Instant Analysis: Redskins vs. Steelers

Instant Analysis: Redskins vs. Steelers
August 19, 2013, 10:15 pm
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Redskins suffer through injuries in preseason victory

The Redskins held on Monday night to beat the Steelers, 24-13, at FedEx Field.

But they lost another quarterback in the process.

Kirk Cousins is the Redskins’ backup plan in the event Robert Griffin III, who is recovering from major knee surgery, is not ready for Week 1. But now Cousins is nursing a foot injury of his own.

Cousins suffered a sprained right foot, according to the team, when he was tackled by linebacker Lawrence Timmons on a scramble. It was the second consecutive play that Cousins scrambled for a gain. 

Cousins immediately popped up and attempted to walk back to the huddle. But after a few steps, he turned around, signaled to the official and took a seat on the field. After being tended to by the Redskins’ medical staff, he limped to the sidelined. Several minutes later, it was announced that he would not return to the game.

There was no immediate update on Cousins’ status from the team, but NFL Network’s Albert Breer reported that X-rays were negative and that Cousins has been diagnosed with a mid-foot sprain.

With Griffin already sidelined and the second stringer now ailing, the Redskins could have a problem if Cousins' injury requires him to miss any time. Rex Grossman, who replaced Cousins, and Pat White are the only quarterbacks on the roster.

Key Moment: The No. 1 goal for NFL veterans in the preseason is to NOT get hurt. But the Redskins couldn’t avoid the injury bug against the Steelers. 

In addition to Cousins, three other Redskins – wide receiver Aldrick Robinson and Leonard Hankerson and nose tackle Barry Cofield – did not return to the field after halftime. 

Robinson suffered a bruised left thigh when he was hit hard by DaMon Cromartie Smith late in the second quarter. Hankerson, meantime, has a right knee injury and Cofield has a hurt hand. In the fourth quarter, running back Keiland Williams left with a knee injury.

The extent of the injuries was not immediately known.

Player of the Game: Linebacker Ryan Kerrigan. In the first quarterback, Kerrigan picked off Ben Roethlisberger’s screen pass and returned it 22-yards for a touchdown. The key was Kerrigan’s concentration; he bobbled the ball but stayed with it, eventually pulling it down and taking off.

London Fletcher “alerted us before the play, ‘Screen, watch the screen,” Kerrigan told a sideline reporter. “Sure enough, that’s what came out and I was able to intercept it and take it to the house.”

Kerrigan was not done. In the second quarter, he beat his blocker around the edge and knocked the ball out of Bruce Gradkowski’s hand. Cofield recovered the fumble at the Pittsburgh 16 yard line.

Roster Impact: Although Niles Paul is listed on the depth chart as the No. 1 kickoff returner, both Josh Morgan and Roy Helu Jr. got turns as new special teams Coach Keith Burns continues to weigh his options. Morgan returned the opening kickoff of the second half 21 yards to the Redskins’ 19, while Helu took back a kick 13 yards to the Redskins’ 22 in the second quarter.

Last week in Tennessee, Paul had the only kickoff return, a 24-yarder.

From the Locker Room: Among the notables (not named Griffin) who were scratched from the lineup were: LB Brian Orakpo (bruised thigh), WR Donte’ Stallworth (hamstring), CB Josh Wilson (offseason shoulder surgery), S Brandon Meriweather (knee), CB Ryan Mouton (hamstring), LB Jeremy Kimbrough (shoulder), LB Roddrick Muckelroy (shoulder), TE Emmanuel Ogbuehi (ankle), LB Nick Barnett (offseason knee surgery).  

Check back for news and notes from the Redskins' locker room.