The Washington Redskins suffered yet another loss on Sunday when Rob Kelley went down. He is now dealing with two tough injuries, and the timetable for his return in unknown.
The Redskins have been one of the most snake bitten teams in the league this year. They have dealt with countless injuries, but heading into Week 10, it looked like they were finally getting healthy again. Not so fast.
Early in the contest, Rob Kelley went down with what looked to be a leg injury. Kelley had been rolled up on by a player after being stopped for now gain. He bent at an awkward angle and looked to be in pain. He did walk off under his own power, but he would never return.
The injury news for Kelley is in, and it is not a great diagnosis. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport is reporting that Kelley suffered a high ankle sprain and a minor MCL sprain. These injuries often take a couple of weeks to recover from, but having them together could make the process more difficult for Kelley. It’s unclear right now how much time he’ll miss, but it’s safe to assume that he will be out for a week or two at least.
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In his stead, the Redskins are going to have to rely on their other backs to carry the load. The good news for the team is that Samaje Perine looked pretty good against the Vikings in Week 10. Perine entered the game following the injury to Kelley, and he was able to rip off a couple of nice runs. He looked more explosive and powerful than he had in the past, so perhaps that is a sign of things to come. Provided that he doesn’t have issues fumbling the ball, Perine could end up being a solid lead back.
Elsewhere, Chris Thompson will look to continue finding success in his role with the team. Thompson is the most frequently utilized back thanks to his explosive game breaking ability, and he has arguably been the team’s best receiver this year. Hopefully, that performance will continue into the future.
The only concern on the roster, if Kelley does indeed miss time, is that they don’t have a third running back. They waived Mack Brown a couple weeks ago, and he was actually claimed by the Vikings. Unless he’s released, he will continue to serve as the third back for them. That means that the Redskins will have to look elsewhere to find a quality back. They have a couple open spots on the practice squad, so perhaps they could add a young player and call him up to the active roster in the event that Kelley is out. Some veteran possibilities include Tim Hightower, a former Redskin himself, and Ryan Mathews.
Losing Kelley won’t be a huge deal. He hasn’t been particularly good for the team, so Perine is, at the worst, equivalent to him. Hopefully Kelley can get healthy and be a contributor for the team. But right now, they will be okay without him, provided that they find some running back depth.