If not for the defense’s embarrassing display to start the season, injuries would be the number one talking point surrounding the Washington Football Team.
They couldn’t even get through the first half of Week 1 before they lost starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, who’s likely to miss at least another month of action.
Logan Thomas is on injured reserve. Sam Cosmi is battling an ankle injury. Jon Bostic is done for the year. As is Torry McTyer. Antonio Gibson is playing through a stress fracture in his shin. Brandon Scherff is a long shot to play on Sunday. Curtis Samuel re-aggravated his groin injury yet again.
Every week, the injury report reads like a food shopping list; never-ending.
Speaking strictly in terms of the wide receiver position, it’s been evident for a while that someone needs to step up and take some pressure off Terry McLaurin. How’s that going to happen with so many playmakers injured?
We’re glad you asked. Despite is lack of experience at the position, DeAndre Carter proved in Week 5 that he can help the WR corps overcome its injury woes.
Washington needs to get DeAndre Carter more involved in the offense.
Playmakers don’t grow on trees, folks. On paper, McLaurin, Gibson, Thomas and JD McKissic are the only certified playmakers on the roster. Given his adeptness as a return specialist, pass-catcher and ability to follow blockers and make defenders miss in jet action, Carter might rank fifth on that truncated list.
In fairness, Samuel deserves an honorable mention. He just hasn’t been able to show it on the field this year, but that’s besides the point.
Getting back to Carter, the third-year pro finished with four receptions for 62 yards on eight targets in Week 5. He played a season-high 58 snaps, or 70%, a drastic uptick compared to his previous season-high (11 snaps in Week 4).
There’s something to be said that Carter rose to the occasion while Washington’s back was up against the wall against New Orleans. He can be a true livewire in an offense that has lacked dynamism and exuberance aside from McLaurin’s continued excellence and occasional splash play from Gibson, Thomas or McKissic.
After Week 5, offensive coordinator Scott Turner should be willing to experiment with anything and everything, especially when you consider that Thomas is out, and Samuel, Cam Sims, and Dyami Brown are all questionable for Sunday.
Carter’s been capitalizing on limited opportunities all year. He took the opening kickoff of the second half 101 yards to the house in Week 4 vs Atlanta. Without that play, who knows if Washington wins that game.
Carter followed that up by coming through with some big conversions against the Saints. Sure, they ended up being for naught, but the fact he stepped up to the plate proves he should be more involved in the offense moving forward.
If the 28-year-old playmaker doesn’t touch the ball at least five times (not including returns) vs Kansas City, Turner and the rest of the offensive coaching staff will have some serious explaining to do.