Junior Galette will be out for the entire 2016 season after the Washington Redskins linebacker tore his Achilles tendon during a workout on Monday, the second consecutive season he has now missed with the same injury.
The injury came as Galette was working out just days before the team’s training camp is set to begin, NFL Media‘s Rand Getlin reported.
Galette’s season-ending injury comes almost exactly 11 months after a strikingly similar injury, as he went down in August, 2015, with a torn Achilles tendon suffered during a practice. The outside linebacker had surgery two days after the injury and had to sit out all of the 2015 season.
The Washington Redskins had signed Galette to a one-year deal in 2015, and they renewed with another one-year deal in March, despite the injury.
As one of the top 4-3 linebackers in the league, Galette was a fixture with the New Orleans Saints and led the team with 22 sacks between 2013 and 2014. But despite the Saints signing Galette to a four-year, $41.3 million extension in 2014, they cut him the next season after Galette was arrested for domestic violence and simple battery charges in January. Those charges were later dropped.
Galette blasted the move at the time.
In an interview with the Times-Picayune, Galette called his release, “the worst call they’ve ever made. It was a terrible call to kick me when I’m down.
“Everything is Sean [Payton]’s call. He told me that himself. He’s the one who pulls the trigger…. The business is the business, you know?… Like Vito Corleone said, ‘Watch for the traitors.’ “
Junior Galette himself appeared to make reference to his season-ending injury in a Twitter post on Monday, noting that he had worked to get into the “best shape of my life” before the devastating setback.
There had been other positive developments regarding Galette’s recovery. Redskins coach Jay Gruden said in February that the rehab was “coming along great” and that Galette was in the training room every morning.
Gruden told CSN Mid-Atlantic that both the team and Galette were looking forward to his return to the field.
“I feel good about getting Junior back. I really do. We didn’t have him very long on the field, unfortunately. But he showed enough on the field that he can be a force for us when he’s right. He’s doing everything he can to get his body right, and now it’s a matter of getting him signed to our football team. I feel good about our chances in doing that, but you never know.”
Galette seemed eager to get playing for the Washington Redskins as well, even getting a tattoo on his upper arm with the team’s logo. After being dumped from the New Orleans Saints amid some tension between Galette and his teammates as well as his troubles with the law, Galette was looking forward to moving past the flap and cleaning up his reputation.
The injury leaves questions for the Redskins at outside linebacker, and comes at a time when the team appeared to be solidifying its inside linebacker play. Second-round pick Su’a Cravens was expected to make the move to the inside linebacker position, part of a new trend of players who can move between the safety and inside linebacker positions.
“You know, that’s what our job is — to try to get him in the best situation possible where he’s most comfortable,” Gruden told NFL.com. “But initially we have to teach him a position, and right now it’s going to be the inside linebacker, and then from there we might branch off where it’s the nickel and it could be safety later on.
Prior to the injury, Junior Galette was also looking forward to what would have been a pivotal year for his career. After signing a discounted contract with the Washington Redskins, Galette was hoping to prove himself on the field and go into 2017 seeking a big payday.
[Photo by Jonathan Bachman/AP Images]