By Kevin Ross II
The first place Washington Redskins will take the field on Monday night, again without one of their key defensive contributors. This time the Redskins will be without their starting middle linebacker Perry Riley Jr.
Riley injured his foot in Thursday’s practice session and will have to undergo surgery to repair a stress fracture in his right foot. Riley will undergo a standard operation that will involve having a pin placed into the fifth metatarsal. The surgery is expected to keep Riley out for three to six weeks. If Riley is out for the complete six weeks his regular season will have effectively ended against New York.
This injury is rather devastating as Riley had regained form and was playing the best football of his career over the past several weeks, “Yeah, he was playing well,” said Jay Gruden. “During Last two weeks, he’s been outstanding for us and played with a lot of confidence. It’s a big loss.”
With Riley out, Jay Gruden has confirmed that backup linebacker Mason Foster will start in his place, “Yeah, we expect him to start. Yeah, he’s prepared and he’s ready to go. He’s a good linebacker .”
This is Foster’s fifth year as a pro, and his first season with the Redskins; before signing with Washington Foster spent his career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. After being drafted in the third round, Foster immediately was plugged into Tampa’s starting defense and was a tackling machine from the get-go. He was considered the quarterback of Tampa’s defense for three seasons and was a leader on the field.
However, a coaching change occurred, and defensive philosophies switched in Tampa. The Bucs transitioned to a Tampa-2 defense that required the middle linebacker to drop deep into pass coverage. Foster is adequate at pass coverage, but it’s not his strong suit; he is more known for his physicality and tackling ability. Therefore, Foster’s time in Tampa was over and Scott McCloughan signed the middle linebacker with the belief that he could potentially be the long-term fix and linebacker.
So far Foster has not been able to garner much playing time, but things will change on Monday night against the Dallas Cowboys. Coach Jay Gruden was asked to elaborate on Foster’s tenure with Washington to this point, “He’s done a good job in the time that’s he’s been here. He hasn’t had a lot of reps on game day, but out at practice he’s gotten a lot of reps. He knows the defense and he’s a veteran guy, a physical guy. I think he’ll step in and do fine.”
Washington Redskins Injury Report
DL Chris Baker (Illness)
S Dashon Goldson (Knee/Hamstring/Wrist)
DE Jason Hatcher (Knee)
CB Will Blackmon (Shoulder/Hip)
CB DeAngelo Hall (Toe)
NT Terrance Knighton (Migraine)
C Josh LeRibeus (Ankle/Shoulder)
WR DeSean Jackson (Illness)
TE Derek Carrier (Ankle/Achilles)
WR Andre Roberts (Knee)
QB Quinton Dunbar (Finger)
CB Deshazor Everett (Hamstring)
LB Keenan Robinson (Shoulder)
RB Chris Thompson (Shoulder)
Out : LB Perry Riley, Jr. (Foot)
Kevin Ross is a freelance writer covering all things Washington Redskins. His work can be found on Examiner.com.