Redskins return from bye week rested, but not healthy
By BRIAN McNALLY
ASHBURN, Va. (AP) The Washington Redskins returned from the bye week rested.
However, the team is not at all close to recovered.
The team was hit hard by injuries during an Oct. 2 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. Multiple key players missed Washington's practice on Monday as it returned to work, including cornerback Josh Norman and left tackle Trent Williams. Their status for Sunday's game against the San Francisco 49ers (0-5) is in doubt.
"Obviously the injuries are a little bit of a concern," Redskins coach Jay Gruden said. "The bye week happens when it happens. Now we just have to understand that we have 12 weeks of straight ball. That's just 12 straight weeks. These guys have to commit themselves to a long haul."
Norman, Washington's top cornerback, sustained a broken rib in the Kansas City game and was expected to miss 2 to 4 weeks. Norman was not on the field at practice on Monday.
The Redskins would rely on starter Bashaud Breeland and young corners Quinton Dunbar (third year), Kendall Fuller (second year) and rookie Fabian Moreau to pick up the slack.
"I probably just go to the other side, but nothing is really gonna change," Breeland said. "We've been through this before last year with me being out hurt and another person having to step up. Same motto this year."
Williams is dealing with a right knee injury. He missed four snaps in the Chiefs game, but returned to finish. Williams, a five-time Pro Bowler, was listed week to week and needed an MRI last Tuesday.
His top backup at left tackle, Ty Nsekhe, had surgery last month for a core muscle injury. Nsekhe took over at left tackle last year during Williams' four-game suspension for violating the NFL's drug policy.
If Williams can't play on Sunday then T.J. Clemmings would start. Clemmings was cut by the Minnesota Vikings after training camp. All of those injuries made an early bye week more welcome than usual.
"We didn't even want to take the week off," running back Chris Thompson said. "I know we needed it. We've got a lot of injuries.
"But this year I felt like the bye was different. We're back at it now and excited to get on this 12-game stretch. The ultimate goal is to win out, Wish we could."
Thompson said he and quarterback Kirk Cousins were talking Monday about the number of teammates who chose to stay in Washington during the bye. The Redskins (2-2) are in second place in the NFC East.
There were other players missing from Monday's practice. Running back Rob Kelley (rib/ankle) did not participate. Safety has been a struggle all season for Washington and D.J. Swearinger and Deshazor Everett missed practice as well.
The Redskins placed safety Su'a Cravens on the reserve/left squad list last month, which ended his season as he contemplated retirement. Inside linebacker Zach Brown also sat out, but he is fighting an illness, according to Gruden.
But Norman is the big concern. There was no lung damage diagnosed after the broken rib sustained in the second quarter of the loss to Kansas City, according to Gruden.
But the injury is serious enough Norman could miss 3 to 5 games. The Redskins will have a better idea on Tuesday after more tests.
"Josh is a great corner and he's one of the best corners in the league," Gruden said. "That's a significant player to lose on your football team. Fortunately we have some guys that I think are ready to step up and play in his absence."
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Updated October 9, 2017