CHICAGO--In summary: Reserve quarterback Kirk Cousins directed a late comeback Saturday night at Soldier Field. But their bid to stun the Bears came up just short when Robbie Goulds 57-yard field goal sailed through the uprights with 31 seconds remaining, sealing Chicagos 33-31 victory.Cousins, though, was the feel-good story on a night that left the Redskins hoping for the best with regard to a pair of key defensive players.Cousins, who grew up in the Chicago suburbs and had more than a dozen friends and family members in the crowd, torched the team he cheered as a youngster. The rookie out of Michigan State played the entire second half, connecting on 18 of 23 attempts for 264 yards, tossing touchdowns to Niles Paul, Aldrick Robinson and Dezmon Briscoe.Cousins passer rating was 154.1, just slightly below a perfect mark of 158.3, while facing the Bears second and third string defenses.It was a good performance, but again, it was great play calls, guys making plays, Cousins said. I just saw the open guy and they made it happen.Injury update: It appears that both linebacker Brian Orakpo (left pectoral muscle) and safety Brandon Meriweather (left knee) will be further evaluated Sunday morning.Orakpo said the injury was to the same muscle he injured in the season finale last season.Its a little scar tissue, we hope, Orakpo said. I dont think its too serious at all. But we just have to play it by ear, get an MRI in the morning and see how it goes. It felt something that was very uncomfortable.Meriweather was less forthcoming about his status.Im okay, he said. Well see.Shanahan said Meriweather also will get an MRI on Sunday.Another safety, DeJon Gomes, was seen exiting the building wearing a boot on his left ankle.Defensive line Kedric Golston was held out with an elbow injury, Shanahan said.London ailing? On Thursday, linebacker London Fletcher did not practice and Shanahan said he wasnt feeling well. On Saturday night, Fletcher did not suit up and after the game Shanahan danced around the subject.Im not exactly sure why, Shanahan said. But any time London saud hes not feeling very good, then you know something is wrong. Hopefully he will feel better this week.Play of the game: Brandon Banks needed a big performance and the smallish playmaker delivered. He returned a punt in the second quarter 91 yards for a touchdown, cutting from he left hashes to the right sideline, then turning on the afterburners.Banks did not, however, line up at wide receiver.I was going to fair catch it, but David Jones a good job at the gunner spot holding his guy, Banks said. I seen daylight and open field and it was off to the races.By the numbers: Safety Madieu Williams made a team-high six tackles and defended a pass in two quarters of play.Breakthrough performances: Aldrick Robinson and Dezmon Briscoe are among a group of five receivers fighting for the final two wide receiver positions. Both were on the receiving end of touchdown passes from Cousins.He made a couple of great catches, Shanahan said of Briscoe, who finished with three receptions for 51 yards. Thats what you want.Robinson, meantime, made six receptions for 104 yards.My bad: Rookie Alfred Morris said he missed a block on the play where Robert Griffin III was stripped on the ball by Israel Idonije.I dont like people touching my quarterback, Morris said. That was on me. I take full responsibility.Quotable: I think all of starters wanted to go back in the second half after the half we had, Griffin said. We didnt play bad. We didnt play good either.Kicking battle finally begins, sort of: Neither kicker attempted a field goal in Buffalo, but Saturday Neil Rackers got two opportunities. He was 1 for 2, connecting from 28 yards and missing from 54.Graham Gano, however, still has not had a chance to kick a field goal.On the mend: Tackle Trent Williams said he did not have any adverse effects from the bone bruise he suffered last week in Buffalo. Guard Maurice Hurt also played after being limited in practice.Guard Chris Chester, though, did not play and was seen on the sideline, walking slowly with a slight hitch in his step.Did not play: Jonathan Crompton, Rex Grossman, Anthony Armstrong, Roy Helu Jr., Morgan Trent, Markus White, Fletcher, Jordan Black, Nick Martinez, Golston, Chester, Chris Campbell, Marlon Favorite, Richard Quinn, Lance Lewis, Beau Reliford and Kentwan Balmer.
Just like fans were excited to see Ryan Kerrigan, Preston Smith and Junior Galette team up for the Redskins to rush opposing quarterbacks this fall, the players were excited too. When news broke that Galette would miss all of the 2016 season with a torn Achilles, fans were stunned. Turns out, the players were too.
"It definitely was shocking," Kerrigan said. "I wasn’t expecting to hear it, especially at the timing of it."
Not that there is ever a good time for a serious injury, but Galette missed all of 2015 with a torn Achilles. For more than a year, Galette posted to social media about his recovery and his excitement to get back on the field. At various Redskins training sessions this offseason, Galette could be seen working out, and he always talked about how fired up he was to get back on the field.
Now, for the second straight year, that won't happen.
"It's just hard because we’ve seen him put in the work to get healthy," Kerrigan said of Galette. "It’s heartbreaking for him, it's heartbreaking for us."
Kerrigan, speaking at a Good Humor event in downtown Washington on Tuesday, explained that he didn't even believe the Galette injury when he first heard it. He said a friend texted him with the news, and Kerrigan thought it was a joke, until he looked around online and saw all of the reports.
Now without Galette, the 'Skins still report to training camp on Wednesday, and the defense will need to adjust.
"Collectively, across the front, we gotta take it upon ourselves," Kerrigan said. "We got to be even more productive."
Washington ranked in the middle of the NFL with 38 sacks in 2015. Even without Galette, that number could improve as the defense should be better on the back end with the addition of Josh Norman and Kendall Fuller. Galette's loss will impact the defense's depth, as the talent drop off behind Smith and Kerrigan will be severe.
"We do have Houston Bates who has some game experience from last year," Kerrigan said. "We all gotta collectively step it up."
As for Galette, Kerrigan said he texted his injured teammate, sending him well wishes as he deals with a second straight season ending injury.
"You wish him emotional strength."
The rankings are determined by who we think will have the most impact on the 2016 Redskins. No consideration was given for past performance or for what a particular player might do down the road. We’ll be revealing the rankings over the next few weeks.
Today we’re updating the list with the players we ranked from 6-10. Here are some of the players in our latest update:
—A second-year receiver who is expected to top a record-setting 2015 performance.
—Two players who will have to produce to make up for a major injury loss.
—A defender who will be in the spotlight after the addition of a free agent at his position.
Go here to see our ranking of the 2016 Redskins, players 6-53.
The Redskins are considering bringing in Greg Hardy as a replacement for the injured Junior Galette, according to Ed Werder of ESPN.
Citing unnamed sources, Werder said that the team's discussions of their options for replacing Galette, who suffered a torn Achilles while training and is out for the season, have included the troubled former Panther and Cowboy.
Werder also said that cornerback Josh Norman, a teammate of Hardy’s in Carolina, would advocate for bringing him in to help the defense.
Hardy had a breakout season in 2013 with 15 sacks. But he served a suspension for a domestic abuse incident and when he was with the Cowboys last year he was caught on camera being disruptive on the sideline during games and according to reports he was chronically late for meetings. In an interview with ESPN earlier this year he did not admit that he had done anything wrong.
Hardy will turn 28 tomorrow and while he is talented he would bring a lot of bad publicity and a media circus along with him. As with many players, the need for quality players must be weighed against the baggage that a player like Hardy carries.
Everyone should be aware that internal discussions don’t mean that a signing is in any way imminent. Stay tuned to see how things play out.
UPDATE 2:36 p.m.:
Redskins aren't considering Greg Hardy as option to replace Galette, source says.— Mike Jones (@MikeJonesWaPo) July 26, 2016