NFL Wire News

Redskins OTA notebook: Injury list keeps growing


The Sports Xchange

ASHBURN, Va. — The Washington Redskins’ list of injured players is getting crowded.

Two weeks ago, the Redskins revealed that top pass rusher Ryan Kerrigan had a knee scoped and might be sidelined until training camp.

Then coach Jay Gruden announced that oft-injured tight end Jordan Reed will be out until the team reports to Richmond in late July after having “a little procedure” on a knee.

This week Trent Williams, Washington’s best offensive lineman, joined the list of non-participants because of a torn ligament in his left ankle.

Williams first hurt the ankle in the season finale against the Dallas Cowboys and then again as he prepared for his third Pro Bowl, forcing him to miss the game.

Williams lost 20 pounds by changing his diet, especially late-night snacking, to get down to 325. He boxed more and ran less in hopes of the ankle fully healing. When it wasn’t healed by late April, he finally flew to Charlotte to see noted foot specialist Dr. James Anderson, who diagnosed the torn ligament.

“We got it pinpointed to what exactly it is,” said Williams, who is heading into a contract year. “It’s encouraging that we’ve got the right (treatment) plan. (We) didn’t want any setbacks in OTAs. I want it 100 percent so I can put it behind me and give my team (my) best.

“I wasn’t as dynamic as I was accustomed to. Having a shoulder, having a knee, having an ankle — all that stuff kind of made me stay in the box and play fundamental football. Now I can kind of get back to chasing those backside linebackers down, backside safeties.”

That’s what coach Jay Gruden hopes, too.

“We’re going to make sure he’s right for training camp because we don’t want that thing to be good one week and bad the next week,” said Gruden, who already has a new right side of the offensive line in 2014 third-round draft choice Spencer Long at guard and 2015 first-rounder Brandon Scherff at tackle. “We want to make sure we get that thing fully strengthened so he’s good to go for training camp.”

Tom Compton, who finished last season at right tackle, is taking Williams’ place this spring.

–After missing the first week of OTAs with the knowledge of the Redskins, receiver DeSean Jackson returned this week.

“I had personal things I had to do,” said Jackson, who sat courtside in Cleveland for the finale of the NBA Eastern Conference finals on May 26 when the rest of Washington’s starters were recovering from the first day of OTAs.

“I’m a veteran in this league, going on my eighth year. My head coach, my teammates, the people in this building knew about my whereabouts and things like that,” he said. “As far as any criticism from anybody else, I don’t play for them, and I don’t worry about them. I live my life doing what I have to do, and there are things that are important in my life. … I’m here now, and I’m happy to be here with my teammates, and they’ve been putting in some great work, so I’m just trying to catch up and get back in the swing of things. But I had things I had to handle.”

Those things included preparing for the birth of a child and beginning his reality show on BET, which filmed some footage of him after Wednesday’s practice with the Redskins’ logo on his helmet covered.

Jackson led the NFL with an average of 20.9 yards on 56 catches while topping the Redskins with 1,169 yards and six touchdowns in 2014, his first year in Washington after being shockingly cut by Philadelphia after he failed to get along with Eagles coach Chip Kelly.

“(DeSean) missed a little bit of time, but he had reasons for it,” Gruden said. “He’s a veteran guy. He knows the system. He’s an extremely intelligent person. I would have loved to have had him here, but it’s his choice not to be here. He looks like he’s in great shape. He didn’t miss a beat.”

–The Redskins signed nose tackle Jerrell Powe, formerly of the Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Texans, and offensive tackle Willie Smith, who has played for Washington, Oakland and San Diego.

Kansas City’s sixth-round pick in the 2011 draft, Powe played in 12 games (one start) for the Chiefs from 2011 to 2013 before moving to Houston, where he played in every game and started three last season.

Smith started three games as a Redskins rookie free agent in December 2011 while Williams was serving a four-game suspension for a positive drug test. Smith then started seven of the nine games he played for the Chargers in 2012. He played in 16 games for the Chargers the past two seasons, starting one.

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