Redskins Get A Boost From Returning Players
The Washington Redskins had several setbacks due to injuries last season. The return of certain players will have major impact on the team’s performance in the upcoming season, and getting these players back helps because the cap penalty prevented the Redskins from getting much in free agency.
Brian Orakpo injured a pectoral muscle in Week 2. Getting the two-time Pro Bowler back is the biggest addition to the Redskins this season because he is a strong pass pusher (Orakpo averaged 9.5 sacks in his first three seasons). The 2013 Redskins’ pass-rushing team looks powerful with a healthy Orakpo coming from one side and Ryan Kerrigan from the other — Kerrigan had 7.5 sacks as a rookie and 8.5 last season.
Adam Carriker also suffered a season-ending injury that affected the defensive line of the Redskins. In 2011, he started all but one game for the Redskins and had 5.5 sacks, but last year only recorded one tackle after getting hurt in Week 2. He will most likely return to the starting job opposite Stephen Bowen, which will give the Redskins a solid pair of defensive ends and, along with the return of Orakpo, help improve the Redskins pass rush. However, he had a setback in his rehab during the offseason and there is a question as to if he will be ready to start the season.
Fred Davis ruptured his Achilles in Week 7. He averaged four receptions per game for nearly 55 yards in six games, and was able to perform under pressure. Davis is on a one-year contact, so he will have to prove he is fully healthy and able to perform well again if he wants to get a big contract for next year. Draft pick Jordan Reed is most likely the replacement for Davis if he does not resign with the Redskins.
Pierre Garcon was the biggest loss on offense (besides Griffin) for the Redskins last season. Pierre Garcon underwent "minor" labrum surgery in January. The recovery of Garcon has been unbelievable and quicker than expected. Despite only playing in 10 games, he led the team in receiving yards and averaged 14.4 yards per catch. With Garcon’s return, the Redskins would be able to open up their offense even more. Garcon had a big game in their Week 1 win in New Orleans last season, but was either out or largely ineffective until Week 11 against Dallas. It is no coincidence that Garcon came back at close to full strength right as the Redskins went on a winning streak that led them to the playoffs. Garcon is meant to be the playmaker for Griffin, which means Garcon’s success might be limited to the return of Griffin.
The return of injured players and the addition of the draft picks will certainly make the Redskins a team to contend with and possibly unstoppable.