The Washington Redskins won’t use their long shot playoff hopes to determine whether key injured players rest for the remainder of the season.
At 5-7, Washington remains technically alive in the playoff race but there are nine NFC teams with more wins. The Redskins would need four straight wins plus a few Hail Mary’s in order to reach the postseason. Translation: They’re not making the postseason.
So should they sit players who have been battling injuries for a while? The Redskins have several players who fall in that category:
Left tackle Trent Williams: It all depends on what doctors and trainers feel is the best surgery for his injured knee once he stops -- and then how much time he’ll need to recover. If they say he’ll need reconstructive surgery, which would be a six- to nine-month process, then it would make sense for that to begin as soon as possible. There’s a chance, if he indeed has surgery, it might only take five to six months to recover.
“If he’s good enough to finish the season, he will finish the season,” coach Jay Gruden said. “We need him. Kirk [Cousins] needs him.”
Tight end Jordan Reed: He’s now missed five straight games because of a hamstring injury, suffering a setback before the New Orleans game in Week 11. The expectation was that he’d return at some point this season. It’s been a bad year for Reed in terms of health –-- much more so than in previous seasons. The toe injury that bothered him last year and in the offseason, continues to impact him. Earlier this year he said he needed acupuncture done on his hip -- a byproduct of his toe.
But Gruden said all they can do for now is monitor Reed on a weekly basis.
Tackle Morgan Moses: He underwent an MRI Friday and Gruden said he has a sprained right ankle and is day-to-day. But the Redskins appear to be waiting for more information on Moses’ ankle. He called it more painful than anything else he’s dealt with this season. He’s played eight weeks with sprained ankles.
Linebackers Zach Brown and Martrell Spaight: Both players continue to be bothered by injuries. For Spaight, it’s been his ankle while Brown has dealt with back and ankle issues. He hurt his leg Thursday. Brown also has used a walking boot after a few games because of a sore Achilles. He’s an unrestricted free agent after the season; at some point he might need to make a business decision to make sure nothing worse happens.
Defensive lineman Jonathan Allen: He’s eligible to start practicing next week and could be activated off injured reserve for the final three games. He was placed on IR because of a Lisfranc injury. This sort of injury can be tricky for larger players so if he’s not right, the Redskins need to be smart.
“We may not rush him back; we want to get him fully healed before we put him on the practice field,” Gruden said. “But he is making great progress.”