From Comcast SportsNetCHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- Steve Smith was on crutches after being treated for what the Carolina Panthers described as a left foot infection. Coach Ron Rivera says Smith is being treated with antibiotics, but the wide receiver's status for the remainder of the preseason is unknown. Smith was seen walking around the stadium on crutches, but was unavailable for comment Wednesday. Panthers middle linebacker Jon Beason was also held out of practice with a strained hamstring. The Panthers (No. 20 in the AP Pro32) face the New York Jets on Sunday and then wrap up the preseason the following Thursday against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Panthers could decide to hold both star players out until the regular season. Rivera says Carolina's starters will play into the third quarter Sunday.
Just days before training camp begins, Junior Galette again tore his Achilles and will be out for the year. Are there any edge rushers available on the gree agent market that the Redskins would consider?
One name stands out: Greg Hardy.
Though a disappointment on the field and a mess off of it for the last two seasons, few players in the NFL can get after quarterbacks like Hardy once did. In 2012 and 2013 Hardy combined for 26 sacks and a trip to the Pro Bowl.
Undoubtedly Hardy's name carries a lot of personal questions. A lot. But that won't scare off everybody in the NFL - in fact, Hardy recently worked out for the Jacksonville Jaguars. The guess here is Washington does not even consider Hardy, but stranger things have happened.
Another name that will be mentioned is Dwight Freeney. At 36 years old, Freeney's best days are behind him, but the veteran was able to post eight sacks last year with the Cardinals. Arizona smartly deployed Freeney in a strict situational role, and if the 'Skins could come up with a similar plan, he might be a fit.
Beyond Freeney and Hardy, it's hard to see a current free agent that would be better than the Redskins options behind Galette. And given Hardy's history, it's unlikely he is an option.
Considering Washington won the NFC East last year without Galette, and second-year LB Preston Smith could continue to emerge after eight sacks his rookie season, it would not be a surprise if Scot McCloughan simply stands pat.
Junior Galette has suffered a torn Achilles tendon and he will miss the entire coming season.
No, you did not accidentally click on a post from last summer. After missing all of last season with a torn Achilles on one foot, Galette tore the other one doing some drills on Sunday, according to Rand Getlin.
That will knock him out for the 2016 season.
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The Redskins took a chance in signing him just after the start of training camp last year. The Saints had cut him loose, taking a big salary cap hit in the process, after some issues with domestic violence. After talking to Galette, GM Scot McCloughan decided to sign him to a one-year deal with no guaranteed money at the league’s minimum wage.
But before Galette could even play so much as a preseason game he suffered a torn left Achilles tendon in practice and was out for the year.
The Redskins re-signed him to an incentive-laden deal in the spring with the hopes that he could have a big year and justify getting a big-money deal in 2017.
Galette was on the verge of breaking out with the Saints, posting 12 sacks in 2013 and 10 in 2014. There were big expectations for him this year but we will have to wait until 2017, when he will turn 29, to see if he can make it back.
The Redskins still have some pass rushing firepower at outside linebacker with Ryan Kerrigan (9.5 sacks in 2015) and Preston Smith (8) but they say that you can’t have too many pass rushers and Galette was going to be an important cog.
The Redskins begin training camp in Richmond, Va. on Thursday, July 28.
With the expected return of first baseman Ryan Zimmerman on Tuesday, there will be some shuffling on the Nats roster, most notably with Trea Turner getting bumped from their infield.
Zimmerman, despite his .221/.284/.402 slash this year, is going right back into the starting lineup. He's a proven veteran, went 5-for-12 on his rehab assignment and manager Dusty Baker has already confirmed that plan, not that it needed to be done.
"I've got to get Zim back in the lineup. He’s a big part of our offense. And certainly, if I get Zim back in the lineup, that means [Daniel] Murphy is at second base," Baker said.
Turner will be out of the infield mix, but with Michael Taylor going back to Triple-A Syracuse, the door may be open for Turner to play some in the outfield. A lifelong middle infielder, Turner has been learning center field recently. He played six games there at Syracuse and has been doing outifled drills for several weeks now.
Turner has shown in recent games the impact he can make offensively. He has 11 hits and four steals in his last nine games and in his last five outings alone has three triples and five runs. The Nats have seen the worst production of any team from their leadoff spot with a dead-last .586 OPS collectively. Taylor's now gone and Ben Revere's still hitting just .216 through 61 games.
"Now we've just got to try to find [Turner's] place with Zim coming back, find a place for him to play," Baker said.
If that is in center field, Turner feels ready to step in.
"I did it in Syracuse and I'll do it here if they need me to," he said. "It's something that I've embraced, I guess. It's something that I'll do if they need me to. I'll continue to work out there whenever they give me the chance. On days I don't play, I go out there and shag some balls just to make sure I'm staying on top of it. It hasn't happened yet, but if it does I'll be ready."
Six games in Triple-A, of course, is not a lot of action at a brand new position. Whenever Turner does play in center field, there will be a learning curve and perhaps a noticeable drop-off from Revere. But Turner feels he did well in those six chances and can build off that experience.
"[I did] fine. I think I got a couple tough balls hit at me, line drives, and I made the right decisions at the time. I made all the plays that came to me. At the same time, I know it's not as easy as that. You've gotta play balls off the wall. In big league ballparks, it's going to be a lot different everywhere you go. Guys are a lot stronger, so they hit the ball a little bit farther. You've gotta take all that into account as well and learn," he said.
Baker himself has expressed confidence in Turner's ability to transition to the outfield. Earlier this month he offered a comparison to Robin Yount, a Hall of Famer who began his career as a shortstop before moving to center field. Yount won MVPs at both positions.
Zimmerman's return could simply mean Turner is heading back to the bench, ready to step in to give a Nats infielder a day off or wait for pinch-run opportunities. If that's the case, Turner believes he can still make an impact.
"Just keep it simple and do your job, whatever they ask," he said. "I'm still learning. I think you can always figure out ways to come off the bench and take advantage of those opportunities. If I have to do that, running is going to be a huge key. I think that's just a matter of stretching and paying attention by watching video on pitchers in case you get a stolen base opportunity, or whatever it may be."
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