The Derrius Guice Injury- I normally don’t start these articles this way, but I felt that I needed to dive right into this topic. This is an absolutely brutal injury for the Redskins’ offense and for the team as a whole, and it sickens me to write about it. Perhaps, the worst thing about this is that we’ve already been here before.
The Redskins have been one of the most injured teams over the last decade, and this is a trend that you can especially see with some of the team’s top draft picks. The team has finished in the bottom-ten of the league in Football Outsider’s adjusted games lost metric in six of the last eight years, culminating with a last-place finish in 2017.
Now take a look at the number of injuries that have befallen Redskins’ first and second-round picks in the last three years. The snap count for Daron Payne is courtesy of a projection done by ESPN’s Mike Clay. I gave him a games played and games started projection of 15 and 10, respectively.
|Rookie Season Injuries for Redskins' 1st & 2nd Round Picks (2015-2018)|
|Player||Round (Pick)||Rookie GP||Rookie Starts||Rookie Snaps||Rookie Injury|
|Daron Payne||1 (13)||15||10||574||Sprained Ankle|
|Derrius Guice||2 (59)||0||0||0||Torn ACL|
|Jonathan Allen||1 (17)||5||5||159||Lisfranc|
|Ryan Anderson||2 (49)||14||0||193||None Major|
|Josh Doctson||1 (22)||2||0||31||Achilles|
|Su'a Cravens||2 (53)||11||3||295||Multiple|
As you can see, even with these somewhat optimistic projections for Payne, the overall and average number of games played and snaps taken by Washington top draft picks in the last four years has been far too low. What sticks out the most to me is that not one of those picks played 300 or more offensive or defensive snaps in their rookie seasons.
It appears that most of this has been due to just plain bad luck, but that luck is going to need to change if the Redskins ever want to become serious playoff contenders.
Snaps- Jay Gruden’s offense was on the field for 60 snaps in Thursday’s game. Only 29 of the team’s 45 offensive players suited for the game. Derrius Guice was the only projected starter or major role player on offense who took a snap in the game. This was the fewest number of starters played by the Redskins in the first three weeks of the preseason since snap data became available in 2012.
Patriots Starter Snaps- That didn’t stop the Patriots from playing some of their top defenders in the game. Check out the following snap counts for some of New England’s best defensive players: Malcolm Brown (21 snaps), Adrian Clayborn (19 snaps), Danny Shelton (17 snaps), Derek Rivers (32 snaps), Dont’a Hightower (27 snaps), Elandon Roberts (32 snaps), Kyle Van Noy (19 snaps), Patrick Chung (14 snaps) and Stephon Gilmore (14 snaps).
Points- Washington led the game by a score of 17-0 with eight seconds left in the second quarter, but the team failed to score after that and allowed New England to put up 26 consecutive points to end the game.
Yards- The offense gained 259 yards and picked up 13 first downs in the first half, with just 15 of those yards and one of the first downs (by penalty) coming when Kevin Hogan was the quarterback. In the second half, the Skins gained just 74 yards and moved the chains only once (Bibbs’ rush). That’s a total of 89 offensive yards and 2 first downs during the 24 snaps that Kevin Hogan played (3.71 yards per snap).
3rd Down- The Redskins’ third-down woes continued, as the team went just 3-for-12 on the money down (25%). However, it should be noted that they went 3-for-6 on third down and scored a touchdown on one of those plays when McCoy was running the offense.
Penalties- The team was charged with 11 total and 9 accepted penalties for 80 yards. The offense was responsible for six of those penalties and 55 of the penalty yards.
Rushing- The Skins ran the ball 25 times for 119 yards and a 4.8 YPC average. Unfortunately, only four of those runs went for first downs (16%) and only ten of them were considered successful (40%). Three of their rushes gained 14 or more yards (seven went for 5+ yards), while the team lost or failed to gain positive yardage on five runs. Outside of their long gain of 41 yards, they carried the ball 24 times for 78 yards (3.25 YPC). All in all, these aren’t horrible numbers, but they aren’t anything to write home about, either.
|Quarterbacks (3 Players)|
|Player (* - starter)||Snaps||Snap %|
|Colt McCoy *||36||60%|
Colt McCoy- Colt McCoy looked sharp over the course of his 36 snaps of action, about half of which came against a handful of Patriots’ starting defenders. He completed 13 of his 18 passes for 189 yards, 8 first downs and 2 touchdowns. Both of his scores came on plays in which he was under pressure.
These impressive numbers gave him a YPA of 10.5 and a QB rating of 143.1. He didn’t throw an interception and his only sack went for just 2 yards on a first down. He also picked up 14 rushing yards on a scramble.
McCoy currently ranks second among all players in preseason passing yards per game and YPA; he ranks first in QB rating. He looks to be worth every penny of his new contract extension.
Kevin Hogan- Coming into the game, the prevailing thought was that Kevin Hogan needed to have a strong preseason if he wanted to have a shot at making the final roster. If that’s the case, then his chances of sticking with the team got even slimmer after his lackluster performance against New England’s backups.
The third-year passer out of Stanford entered the game with 3:10 left in the second quarter and manned the controls for Jay Gruden’s offense for the remainder of the game. Hogan went 7 for 9 (78% completion rate), but his 44 passing yards on the night gave him a lowly YPA of 4.89. He didn’t score and failed to pick up a single first down in the game. None of his plays were considered statistically successful. That’s right, none of them. You’d be able to spin these numbers a little better if he had thrown more deep balls, but only two of his nine attempts traveled ten or more yards from the line of scrimmage.
Hogan was sacked twice for 17 yards, giving him a pathetic adjusted-net-yards-per-attempt figure of 2.45. He fumbled on one of the sacks, the Patriots recovered it and returned it 53 yards to the one-yard line. The Patriots scored a game-sealing touchdown two plays later.
Alex Smith- Alex Smith didn’t suit up for Thursday night’s game, so we’ll have to wait another week until he makes his debut with the Burgundy and Gold. This was just the second time since 2012 that a Redskins’ QB1 did not play in one of the team’s first three preseason games (Kirk Cousins in Week 2 of the 2016 preseason).
|Wide Receivers ( 11 Players)|
|Player (* - starter)||Snaps||Snap %|
|Maurice Harris *||39||65%|
|Robert Davis *||24||40%|
Maurice Harris- Moe Harris started and led all Washington skill-position players in snaps. He started out hot by catching two passes for 19 yards against Pro Bowler Stephon Gilmore in the game’s first four plays. Harris’ next two targets fell incomplete, but he finished off an impressive outing with a 3-yard touchdown on his fifth and final target of the night.
His final line for the game was 5 targets, 3 receptions, 2 first downs, 22 yards, 7.3 yards per reception, 1 touchdown and a 110.0 passer rating when targeted. Harris has reportedly looked good all offseason and he is closing in on becoming a lock to make the final roster.
Robert Davis- Davis made his first career start of any kind as an NFL player. He played 24 snaps, hauled in 3 of his 4 targets for 2 first downs and 35 receiving yards. One of those chain movers came on a third down against Stephon Gilmore and saw Davis pick up 18 yards of YAC on the play. Davis is one of the most athletic receivers in the entire NFL and he has looked good throughout the team’s offseason practices.
Update: Robert Davis had to be carted off the field with a leg injury in yesterday’s practice. He will require surgery for ligament damage and a broken tibia. Davis will join Derrius Guice and Manasseh Garner on IR.
Cam Sims- The towering Cam Sims had a very productive game against the Pats. He only ran 7 routes, but he caught each of his 2 targets for first downs and took them for a game-high 74 receiving yards. Those figures also gave him game highs in yards per reception (37 YPR) and yards per route run (10.6 YPRR).
He broke two tackles on a 57-yard reception that set the Redskins up for a short touchdown two plays later; it was the longest play of the game and the third longest offensive play from scrimmage of the entire preseason.
Sims’ earned a game-best 93.0 PFF grade for his performance.
Simmie Cobbs- Cobbs had an eventful, yet up-and-down game on Thursday night. He played 23 snaps, caught one of his two targets for 2 yards, made a solo special teams tackle at the New England 16-yard line and was flagged 15 yards for an illegal peelback block. His most memorable play was that tackle he made on Geneo Grissom at the Redskins’ 1-yard line, after he chased Grissom down to end a 53-yard fumble return and prevented the defensive touchdown.
Trey Quinn- Trey “Mr. Irrelevant” Quinn only played 11 snaps and ran 6 routes before his night was cut short by a viscous hit to the stomach late in the first quarter. The hit came on his lone target of the night, a pass that Quinn would drop. He was given the lowest PFF grade among all offensive players on the team (38.3).
Darvin Kidsy- The diminutive Darvin Kidsy (180 lbs) played 21 snaps and caught one of the two fourth-quarter passes thrown his way for a 5-yard gain on 2nd-and-12.
Kidsy is a 23-year-old rookie UDFA who only managed to compile 48 receptions for 589 yards and 2 touchdowns at North Texas University.
Shay Fields- The rookie out of Colorado was in on 26 offensive snaps and ran 13 routes, but was not targeted once in the game. Getting playing time and not doing anything with it is not the way for an undrafted player to make a team.
Other Wide Receivers- Starters Jamison Crowder, Josh Doctson and Paul Richardson, along with elder statesman of the wide receiver room, Brian Quick, did not play in the game.
|Tight Ends (6 Players)|
|Player (* - starter)||Snaps||Snap %|
|Jeremy Sprinkle *||33||55%|
Jeremy Sprinkle- Jeremy Sprinkle got the start and played 33 snaps in the game. He basically split time between being a blocker (13 snaps) and a receiver (14 snaps). Sprinkle allowed a hurry on one of his four pass-blocking snaps. He caught both of his targets in the game for a total of 6 yards. Those receptions came on third down, but he was tackled well short of the sticks on both plays.
Matt Flanagan- Matt Flanagan hauled in a pair of 7-yard receptions (14 yards total). Unfortunately, both receptions came on third downs that were 11 or more yards from the line-to-gain. Flanagan was mostly utilized as a run blocker (9 snaps), which is good because despite his two receptions on the night, he doesn’t appear to be much of a receiver. He recorded just 305 receiving yards during his five years in college.
Garrett Hudson- The former Richmond Spider played 11 snaps and was not targeted on the night. His 42.5 PFF grade ranked third worse on the Redskins’ offense.
Manasseh Garner- Derrius Guice was not the only player on the Redskins’ roster who suffered a major injury on Thursday night. Garner also suffered a torn ACL, and he too is lost for the season. Garner wasn’t going to make the roster, but he had a shot at finding a home on the practice squad and had an outside shot at playing in a regular season game if something happened to one of the team’s top three tight ends.
Like Guice, Garner tore his ACL on his tenth snap of the game. He caught his only target on the play for a gain of 16 yards on 1st-and-17.
The team signed tight end J.P. Holtz to replace Garner.
Other Tight Ends- Jordan Reed and the Redskins’ oldest player, Vernon Davis, were kept in bubble wrap and did not dress for the game. Reed’s ultra fragility (5.6 games missed per season) and Davis’ advanced age (34-192d) and experience give the team little reason to play either of them much in the exhibition season.
|Running Backs (8 Players)|
|Player (* - starter)||Snaps||Snap %|
|Robert Kelley *||13||22%|
|Elijah Wellman *||12||20%|
Derrius Guice- Derrius Guice’s entire 2018 season started and ended with the ten snaps that he played against the Patriots. Guice only gained 19 yards on his six rushes (3.2 YPC), but half of those rushes were successful, and he gained at least 3 yards on all but one of them. He also had a 34-tote that was negated by a holding penalty. That run ended with a tackle by Patriot’s UDFA Damarius Travis and a torn ACL for Guice. He earned the second highest overall PFF grade on the team (85.8).
It’s sad, in a way, that Guice looked as good as he did, before his season suddenly ended with a torn ACL. I guess the football gods had to get our hopes up one more time before they pulled the carpet out from under us.
If you want to depress yourself by thinking about what could’ve been for Guice in 2018 then check out my two most recent articles.
On the bright side, Guice is the tenth youngest player in the entire league and the 2019 season doesn’t start for another 13 months. His youth and the time he has to heal should be key to a speedy and effective recovery. We’ll see you next year, Derrius.
Samaje Perine- Derrius Guice’s injury helps Samaje Perine more than anybody. He appeared to be on the outside looking in for a roster spot prior to Guice’s injury, but at this point, it’s highly unlikely that he isn’t on the final roster come Week 1.
I don’t say this just because of the injury, either; Perine actually looked decent against New England. He took his team-high 7 rushes for 31 yards, a first down and a YPC average of 4.4. Almost half of his yards did come on one run, but he also never gained fewer than 2 yards on any of his rushes. He would have been credited with a rush that went 15 yards and a reception, but both plays were nullified by Kyle Kalis penalties.
Perine did, in fact, fumble, despite the fact that it was not ruled a turnover by the officials. However, I think people are too concerned about his perceived fumbling problem. Perine has only officially fumbled the ball on 1.3% of his 230 total preseason and regular season NFL touches.
Byron Marshall- Byron Marshall operated as the team’s primary receiving back on his 11 snaps Thursday night. He ran the ball twice for -3 and 5 yards (2 yards total), but that is not really his forte; the receiving game is where Marshall really excels. He caught both of this targets and gained a total of 28 yards through the air.
His best play of the game came on a 3rd-and-11 reception that he took 25 yards to the house. He beat Patriots’ starter Kyle Van Noy for the reception and then broke Van Noy’s tackle attempt en route to the end zone. This was the first receiving and only the second total touchdown of his three-year NFL career. Marshall is the heavy favorite to win the backup third-down RB job.
Robert Kelley- Fat, I mean slim, Rob got the start and took his four carries for a total of 6 yards, five of which came on one play. Kelley did pick up a first down on a 3rd-and-1 short-yardage rush, though. He was already probably going to make the team because of the coaches’ irrational love for him, but he is all but a lock to do so now that Guice has been lost to injury.
Kapri Bibbs- Bibbs was the last running back to get off the bench against the Patriots, but he ended up leading all Washington rushers in snaps (15), rushing yards (48) and yards from scrimmage (59). He picked up one first down, caught a pass for 11 yards, had two successful carries on his four runs and averaged 12 yards per rush. The majority of his yardage came on a game-best 41-yard run with just over three minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, which was the second longest play of the game. Bibbs will be tough to cut if he can string together a few more performances like this one.
Elijah Wellman- Rookie Elijah Wellman, the team’s only pure fullback, got the start and played on 12 snaps. He hauled in each of his 2 targets and took them for a combined 20 yards and a first down. On the downside, he allowed a QB hit on one of his two pass-blocking snaps and was responsible for the holding penalty on the play that Derrius Guice was injured on; Guice inadvertently paid the price for Wellman’s mistake.
Update: Wellman was waived today with an injury designation.
Other Running Backs- Chris Thompson and roster long shot Martez Carter did not play in this contest. This is not a good look for Carter, unless he suffered an injury that I’m not aware of.
|Offensive Linemen (17 Players)|
|Player (* - starter)||Snaps||Snap %|
|Kyle Kalis *||60||100%|
|Tony Bergstrom *||47||78%|
|Geron Christian *||46||77%|
|Tyler Catalina *||44||73%|
|Ty Nsekhe *||24||40%|
Offensive Line (Team)- This was not a stellar outing for the Redskins’ offensive line. The group combined to give up 3 sacks for 19 yards and committed 4 penalties for 30 yards. The O-line also allowed a pressure on approximately 30% of the team’s passing dropbacks and was only able to pave the way for a paltry 1.35 yards-before-contact average for the team’s running backs.
Kyle Kalis- Kyle Kalis was the only player in the game who played on 100% of his team’s offensive or defensive snaps, and he only trailed Brian Hoyer for the most snaps played in the game (61 to 60). Unfortunately for Kalis, playing a lot in the preseason does not necessarily mean that you played well.
In fact, Kalis’ performance in this game was downright horrible. He allowed two pressures and committed three penalties over the course of his 60 snaps at right guard. PFF credited him with two hurries allowed, but I believe that one of those hurries should have been counted as a sack.
His 25 penalty yards came on flags for a false start, holding and illegal hands to the face. The Redskins failed to pick up a first down after two of those penalties and the other one negated a 15-yard Samaje Perine run. Kalis’ PFF grade of 38.3 was tied for worst on the Washington offense.
Geron Christian- Christian got the start at right tackle and also saw some time at left tackle over the course of his 46 snaps against the Patriots. The night did not go as planned for the rookie third-round pick, as he surrendered a game-high three quarterback pressures on the night (all hurries).
Tony Bergstrom- Bergstrom, who turned 32 the day before the game, was the Skins’ starting center in this game. He played for 47 snaps on the night, which was the second highest total on the offense, and allowed one pressure (QB hit). He is the only somewhat dependable backup the Redskins have for their interior offensive line.
Tyler Catalina- Catalina started and played all 44 of his snaps at left guard. He allowed two QB hurries before leaving the game with what appears to be a minor rib injury.
Ty Nsekhe- Ty Nsekhe, who is almost like a sixth starter on the offensive line at this point, opened the game at left tackle. Unsurprisingly, he was perfect in pass protection across his 24 snaps and earned the highest PFF pass-blocking grade (84.4) on the team.
John Kling- Kling took 23 snaps at right tackle, most of which came alongside the rest of the third and fourth-string offensive linemen. He allowed a QB hit and was tagged with the lowest PFF pass-blocking grade (42.9) among the team’s ten O-linemen who played in the game.
Isaiah Williams- Williams took over at left guard late in the fourth quarter and held down the spot for the offense’s last 16 snaps. He did not allow any pressures, but he did commit a false start on the drive that ultimately ended with Hogan’s sack-fumble.
Timon Parris- Parris took over at right tackle at the start of the fourth quarter. He played a total of 13 snaps and gave up one QB pressure (a hurry).
Casey Dunn- Casey Dunn played quite well for a fourth stringer. He manned the pivot for the Redskins’ 13 final offensive snaps and didn’t allow a single pressure. He ranked second, third and first among the team’s O-linemen in PFF overall, pass blocking and run-blocking grading, respectively.
Cameron Jefferson- Like Parris and Dunn, Cameron Jefferson also entered in the fourth quarter and played for the team’s last 13 offensive snaps of the game. Jefferson played at left tackle and was responsible for allowing a strip sack to fellow UDFA Trent Harris.
Other Offensive Linemen- All five of the projected starting offensive linemen (Trent Williams, Shawn Lauvao, Chase Roullier, Brandon Scherff and Morgan Moses) sat this one out. They were joined on the sideline by third stringers T.J. Clemmings and Demetrius Rhaney.
ALL OFFENSIVE PLAYERS
|Offense (45 Players)||Offense (45 Players)|
|Player (* - starter)||Snaps||Snap %||Player (* - starter)||Snaps||Snap %|
|Kyle Kalis||60||100%||Garrett Hudson||11||18%|
|Tony Bergstrom||47||78%||Byron Marshall||11||18%|
|Geron Christian||46||77%||Samaje Perine||11||18%|
|Tyler Catalina||44||73%||Trey Quinn||11||18%|
|Maurice Harris||39||65%||Manasseh Garner||10||17%|
|Colt McCoy||36||60%||Derrius Guice||10||17%|
|Jeremy Sprinkle||33||55%||Martez Carter||DNP||N/A|
|Shay Fields||26||43%||T.J. Clemmings||DNP||N/A|
|Robert Davis||24||40%||Jamison Crowder||DNP||N/A|
|Kevin Hogan||24||40%||Vernon Davis||DNP||N/A|
|Ty Nsekhe||24||40%||Josh Doctson||DNP||N/A|
|Simmie Cobbs||23||38%||Shawn Lauvao||DNP||N/A|
|John Kling||23||38%||Morgan Moses||DNP||N/A|
|Darvin Kidsy||21||35%||Brian Quick||DNP||N/A|
|Matt Flanagan||20||33%||Jordan Reed||DNP||N/A|
|Isaiah Williams||16||27%||Demetrius Rhaney||DNP||N/A|
|Kapri Bibbs||15||25%||Paul Richardson||DNP||N/A|
|Casey Dunn||13||22%||Chase Roullier||DNP||N/A|
|Cameron Jefferson||13||22%||Brandon Scherff||DNP||N/A|
|Robert Kelley||13||22%||Alex Smith||DNP||N/A|
|Timon Parris||13||22%||Chris Thompson||DNP||N/A|
|Cam Sims||12||20%||Trent Williams||DNP||N/A|
*All statistics are courtesy of ESPN, NBC Sports, NFL.com, NFL Gamebooks, Pro Football Focus, Pro Football Reference, USA Today, Redskins.com and The Washington Post*
Other than Colt McCoy, who was the Redskins’ offensive player of the game against the Patriots?
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