Johnson: The "what if" game

Johnson: The "what if" game
December 15, 2011, 8:04 pm
Share This Post

On Monday, Redskins safety Oshiomogho Atogwe said he doesnt wonder what if he and fellow safety LaRon Landry had played more games this season together. But its hard not to think about what could have been if Landry had returned to his pre-Achilles-injury form from the first part of the 2010 season -- and if Atogwe were the ball-hawking, turnover-forcing machine the Redskins thought they were getting from St. Louis, when they signed him last March.

Weve had glimpses of it, Skins safeties coach Steve Jackson told me after practice this afternoon. Its just unfortunate that the injuries happened how they did and when they did.

"And I think those two guys are regretting not being out there and helping the team. I think we would have had a different outcome statistically and win-wise had those two guys been out there more."

The injuries to the secondary have opened the door for veteran Reed Doughty and rookie DeJon Gomes. And so far, Jackson has likes what hes seen from both.

Reed is a competent back-up. Reeds come in. Hes played well. And DJ, we drafted him just in case. You know a lot of people were questioning why wed draft a guy whenever we did for this particular reason. When guys play as physical as those two guys play, theyre going to have injuries. And youll have to have some one young come in to come in and secure the line. Were just fortunate that Reed and DJ have been there to pick up the slack.

In fact, defensive coordinator Jim Haslett wants to see what Gomes can do with more opportunity and today said the rookie from Nebraska will start at strong safety the final three games. What this means for Landry, we don't know. He'll be a free agent at the end of the season, and while one would think the Skins would make an effort to re-sign him, they're not likely to give him the big payday he's looking for. Mike Shanahan likes guys he can count on, and in two seasons, Landry has already missed 12 games, and he might not play another down this year.

Update: 3:40pm Mike Shanahan announced after practice that Landry will need surgery on his left Achilles tendon and will be placed on injured reserve for the second straight season. Landry was evaluated by Robert Anderson, a footankle specialist in Charlotte, N.C. Shanahan said the Achilles isn't torn, but that at this point Anderson feels surgery is the best option.

Of course, the question now is: Why didn't Landry just have surgery last year when he originally injured his Achilles, missing the final eight games? That means in two seasons under Shanahan, Landry will have played in just 17 of 32 games.

Shanahan also said that Gomes and Doughty will start at safety for the Skins Sunday against the Giants with Atogwe available off the bench.