ASHBURN, Virginia -- Washington Redskins coach Jay Gruden could at least discuss a positive development Thursday when it comes to injuries. It was somewhat minor, but a good step nonetheless for multiple players.
Defensive lineman Matt Ioannidis practiced for a second consecutive day without a club to protect the broken bone in his left hand. He’s played the last three games with it, though it’s impacted his game. Meanwhile, both Ty Nsekhe and Brandon Scherff were full participants in practice for a second straight day -- the first time that’s happened in a while for either player.
For a team that’s limping to the finish line, that’s welcomed news.
Gruden said of Ioannidis that it was “good to see his fingers.” Ioannidis missed two games with the injury. Before he broke his hand, Ioannidis recorded 3.5 sacks. After the injury? None.
“It restricts him a little bit,” Gruden said of Ioannidis playing with a club over his hand. “He would have had a sack last week [at Dallas]. He escaped on his cast hand, which he couldn’t grab any cloth so it does have an impact without a doubt. He’s been gutting it out and doing the best he can with what he has to work with and he’s been playing effectively. Just not quite as good as he would without it.”
For the offensive line, left tackle Trent Williams did not practice but Nsekhe worked in his place while Morgan Moses was limited at right tackle. The fact that Scherff and Nsekhe both were full participants helps. Nskehe has worked at both tackle spots and left guard recently, though he had not played any right tackle until needing to do so vs. Dallas.
“The more you get these guys out there on a consistent basis, the better chances you have on game day,” Gruden said, “when you’re talking about communication. Especially with all the different fronts they play on third down. It’s important.”