RICHMOND — The Redskins have placed five players on the active/physically unable to perform list, including rookie wide receiver Josh Doctson.
The others: inside linebacker Perry Riley, Jr. (broken right foot), left guard Shawn Lauvao (torn left ankle ligaments, right foot surgery), tight end Derek Carrier (torn ACL/MCL, right knee) and wide receiver Reggie Diggs (arthroscopic knee surgery).
Any of those players can return to the field at any time once deemed healthy. The move is in some ways precautionary. Because once he takes the field during the preseason for practice or a game that player is ineligible to go onto the reserve/PUP list at the start of the regular season and injured reserve is the only option then aside from carrying a hurt player on the 53-man active roster.
For now, only Carrier is likely to go that far. He was injured in a Dec. 13 game at Chicago and is still recovering. Lauvao was deemed “very close” by Redskins coach Jay Gruden during his first training-camp press conference on Wednesday.
Diggs, an undrafted college free agent who played college football here locally at Richmond, had knee surgery and missed most of OTAs and training camp. Washington signed two wide receivers on Wednesday — Kendal Thompson and T.J. Thorpe — as added depth early in camp.
Doctson has to be the biggest concern. He was the Redskins’ first-round pick, No. 22 overall, in the 2016 draft, but injured his left Achilles tendon during rookie minicamp, had a setback, and missed almost all of OTAs and veteran minicamp. It’s a red flag that injury has yet to heal fully and Doctson was already behind since he couldn’t do any on-field work. It’s not easy for a rookie to make up for those missed repetitions. Luckily, receiver is probably the deepest position on the team.
Riley is an interesting case, too. He broke his right foot during an early December practice and never returned. In his place, Mason Foster took over a starting role at inside linebacker. Riley, too, didn’t do on-field work this offseason. He was in a walking boot for most of OTAs, but he remained confident he’d be ready for camp.
We’ll see how long Riley misses. But it’s not a good sign for a player with a bit of a target on his back if he’s not starting. Riley has a salary-cap hit of $5.049 million and would save the team $4 million against the cap if cut. We’re a long way from that yet. And the Redskins like Riley and are in no immediate cap crunch. That’s still a lot of money for a backup.
Washington on Thursday also placed outside linebacker Junior Galette on the reserve/non-football injury list after he tore his right Achilles tendon during workouts last week. He is not expected to return this season.
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