The Washington Football Team’s season has not gone according to plan.
The defense is arguably the worst in the NFL after it was expected to build upon a 2020 season in which they finished second in total yards (304.6) and fourth in points (20.5) allowed per game.
While the offense has been consistent, it’s extremely worrisome that Taylor Heinicke has struggled mightily in both games (Week 3 vs Buffalo and Week5 vs New Orleans) where he’s faced a legitimate defense.
To make matters worse, the offense is really banged up right now. Curtis Samuel’s groin injury has cropped up yet again. Logan Thomas is on IR with a hamstring issue. And Cam Sims and Dyami Brown missed Week 5 with their own injuries and might not be healed in time for Sunday.
It’s all bad for Washington on the injury front right now. So much so, in fact that Antonio Gibson’s situation has flown under the radar.
Is anyone else alarmed by the fact that Gibson has been playing through an injury seemingly the entire season?
Why is nobody talking about Antonio Gibson’s shin injury?
First, it was a shoulder injury that limited him in practice for multiple weeks. Then, Gibson got dinged up against the Falcons with an apparent rib/chest injury. He sat out a couple of plays before returning. While concerning in their own right, those injuries pale in comparison to what Gibson is currently combatting.
Leading up to Week 5, Gibson told the media that he’s dealing with a STRESS FRACTURE in his shin. Being the warrior he is, the second-year running back downplayed the injury and said it wasn’t a big deal.
However, that’s generally not the case with stress fractures. To keep this as black and white as possible, stress fractures are generally caused by repetitive force, often from overuse. In other words, they don’t heal without rest.
Gibson continuing to tough it out each week is admirable and a testament to why he’s so beloved by the fan base, but it’s probably not in his best interest. We hate the idea of Gibson missing time, as it would literally leave Terry McLaurin on an island, but wouldn’t it be better for his long-term health?
If we had to choose between Washington’s offense being undermanned for a few weeks or Gibson risking a more serious injury, we’d side with the former scenario 100 times out of 100 and twice on Sunday’s.
We get that Washington is thin at running back behind Gibson, but JD McKissic and Jaret Patterson are no scrubs. They also signed former Eagles and Jets RB Josh Adams, who’s averaged 4.3 YPC over his career, to the practice squad.
We can rationalize Gibson playing through an injury — almost every player in the NFL is battling something at this stage of the season — but once he dropped the stress fracture bomb, that should’ve triggered everyone’s alarm bells.
It’s something to chew on, especially if Washington falls to 2-4 on the season with a loss at home to the Chiefs this weekend.