The Washington Redskins defensive front seven was supposed to be one of the strongest units on the team this season. That unit took a huge blow today when the team revealed that two of its starters will miss the rest of the season due to injury.
Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan announced today that two-time Pro Bowl linebacker Brian Orakpo and left defensive end Adam Carriker will require season-ending surgery. Orakpo tore his left pectoral muscle, the same muscle he tore last season which required off-season surgery, while Carriker suffered a torn quadriceps tendon.
Shanahan said Orakpo and Carriker will have surgery this upcoming week. Shanahan said Orakpo will miss up to four months, while Carriker will be sidelined up to five months.
Last season, Orakpo led the Redskins with nine sacks and added a career-high 59 tackles. Carriker registered a career-high 5 1/2 sacks to go along with 34 tackles.
Shanahan spoke at Redskins park today about the injuries. Of Orakpo, Shanahan said, “Obviously he’s a guy that can do it all. He can cover, he can rush, he can play the run. He’s very physical. He’s very smart, a team player. All the things you’re looking in a Pro Bowl player. Obviously we’ll miss him.”
Defensive end Jarvis Jenkins, the team’s second-round pick in 2011 who missed all of last season because of a torn ACL, will get every opportunity to replace Carriker at defensive end. Rob Jackson and Chris Wilson will compete to replace Orakpo.
“A year ago, we lost Jarvis [Jenkins] and Adam [Carriker] took over and did a great job last year, played at a very high level,” Shanahan said, discussing how the team would replace the injured players. “Jarvis will get his opportunity, [as will] guys like Kedric Golston, Chris Baker. You’ve got a guy like Doug Worthington, who has been on the practice squad and he gets activated.
At the outside linebacker spot you’ve got guys like Rob Jackson and Chris Wilson, who have to step up and play at a very high level, because we all know what ‘Rak has done for our defense and how well he’s played. We’ll get a chance for both of those guys to play at that position, and hopefully play very well.”
Dave Nichols is Editor-in-Chief of District Sports Page. He is credentialed to cover the Nats and the Caps, and previously wrote Nats News Network and Caps News Network. Dave’s first sports hero was Bobby Dandridge. Follow Dave’s Redskins coverage on Twitter @RedskinsDSP.