesday, and safety Brandon Meriweather hopes to play this week against the Cincinnati Bengals after missing the first two games with sprained ligaments in his left knee.
Here are five observations from the Redskins’ loss to the Lions.
—The Redskins can’t keep giving themselves mountains to climb in the form of turnovers and penalties. Washington had three fumbles hit the ground and lost two of them, the Lions recovered their only fumble. A Dustin Hopkins field goal from 45-yards—a veritable chip shot for him—hit off of the very top of the upright and bounced the wrong way. The Redskins didn’t need all of those plays, just one of them.
—Kirk Cousins put on a show for his hometown fans, including relatives and Michigan State alumni. He completed 77 percent of his passes for 301 yards and a touchdown. Cousins ran for another score, one that appeared to win the game.
—Joe Barry needs to get this last-minute defense figured out. In Baltimore a few weeks ago they almost let a road win slip away but a Joe Flacco TD pass was nullified when replay showed that the receiver’s foot was just out of bounds. Today, they weren’t so fortunate. It’s a tough balance between pressure and coverage but they had held Stafford in check for much of the day until the final minute.
—Chris Thompson needs some more carries. Today he led the team in both carries (12) and yards (73). He finished off some runs tough, too, fighting for extra yardage. They don’t want to wear him out or risk injuring him but they need to get the ball in his hands.
—I’m not in the “bench Matt Jones” club but he needs to get back to basics. Fighting for extra yardage is great but ball protection is more important.
MORE REDSKINS: Norman out with a concussion
Left guard Trent Williams was injured late in Washington's 20-17 loss to Detroit on Sunday, a development perhaps lost in shuffle of the Redskins' final drive as they attempted to tie or win the game.
Williams was helped off the field and brought to the locker room, where he was gingerly escorted by the team's medical staff to be examined further.