RICHMOND --- Washington Redskins rookie defensive tackle Daron Payne will miss two to three weeks with an ankle injury. Payne had his left ankle stepped on in practice Friday and will be in a walking boot for a week, coach Jay Gruden said.
Washington drafted Payne with the 13th pick in April and inserted him as its starting nose tackle in the spring. Teammates have raved about his presence in the middle, even during practices without pads. Payne has been difficult for offensive linemen to move and has stood out with his strength. Gruden said he does not think this will set Payne back, nor was there concern about his readiness for the start of the season.
"He's big, strong, physical," Gruden said. "He'll probably get stronger in his two weeks working out. He's in great shape, so it's not a big deal. He's already very smart, knows the defense, so he's in great shape."
The Redskins were among the NFL's most injured teams in 2017, with last year's No. 1 pick missing 11 games with a Lisfranc injury in his left foot. They used 36 different offensive line combinations because of injuries. And they still have multiple key players recovering from offseason surgeries, including tight end Jordan Reed, starting offensive tackles Trent Williams and Morgan Moses, and running back Chris Thompson. All are back practicing, though not yet in full-team work.
In Payne's absence, the Redskins will use fifth-round pick Tim Settle at nose tackle along with veteran Phil Taylor, who hasn't played in a regular-season game since 2014.