RICHMOND, Va. (CBSDC) – There is a price to pay for a physical training camp like the one employed by the Redskins this summer.
Minor injuries will likely start to pile up. On Monday morning, in full pads for the first time, wide receiver Pierre Garcon made a few catches and then sat out the rest of the morning with hamstring soreness. Reserve cornerback Courtney Bridget, a long shot to make the final roster, left the field and needs an MRI on his shoulder. Reserve running back Evan Royster has a hamstring strain, too. That happened on the first day of camp last Thursday on a wet field. He hopes to return to the field on Wednesday and needs to do so in a crowded race for the final spots at running back.
Jay Gruden and the coaching staff put players through live drills for the first time. It’s not all that common anymore in NFL training camps. That’s unlikely to happen again this preseason. But with an off day on Tuesday and no afternoon walk through Monday, players will have a day to recover. Gruden said he could see the team donning full pads again soon – just without the full contact.
“You want to try to take advantage of the days you can full pads,” Gruden said. “That’s the issue. There is a limit to how many times you can go so you might as well use them.”
From this point on, live tackling will likely happen only during the three days of practice next week against the New England Patriots here in Richmond and in the Redskins’ four preseason games.
“There’s an emphasis on being physical and that’s with every football team around the National Football League,” quarterback Robert Griffin III said. “You’re not just gonna see a team that comes into camp and says ‘We’re not gonna be physical. We’re just gonna be soft.’ No one says that. So I think out here there’s been an emphasis of tackling for the defense. And you’ve got to win in the trenches. If you don’t win in the trenches on both sides of the ball, you’re not gonna win football games. So we’re physical.”
That also resulted in some chippy play. There were multiple scrums instigated by defensive back Chase Minnifield, fighting for a roster spot. At one point he screamed at fullback Stephen Campbell and wide receiver DeSean Jackson stepped in. While those two yelled then at each other, safety Ryan Clark went after Jackson.
There were four or five of those scrums between offensive and defensive players on Monday as tempers flared on the fifth day of camp, though teammates generally looked upon them as entertainment, laughing and hooting as they walked away. Gruden has given his team off Tuesday. It’s time for them to get away from each other for a day.
Follow Brian McNally on Twitter for the latest Redskins news.