No injuries. Ask any football coach their biggest hope coming out of a preseason game, and "no injuries" will be the most common answer. Sure, coaches want the players to execute and the team to win, but leaving the field injury free is the higest priority.
For the Redskins, that doesn't appear to be the case after Thursdy night's game in Baltimore. Outside linebacker Trent Murphy left the game after getting his left knee and leg rolled up on, and was spotted leaving the locker room on crutches. Safety Su'a Cravens was seen on the sideline getting his knee looked at by trainers, though he left the locker room walking on his own power.
After the game, Jay Gruden said both players would get MRIs on Friday to reveal the extent of the injuries. Without speculating about the severity, odds are both players will at least miss some preseason action. Let's look at the Redskins options behind both players.
Murphy: This is a tricky situation since the fourth-year pass rusher out of Stanford was to set to miss the first four games of the year with a PED suspension. The earliest Murphy can take the field for Washington is Week 6 (four game suspension and Week 5 bye), so there is more time for him to heal. In the preseason, however, Washington is now quite thin at outside linebacker. Preston Smith sprained his ankle in Richmond and is likely to miss another week. Junior Galette didn't play Thursday with a hamstring issue. Galette hasn't played in two seasons, and Washington should be as cautious as needed with the veteran sackmaster. The durable Ryan Kerrigan is obviously an option, but a player with his track record does not need a ton of preseason work. Second-round rookie Ryan Anderson can take more snaps, but shouldn't be overused in games that don't matter either. Washington is in a good spot that rosters don't need to be cut until after the fourth preseason game. Expect to see plenty of Lynden Trail and Pete Robertson during the remaining three games of the preseason.
Cravens: The second-year player out of USC missed one practice in training camp, and Deshazor Everett stepped in for him. Everett has a lot that coaches like, he flies to the ball and puts himself in position for big hits, though he lacks the size of Cravens. That size and tackling ability helps Cravens work against tight ends and running backs. Further down the roster, rookie Montae Nicholson still seems far away from actual game reps after undergoing shoulder surgery this offseason. Could DeAngelo Hall be an option? That seems far away too, as he's still on the PUP list and has hardly even been seen running down in Richmond. Veteran Will Blackmon could be an option, he's versatile, though he seems a more clear backup to D.J. Swearinger. Expect to see much more of Everett.
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