Monday's news that OLB Junior Galette again tore his Achilles and will miss the season for the Redskins certainly will impact Washington this fall, but perhaps not as much as some would lead you to believe. Remember, the 'Skins won nine games and the NFC East last fall - without Galette ever playing a snap.
Galette's speed on the edge would undoubtedly be a benefit for Joe Barry's defense this year, but the Redskins ranked in the middle of the NFL in 2015 with 38 total sacks. That total led the NFC East, beating the Eagles by one sack and outpacing the Cowboys by seven sacks. The Giants put up terrible sack numbers, bringing opposing QBs down just 23 times all last year, good for 30th place out of 32 teams.
Much will be expected of second year man Preston Smith, who logged an impressive eight sacks as a rookie. But Redskins fans should also remember that Ryan Kerrigan produced 9.5 sacks last year despite coming off knee surgery that kept him out of most offseason work and dealt with a broken hand during the season. This year, Kerrigan should be healthy and in position to get back to the 13.5 sacks he registered in 2014.
Again, losing Galette is obviously a blow to the Redskins, but nothing the squad couldn't overcome last year. An improved - and healthy - Kerrigan might also make up some of that difference.
Disagree - should the Redskins worry without Galette? Let us know what you think in the comments.
The Redskins will have to get through the season without Junior Galette, who suffered a second torn Achilles tendon in as many seasons. He won’t be easy to replace but they will have to line up and play 16 games without him just like they did last year.
Ryan Kerrigan, who had 9.5 sacks last year, will start at left outside linebacker as he has since he was drafted in 2011. Preston Smith, who was going to compete with Galette for the starting right side job, will now have that to himself.
Kerrigan had 13.5 sacks just two years ago and Smith has the potential to have that many. After that, however, the Redskins are quite thin.
Last year they had Trent Murphy starting 15 games at right outside linebacker. But he has been moved to the defensive line, adding around 30 pounds to make the position change. Even if the team wants to move him back to linebacker it may not be possible to have Murphy shed the weight.
Assuming Murphy stays on the line, the Galette injury could open the door for a few other players to get an opportunity. Houston Bates played in eight games last year, most on special teams. Willie Jefferson has been looking for an opportunity since he played six games for the Texans in 2013. And Lyden Trail is large (6-7, 270), athletic, and very, very green.
The Redskins also could use rookie Su'a Cravens, their second-round pick, to help out with outside pass rush. He could be of help in nickel situations but at 6-1, 222 he is not big enough to be effective defending against the run from the ouside linebacker spot.
Training camp is always important for young players but for this group the stakes just went sky high. We will see who responds starting in a few days.
Kyshoen Jarrett was one of the best stories on the Redskins last year. A 6th-round rookie from Virginia Tech, Jarrett found his way into an important role for Washington as the slot cornerback, and saw his playing time steadily increase throughout the season.
Then, in a meaningless Week 17 win over the Cowboys, Jarrett sustained a shoulder injury. But the shoulder injury wasn't the worst part as he sustained nerve damage that stunted his rehab.
In a move that surprised few who saw him this summer, on Monday the Redskins waived Jarrett with a failed physical designation.
From a football sense, the 'Skins secondary should still be much improved after the signing of free agent Josh Norman and drafting Kendall Fuller, another Hokie, in the third round this year. From a personal sense, the Jarrett news is sad to see, as coaches and teammates often said he was a hard worker with what appeared to be a good NFL career in front of him.
Jarrett played in 16 games last year, making 58 tackles to go with four passes defensed and a forced fumble.