Starting corners Chris Culliver and DeAngelo Hall, tight end Jordan Reed and receiver DeSean Jackson have all been ruled out for the Falcons game. Hall was no surprise, considering he hurt his toe in a Sept. 24 game at New York and was supposed to miss three to four weeks.
And after the way practice went this week, it's not surprising that the other three would miss as well. Culliver, who has a bad knee, and Reed, who has a concussion, were never even on the practice field this week. Jackson was limited in practice on Wednesday and Thursday, but did not practice Friday because of a hamstring that he injured in the opener.
Culliver tore his left ACL in 2013 and tweaked that same knee in practice last week. He played while in pain during the Redskins' win over the Philadelphia Eagles last week, but he was beaten on three long pass plays. Redskins coach Jay Gruden said Culliver's sore knee has weakened his quad as well.
"His leg hasn't felt right in a little bit of time," Gruden said.
The Redskins want him to rehab his leg before returning. They're hopeful he'll be ready for next week's game at the New York Jets. Veteran Will Blackmon replaces Culliver as the starter opposite Bashaud Breeland. It's a tough week to have both starting corners out as Washington will be facing the NFL's leading receiver, Julio Jones.
Jackson and Reed's absence will hurt the Redskins' offense. The team has survived Jackson's absence, going 2-1 without him. But both he and Reed are players who can create separation. Reed is a key target on third downs for Washington because of his ability to win quickly on routes. He's caught nine passes on third down this season, including eight for first downs, according to ESPN Stats & Information.