WASHINGTON — The biggest shame of the Washington Redskins’ 2017 season is that we may never know how good it could have been, thanks to an unprecedented rash of injuries that have ravaged both talent and depth.
This week, the Redskins have 21 players listed on the injury report, with three already ruled out and 13 listed as questionable for Sunday. That means that of the baker’s dozen listed as having a 50-50 shot of playing, only four can be made inactive before the game.
The remaining nine, who may not be truly available to contribute, will dress and be active anyway. That’s on top of 11 players already done for the season on injured reserve.
This is a competitive disadvantage for the Redskins, to say the least, and cornerback Josh Norman feels like he needs a vaccine.
“It’s a bug,” Norman said on NFL Total Access on Friday. “I don’t know what it is. It’s the darndest thing I’ve ever seen. Literally, the darndest thing I’ve ever seen.
“In my whole 29 years of life and playing football, I’ve never seen anything like it before.”
The Redskins’ injuries have hit the offensive and defensive lines the hardest, making it hard to field a consistent starting lineup. At left tackle, one of the most important positions on the team, the Redskins have rotated Trent Williams and Ty Nsechke, both dealing with serious leg injuries. Backups T.J. Clemmings and Kevin Bowen are already on injured reserve.
On the defensive side of the ball, Jonathan Allen and Phil Taylor are done for the season, while Anthony Lanier and breakout sophomore Matt Ioannidis have missed time in recent weeks.
Even backups like T.J. Clemmings and Arthur Jones landed on injured reserve shortly after joining the team midseason.
“One thing happened after another. A player would go down — we can’t go through one game without somebody going down,” Norman said. “It’s just the bug, I guess.”
[Editor’s Note: As far as scientists have yet determined, there is no such thing as an “injury bug.” Whatever.]
“Been happening around the league but it seems like our team is definitely circling those wagons off for sure with the injury bug that we have,” Norman continued. “With that hard schedule and those injuries, man, it’s crazy to see where we are right now hovering around .500 with that.
“If we didn’t have those injuries, man, where would I like to be seen. But at the end of the day, you got to do what you’ve got to do and play the cards that you’ve been dealt. And that’s what we’re doing now.”