DeJon Gomes, like the rest of the Redskins secondary, was expected to struggle against Pro Bowl quarterback Drew Brees and the Saints vaunted air attack.Only he didnt.With the exception of a personal foul in the first quarter and pass interference infraction in the third, it could be argued that Gomes was among the Redskins best players on defense last Sunday. He finished the game tied for team-lead in tackles (4), combined tackles (5) and returned a fourth quarter interception 49 yards deep into Saints territory.Not bad for a second-year professional making just his sixth career NFL start. The 22-year-old strong safety replaced injured veteran Brandon Meriweather (sprained knee) and figures to get the call again Sunday in St. Louis.I thought he did a good job in a lot of areas, but theres room for improvement like everybody, defensive coordinator Jim Haslett said. I thought the guy stepped in and was cool and calm. Thats kind of his demeanor anyway. He did a nice job in both the running game and the pass game.Gomes afternoon did not get off to the type of start he had envisioned.On the Saints second drive of the game, he was whistled for a late hit on Darren Sproles, putting New Orleans on the Redskins 20-yard line. On the next play, Brees hit Jimmy Graham for the go-ahead touchdown.I guess it could have went either way, Gomes said Thursday. But I have to be smarter than that.It was the lowlight of an afternoon that, for the most part, only got better for Gomes.In the third quarter, he was whistled for pass interference after breaking up a pass deep in Washingtons end. Four plays later, the Saints settled for a field goal.Gomes then made amends for the two penalties with his clutch play in the fourth quarter as the Saints mounted a comeback bid. The home team had trimmed its deficit to 33-25, had the ball again and the Redskins were reeling.But Gomes, in essence, clinched the Redskins victory when he stepped between Brees and Lance Moore on a deep pass near midfield. Gomes snatched the ball, zigzagged across the field and nearly scored before getting shoved out of bounds at the three-yard line.Alfred Morris punched the ball into the end zone next play to put the Redskins ahead 40-25 and the game out of New Orleans reach.Gomes said it was his biggest play since junior college.My high school running back days came out of me, he said with a laugh. I was just trying to get as many yards as I could.Told of Gomes running back comment, Haslett had some fun at the safetys expense.Why didnt he score then? he cracked.
RICHMOND—Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins is ready to move on from all of the talk about how he and the Redskins offense will perform in 2016 and start to see it on the field.
“I think we're going to find out,” Cousins said when asked about where he is in the process of taking ownership of the starting quarterback job. “It's still so early in the development, we're still in the first day of camp in the preseason so we'll find out as we go.
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“For right now it's all talk but there's no doubt that you have more comfort if you've played and have been the starter and have been out there and had experiences. What we went through last year has helped me having confidence going forward. Hopefully it translates into a great offense and a lot of production but it's just talk right now until we go out there and do it.”
Cousins started the 2015 season off slowly after being named the starter just two weeks prior to the start of the season.
But he came on strong in the last 10 games, throwing 23 touchdowns and three interceptions. If he takes another step forward the Redskins’ offense could be one of the best in the league.
But, as Cousins said, for now that’s just talk. We will see how it turns out when they start playing the games.
Junior Galette has been here before.
The Redskins linebacker is once again facing a full season on the shelf thanks to a right Achilles injury he suffered just days before training camp.
It is the same position Galette was in a season ago, when a left Achilles injury stopped him from ever taking the field with the Redskins.
But after having surgery in 2015, the former Temple Owl is willing to do whatever it takes to avoid having to undergo surgery again.
Has anyone heard of another method to repair Achilles Heel besides Surgery??— Junior Galette (@JovaisG) July 28, 2016
Who knew my Achilles Heel Would be my Achilles Heel....Willing to travel the world to avoid surgery and come back this Season— Junior Galette (@JovaisG) July 28, 2016
Other than investing in bionic legs or using duct tape (Both of which were suggested by Twitter users), there are not many options.
Galette could opt to forgo surgery in favor of letting it heal on its own, but immobilization is more likely to lead to another tear than surgery would.
The immobilization process is not recommended for someone who is actively trying to return to professional sports, even if he has roughly a full calendar year to do so.
At 6-2, 256 pounds, Galette's Achilles tendon is of major importance, and allowing it to heal on its own may not be the best course of action, despite Galette not wanting to go the surgery route.
He could opt for the controversial method of stem cell therapy. Many NFL players have traveled abroad in the past to be injected with stem cells in order to speed up the recovery process. But typically stem cell therapy is used as an aid to surgery, not an alternative.
Nonetheless, the next month is going to be painful for Galette and not just because of his injured Achilles tendon.
He is going to have to make a difficult decision on his future all while watching his teammates getting ready for theirs without him.
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Most football players never publicly admit that returning from an injury limits their play. The rehab requires such a commitment, both physically and mentally, that top athletes have to believe healthy is healthy.
Ryan Kerrigan fits that mold. Last year, the Redskins linebacker had offseason knee surgery and then suffered a broken hand during the season. Despite the setbacks, Kerrigan started all 16 games for Washington. More impressively, he still logged 9.5 sacks and 33 tackles. In 2014, however, Kerrigan recorded 13.5 sacks and 51 tackles.
A year remved from the tough 2015 offseason, Kerrigan opened up a little bit about what last season was like.
"Last year, coming off an injury is a funny thing," he said Tuesday. "While I was technically healthy, you’re not as strong."
Kerrigan explained that some of his muscles atrophied after the surgery, and regaining that strength takes time. Going through that last year, and a healthy offseason this summer, leaves the veteran excited for this fall.
"I'm really excited about this season having not had any offseason surgeries," he said. "I'm hoping for bigger and better things."
With the loss of Junior Galette, better things from Kerrigan could be a big help for the Redskins. Washington's defense should be improved with the addition of cornerback Josh Norman, but much will be needed from Kerrigan and second-year man Preston Smith. If Kerrigan can get his sack total up, say to 12 or more, that would offset some of the set back from Galette's injury.
What do you think - can Kerrigan get to 10 sacks? 12 sacks? More? Let us know in the comments.