When the Redskins were riding high atop the NFC East with a 3-1 record, a large portion of that success was due to the health of their roster. Now on a five game slide, Washington has sent six players to injured reserve in the last month, with the latest coming as casualties of a 20-9 loss to the Miami Dolphins
Before tearing the labrum in his right hip, rookie wideout Leonard Hankerson was having a breakout performance in his hometown. After showing his work ethic in practice, he worked up the ranks as the season went on and had seen increased playing time the past four games. He finished Sunday with eight receptions for 106 yards against the Dolphins.
Defensive lineman Kedric Golston is also headed to injured reserve after partially tearing his ACL and suffering a third-degree MCL tear against Miami. He had been battling injuries throughout the year and also hurt his elbow the previous week against the 49ers.
Prior to the Redskinsí 20-13 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 6, the only season-ending injury came at the expense of rookie defensive tackle Jarvis Jenkins, who tore his ACL against the Ravens in the third week of the preseason after becoming the talk of training camp.
Tight end Chris Cooley suffered a broken finger against Philadelphia and was originally ruled out for several weeks. However, he was placed on I.R. over a week later primarily due to a knee that didnít fully heal from arthroscopic surgery in 2010 that had been hampering him all season.
After having solid seasons, guard Kory Lichtensteiger and running back Tim Hightower both tore ACLs against Philadelphia and Carolina, respectively. The day before their Week 9 matchup against San Francisco, the Redskins placed cornerback Phillip Buchanon on injured reserve with knee and neck injuries. He had only made a brief appearance in one game this season after missing the first four games for violating the NFLís substance abuse policy.
The additions of Hankerson and Golston to injured reserve prompted the Redskins to re-sign receiver Donteí Stallworth and defensive lineman Darrion Scott, both of whom were released by the team last week.
The Redskins also released safety Kareem Moore, who has missed every game since training camp due to a knee injury. The 2008 sixth-round selection had been on the physically unable to perform list all season and the team was facing a 4 P.M. deadline on Wednesday to activate him from that list.
In order to fully evaluate the young players on the team during this rebuilding process, the Redskins are hoping to remain healthy as much as they are aiming to win.