- Dan Graziano, ESPN Staff Writer
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The Washington Redskins' big free-agent pickup in March was wide receiver Pierre Garcon, a big, fast, young, physical wideout who Mike Shanahan believed fit his offense exactly as a playmaking No. 1. And in the very first game of the year, Garcon caught a short pass from rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III and took it 88 yards for a touchdown. It was as though Shanahan's dreams were coming true right in front of his eyes.
Problem is, Garcon injured his foot in that game and has barely played since. The foot injury lingers, and sounds quite serious, and while Garcon says he doesn't want to have surgery because he never has, he admits there's some ambiguity about his timetable for a return to action. Per John Keim:
Garcon said doctors told him he can’t make it worse by playing, but the pain could increase. His concern is that if he starts overcompensating for this injury, another one could occur.
"I don't want to be on the sidelines," he said. "It's frustrating, but you just have to think what's best for it and what's best for the future. This is long term; you don’t want to make it worse just for one season.
"I played with it and I can play with it, but I can't really run full speed. I can't get much explosion because it's that painful. …I can keep trying. I'm out there to make plays, not to just distract guys or do whatever. But if Coach wants me to go out there, I'm more than willing to do it."
For now, it appears they will play without him until his injury heals. The Redskins have managed to be the No. 5 scoring offense in the league to this point in spite of really not having their top wide receiver for any length of time. And yes, it's possible that Garcon's absence will delay the addition of more downfield throws to Griffin's repertoire. But everything with the Redskins is about the big picture right now, and their concern is that Garcon be a guy who can help them for a long time to come. So for now, he sits.