By Kevin Ross
This week’s injury report is headlined by the team’s biggest offensive playmaker not named Robert Griffin III. We’re talking wide receiver Pierre Garcon who will be a game time decision on Sunday. “He’s feeling better. We’ll work him out before the game and see if he can go full-speed,” said head coach Mike Shanahan.
Garcon was at best “limited” in practice this week, as he recovers from a bruised right foot, suffered during his 88-yard touchdown reception against New Orleans last week.
Garcon so far has been every bit of the player that Washington envisioned when they took a chance and paid him like a number one receiver. Garcon had an outstanding preseason, and week 1 was a small glimpse of the type of playmaking ability that he can bring to the table.
Last season with the Indianapolis Colts Garcon was the victim of horrific quarterback play, but that didn’t stop him from still producing above average numbers. Garcon ended the season totaling 947 yards with 6 touchdowns. To put things in perspective those numbers are identical to the stats that Dez Bryant produced last season for Dallas. Garcon is not a slouch of a receiver and has only been under the radar because of his non-diva like antics.
If he is unable to suit up on Sunday, the Redskins will have to lean on second year star Aldrick Robinson. Although Robinson performed valiantly in Garcon’s absence last week, he can’t replace Pierre’s experience and productivity.
But according to the coaching staff, there is a decent chance that Garcon will suit up for the burgundy and gold this Sunday, as his pain tolerance will be the key indicator on whether he can go or not. “I think it’s pretty easy when it’s pain tolerance,” said Coach Mike Shanahan, “If he can go live with the pain and feels like he can go full-speed, then you let him go. If it’s a situation where you’re going to make it a lot worse, then obviously the chances of him playing aren’t very good. But right now, it’s a pain tolerance. We’ll see before the game. Obviously, he can take something and help himself a little bit. We’ll get a little workout before the game and we’ll know then.”
This will be a tough decision for Coach Shanahan, as he is face-to-face with a Stephen Strasburg like decision. Do you potentially risk a player’s long term production for short term reward? In this case, it’s probably best to sit Garcon if he’s not at least 90% healthy. A big part of Garcon’s game is his speed, so how effective can he really be if every step taken causes him pain?
The Washington Redskins will have to assume that they won’t be in a shootout with Sam Bradford and the Rams. So why not sit Garcon out, and ensure that he’s healthy for the long season that awaits him?
If Garcon is out on Sunday he will be missed, but I got a good feeling that Washington will be just fine.
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Kevin Ross is a freelance writer covering all things Washington Redskins. His work can be found on Examiner.com.