When the Redskins released longtime tight end Chris Cooley on August 28, both the team and the player left the door open for a possible return.Next week, the sides plan to discuss such a scenario, Coach Mike Shanahan said Friday afternoon.General Manager Bruce Allen first broached the subject during a speaking engagement at the National Press Club, saying, Yes, absolutely that door is still open. We have a meeting next week.Asked to expand on Allens comments later, Shanahan said the team is weighing its options with regard to Cooley.Yeah, Im not sure when that is, Shanahan said of the meeting. To be honest with you, Ive been pretty busy this week getting ready for a game. But weve always left the door open for Chris.When Cooley gave his tear-filled goodbye 10 days ago in Ashburn, the Redskins said the move was made so that the loyal veteran of eight seasons could explore the possibility of starting for another team. The Redskins are committed to starting Fred Davis.Cooley hired an agent, but as of Friday afternoon had not signed with another team. The 30-year-old Leesburg, Va. resident told The Washington Post Friday afternoon that he was unaware a meeting had been scheduled for next week but was open to discussing a possible return to the team that drafted him in the third round in 2004. Cooley's agent, David Dunn, did not immediately return a phone call.It gave him an opportunity to see if theres anything where hes got a chance to start, Shanahan said. Thats the main thing. Hes going to weigh his options. Im sure hes looking at his options with different teams right now. Who needs a tight end? Whats going to happen maybe after this week? Probably weigh all of his options, and well look at our options as well. We have three tight ends, so its not like were very deep at the position. And with one fullback, its not very deep.The Redskins would have to move another player on the 53-man roster if they were to bring back Cooley, which at this point still seems like a long-shot. When Cooley was released, he counted 6.23 million against the Redskinss salary cap. If hes resigned, his salary would be more inline with an aging reserve player and it would not be guaranteed.There are a lot of possibilities, Shanahan said. I cant tell you for sure whats going to happen at this time. But wed like to have as many options as possible. As you mentioned, well get a chance to talk next week.
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ—When center Kory Lichtensteiger and left guard Shawn Lauvao went out of today’s game with injuries, Spencer Long had to go in and play center. The only other active reserve offensive lineman was tackle Ty Nsekhe.
So the plan, as possibly drawn up on a white board by Jay Gruden and Bill Callahan on the sideline (there is no dirt to draw things up in on the field turf surface at MetLife Stadium), was to move Pro-Bowl tackle Trent Williams to guard and put Nsekhe into the lineup in Williams’ left tackle spot. Gruden said that he had confidence that Williams had enough knowledge of the offense to know how to handle things at left guard.
He apparently didn’t ask Williams.
“I didn’t know anything,” said Williams. “At tackle, especially left tackle, you kind of live on an island. Ninety-nine percent of the time you’re blocking the guy over you. But when you move inside there are so many calls, so many little intricate things that you have to pay attention to, that I didn’t know any of them.”
Long was able to help him out some, Williams said.
Quarterback Kirk Cousins was not at all taken aback when he went into the huddle and three of his five offensive linemen had not started the game.
“OK, next man up,” he said when asked what was going through his mind. “In this league you have to have that mentality. If any other thought hits your head you’re doomed to fail.”
Whatever anyone was thinking, the line combination worked. The Redskins ran for 30 yards in the first half with their line intact and got 60 in the second half with their makeshift group.
Gruden developed some confidence in the group. With the Redskins trailing by a point they got the ball needed a field goal to win. Matt Jones did a good chunk of the work to get Dustin Hopkins into position to make the kick, chewing up the clock while picking up 36 yards on seven carries. Williams loved it.
“It felt great,” he said. That’s the best feeling in the world when you can win the game by eating up the clock and running the ball.”
It was fun for Sunday. Now they will have to see how serious the injuries to Lichtensteiger and Lauvao are and configure what they have available for next week.
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ—The Redskins had to play with a patchwork lineup on both sides of the ball as injuries sidelined player after player. They got the win but now they have to deal with the aftermath. Here is a look at what we know from preliminary diagnoses from right after the game.
—It looks like safety DeAngelo Hall has the worst injury. He left the game in the second quarter and the initial examination revealed an ACL tear. If that is the case he will be out for the season and the Redskins will be looking for safety help.
—Center Kory Lichtensteiger left with a calf strain and did not return. Coach Jay Gruden said he will be examined tomorrow. Spencer Long played in his place.
—Left guard Shawn Lauvao exited with an ankle injury and missed most of the second half. Gruden said that this injury is concerning, perhaps because ankle injuries kept him out for 13 games last year. He had a boot on the foot in the locker room.
—Cornerback Bashaud Breeland suffered what Gruden called a high ankle sprain. He was seen in the locker room wearing a boot and moving with the assistance of crutches.
The Redskins have largely been healthy most of the season but now they will have to deal with some injury adversity. We will learn more about the injuries during Gruden’s news conference on Monday at 3 p.m.