Sunday, August 24, 2008
MRI confirms knee sprain for Skins DE Taylor, out 10-14 days
ASHBURN, Va. -- It's touch and go whether Jason Taylor will play in the Washington Redskins' season opener against the New York Giants.
Taylor sprained his right knee in the second quarter of Saturday night's 47-3 loss. An MRI performed Sunday morning allayed Redskins' fears of a more serious injury.
"It looks like there's no ligament damage," coach Jim Zorn said. "He could be out for 10 days or as much as two weeks. We are just waiting to see what type of a heeler he's going to be."
The timetable puts in doubt Taylor's availability for the Sept. 4 Redskins-Giants game, which is the NFL's Thursday night league opener. Taylor has a streak of 130 consecutive regular season starts -- seventh among active players -- but that was put in jeopardy when the six-time Pro Bowl defensive end had his leg bent awkwardly in a pile during DeAngelo Williams' 5-yard run.
Taylor was acquired from the Miami Dolphins on the first of training camp after Phillip Daniels was lost to a season-ending knee injury. The Redskins are relying on the former NFL defensive player of the year to improve a pass rush that has been inconsistent in recent seasons.
Longtime Redskins backup Demetric Evans and recently acquired Erasmus James would be among the contenders to start if Taylor can't play. Zorn said Taylor won't suit up if there's a substantial risk of a re-injury.
"We'll be cautious," Zorn said. "If we have the choice of having him for one game or 15, we'll take the 15."
Taylor's injury was a low moment in the game, but, then again, the Redskins sideline spent virtually the entire evening down in the dumps, watching a one-sided show that erased the good feeling from the 3-0 start to the preseason.
In what was supposed to be the dress rehearsal for the regular season -- the only time the starters will play an entire half -- the Redskins suffered their worst exhibition lost in 34 years. The first-time unit was outscored 34-0.
"I didn't sleep much on it," Zorn said. "I lay awake thinking on it."
The starting offense did a better job going backward than forward. They played eight series and had five three-and-outs, two turnovers and the end of the half. Jason Campbell was sacked four times and completed 6 of 10 passes for 39 yards.
While grading the film, Zorn said Campbell wasn't much at fault. On three of the four sacks, the coach said he wrote down: "No chance."
"There are a lot of words we can use," Zorn said. "I think we were very soft in our pass protection. In our run game, we had a lack of sustaining one-on-one blocks. ... On the first four passes that Jason threw, he had somebody walked back into him or he had somebody in his face. It is very difficult to play QB from that position. ... They played very aggressive football and we didn't match that intensity."
The defense allowed four touchdowns in the first half, including touchdown runs of 50 and 60 yards. The Redskins again played without free safety LaRon Landry, who has missed the entire preseason with a hamstring injury, and he was sorely missed as safeties Reed Doughty and rookie Kareem Moore struggled.
"This was no joke of a game," Zorn said, "for both teams -- because it was a chance to see what [the starters] could do for a longer period of time, and we didn't do anything."
e Redskins got an early start on this week's cut by releasing S Vernon Fox, DT Babatunde Oshinowo and DE Dorian Smith. Fox played in 30 games, with six starts, for Washington over the last two seasons. ... The previous worst preseason loss for the Redskins was 48-3 to the Houston Oilers on Aug. 9, 1974.