Pectoral injury ends two-time Pro Bowl linebacker's season
ASHBURN -- The Redskins' defense needed a boost. They received a jolt instead. Defensive end Adam Carriker and linebacker Brian Orakpo both suffered season-ending injuries in Sunday's loss at St. Louis.
The news about Carriker wasn't surprising. After the 31-28 loss, coach Mike Shanahan said it didn't look good for Carriker. But Orakpo's news was a surprise considering there was some hope he wouldn't miss a substantial amount of time.
That optimism was short-lived. Orakpo tore his left pectoral muscle after a first-quarter sack, the same pec that he hurt in the 2011 season finale -- and needed surgery -- and again in the second preseason game. Shanahan said Orakpo tore a different part of the muscle this time. He was able to return to the game but left on two different occasions, though he came out for good early in the second half.
- John Keim
|Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said receiver Josh Morgan didn't need to apologize to his teammates over his 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty at the end of the 31-28 loss to St. Louis. After a seven-yard completion on third and eight, Morgan threw the ball at corner Cortland Finnegan, drawing the penalty. "There are probably eight other scenarios we can use in the game besides that one about people keeping their poise and composure," Shanahan said. "More times than not the second guy gets caught. You see guys pushing guys in the face, all of a sudden a guy loses his composure and the other guy is walking away and when you throw the football away at him, he's laughing. That's part of a guy growing up."|
|Shanahan said one of the things that most upset him about the officiating Sunday was the lack of a flag after Rams coach Jeff Fisher challenged a call that was not challengeable. By rule, that should draw a 15-yard penalty. "The official told me he would have done the same for me," Shanahan said. "I said, 'If you would've done the same for me then I would expect you to throw a flag in that situation.'?"|
|Shanahan said he wasn't sure if corner Josh Wilson would be available after suffering a concussion Sunday. Wilson must go through a series of tests this week, per NFL rules, to determine if he's ready to return. Shanahan also wasn't sure if strong safety Brandon Meriweather would play. Meriweather injured his knee a week before the season opener and was supposed to miss two to four weeks. He's already missed two.|
Both players will require surgery. Carriker's recovery time is approximately five months, one more than Orakpo's.
Carriker was hurt on the second play from scrimmage when his right leg buckled on a pass rush, causing him to tear his quad muscle.
It's a big blow to a defense that played poorly Sunday, allowing 452 total yards to the Rams. In the last 13 games dating to last season, the Redskins have allowed 26.7 points per game.
"It's an opportunity for somebody else now," linebacker London Fletcher said. "We're a no-excuse football team."
Second-year Jarvis Jenkins and veteran Kedric Golston will replace Carriker, a steady and reliable player since joining the Redskins in 2010. He adapted from a 4-3 tackle in St. Louis, where he got his start, to a 3-4 end in Washington.
Golston played the majority of snaps Sunday, with Jenkins playing more in their nickel package. Jenkins admitted that he's still learning after missing all of his rookie year because of an ACL tear. At times he plays too upright, causing him to lose power. But he's also learning how to play various blocking schemes.
"I'm coming along good," Jenkins said. "I have to work on little things. I'm still making rookie mistakes. I have to clean up technical stuff and not think so much and just go out and play."
Rob Jackson and Chris Wilson will compete, and perhaps even split time, at Orakpo's old spot opposite Ryan Kerrigan. Both Wilson -- who was out of the league last season -- and Jackson can rush the passer, but neither possesses Orakpo's all-around ability.
The Redskins liked to move Orakpo around in rush situations, using him on the left side at times and even in the middle. He had improved in coverage and against the run.
"He's a guy that can do it all," Shanahan said of Orakpo. "He can cover, he can rush, he can play the run. He's very physical, very smart, he's a team player. All the things you look for in a Pro Bowl player. Obviously we'll miss him."