Every year there are devastating injuries in the NFL in the preseason. Unfortunately many take place during practices not in games. That was the case for Redskins pass rusher Junior Galette, who ruptured his Achilles at practice on Wednesday. Galette joins a growing list of Redskins (Niles Paul, Logan Paulsen, Silas Redd, and Adam Hayward) lost for the season before it ever started.
It is a big blow to a defense that is looking to bring the heat this season on opposing quarterbacks. Galette recorded 22 sacks over the past two seasons. That’s the kind of production you just can’t replace. He was also a player the Redskins took a chance on despite some off field baggage. The Skins signed him to a low risk/high reward one year deal after he was released by the New Orleans Saints. There will be no reward this season.
AUDIO EXTRA >>> ESPN 980 Redskins Insider Craig Hoffman confirms Junior Galette is out for the season
I’m not going to waste any space crying the preseason is too long and needs tweaking. Injuries are part of football and all sports for that matter. Players train harder than ever before and maybe that’s part of the problem with some of these injuries. I have no idea I’m not a doctor, but I do know the best teams get over it and play on. That is what the Redskins must do.
That doesn’t mean you can’t feel for Galette, who a day earlier was excited when talking about the prospects for the team’s defense in 2015.
“A lot of guys haven’t played with each other before, like when we get Ryan and me out there together, Ricky [Jean Francois] Hatch and Paea; all of us out there,” Galette said to WashingtonRedskins.com. “[We] still have a lot of work to do. I know it looks good on paper and we’ve actually been doing really good in preseason, so I’m just really excited to play with a really good defense.”
Galette also was very thankful to the organization for giving him an opportunity after his ugly divorce with the Saints.
“I just want to prove to them that I belong and earn my stripes,” Galette said in Washington Post.“It’s been a real humbling experience. They’ve embraced me from Day 1, and I want to show them what I have in store, not just in practice. . . . I’ve been hungry before, but now, I want it all.”
In a situation that has no real silver lining, at least the Redskins were well stocked at OLB thanks to new GM Scot McCloughan. It is also better to lose someone prior to the season rather than early in season where options are much more limited. It gives staff and personnel department time to adjust.
The next man up mindset now needs to kick in. It is now up to Defensive Coordinator Joe Barry to find other players to fill Galette’s shoes. Second year OLB Trent Murphy will need to raise his game and Rookie Preston Smith could be in line now for a bigger role. Others like Jackson Jeffcoat have a chance to step up and preseason pro bowler Houston Bates might make the team now.
The other concern for Joe Barry and the defense heading into Baltimore this weekend is getting healthy in the secondary. DeAngelo Hall is coming back from two Achilles injuries of his own and has been limited at times in camp. Also, second year CB Beshaud Breeland (who is suspended for week 1) is coming back from a training camp MCL injury.
Over the final weeks of preseason you can bet the Skins defensive staff will focus on finding the right combinations and schemes to overcome the injuries as they prepare for the September 13th opener against the Miami Dolphins.