Severe headaches sideline Redskins NT Terrance Knighton for Patriots game

PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island -- Washington Redskins nose tackle Terrance Knighton did not make the trip for Sunday’s game against the New England Patriots and won’t play because of recurring headaches.

The Redskins' announcement said Knighton would miss the game because of a migraine headache, but he suffers from a condition called cluster headaches, which afflicts less than one out of 1,000 people according to WebMD.com. They are also referred to as suicide headaches because they’ve caused some patients, who perhaps know their condition will be chronic and on a daily basis, to commit suicide.

"I wouldn’t wish them on my worst enemy," Knighton said.

Knighton missed practice Monday because of the headaches and spoke at length about them during the week. Once the headaches begin, the bouts re-occur for days or even months. Knighton said Thursday he’s never missed a game because of the headaches.

The pain, according to doctors, can be worse than a migraine, but a single episode does not last as long. Knighton said he’s been to at least 30 doctors over the years, and though some say certain treatments can help, nothing has worked for Knighton, who also said he has received injections for the pain to no avail.

Losing Knighton is yet another blow for the Redskins’ defense. They do have some depth along the defensive line, but Knighton provided a big body in the middle who can occupy two defenders. Kedric Golston has served as the backup nose tackle this season. Even with Knighton in the middle, the run defense has struggled, though a lot of that stems from not setting the edge well enough in nickel packages or others not shedding blocks to make plays. Or simply the Redskins have missed too many tackles.

Washington isn’t yet sure if cornerbacks Chris Culliver (knee), DeAngelo Hall (toe) or Bashaud Breeland (hamstring) will play Sunday. Culliver did not practice Friday after working the previous two days. But Culliver was moving around better than the other two Thursday. Hall and Breeland were limited Friday.