Some bad Washington Redskins news to report, as the NFL has reported that the injured Chris Culliver is out for the season.
On Thursday, Washington head coach Jay Gruden held practice as usual at Redskins Complex in Richmond, Virginia. Little did they know, they were going to lose one of their starting corner backs for the season. While the Redskins coaching staff would not go into particulars, Culliver suffered a serious knee injury during non contact drills. The 27-year-old tore his ACL and MCL while landing awkwardly during what is assumed to be a jump ball.
When the incident first took place, Gruden was hoping for the best since Culliver is an important piece of his secondary. Washington is ranked near 22nd in the NFL for overall defense. The biggest reason why they are not ranked closer to the bottom is because their passing defense is ranked 12th in the league. Culliver was a part of the reason why the Redskins are still a passable squad on defense. Despite having a 4-6 record, Washington can win the NFC East.
Since the Redskins still feel that they can compete for a playoffs spot this season, a replacement for Culliver will need to be found. While free agency cannot be ruled out, the best option for Washington would be to use someone that is already on the roster. At this stage in the season, it would be much more difficult for a new player to be brought in and learn the playbook, as the playoffs start in a little over a month. Defensive coordinator Joe Barry needs to find a quick fix.
There are some options on the roster currently. Will Blackmon is a veteran that has played for the Green Bay Packers, Jacksonville Jaguars, and New York Giants during his decade in the NFL. The 31-year-old Rhode Island native has played against a lot of different offensive schemes. Quinton Dunbar and Deshazor Everett are rookies, so it is hard to imagine secondary coach Perry Fewell to them just yet. Bashaud Breeland has a year of experience.
Whenever an NFL player suffers a torn ACL and MCL injury, there are questions that pop up about their future. There have been many players over the years that never fully recovered from such a devastating blow to their knee. Not everyone is going to be as special as Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Petersen, who shocked the sports world by coming back better than ever after taking nine months away to recover. No telling how Culliver recovers from his injury.
If Culliver can get healthy, then there is a good bet that the former San Francisco 49ers draft pick will be continue his career with the Redskins. Washington signed him to a four-year deal earlier in 2015 that pays him approximately $8 million per season. That means that general manager Scot McCloughan really thought highly enough of Culliver to view him as a big part of the future of the franchise. Provided that Culliver’s knee actually winds up healing well, the injury should not change that.
Do you feel that Culliver will make a full recovery and return to the Redskins next season?
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