Redskins place Cooley on injured reserve

We knew Monday that Washington Redskins running back Tim Hightower would be out for the rest of the season following a torn ACL. But on Tuesday, the Redskins officially ended the season of tight end Chris Cooley as well, placing him and Hightower on injured reserve. Cooley broke his hand in the Week 6 game against the Eagles, had surgery to repair it and won't play again until 2012.

Cooley becomes the third significant Redskin to have a season-ending injury in the past two weeks, joining Hightower and left guard Kory Lichtensteiger. And while Fred Davis had already overtaken Cooley as the team's top receiving threat at the tight end position, Cooley was valuable in the passing game as a blocker and had played a significant role in the team's 3-1 start. The losses of Cooley, Lichtensteiger and Hightower, who's also an excellent pass-blocker, will make life more difficult for John Beck as he continues in the role of starting quarterback.

Basically, the Redskins never were a team that was built to withstand injuries on offense, and they've had a pile of them now over the past two weeks. Left tackle Trent Williams remains out with a high ankle sprain, and wide receiver Santana Moss is out 5-to-7 weeks with a broken hand. The Redskins will have to rely even more on their defense than they already were if they're to stay in the NFC East race.