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Terry McLaurin’s toe tops the list of Commanders fans concerns about player injuries

Survey results!!

Baltimore Ravens v Washington Commanders Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images

Nagging injuries

This week, we asked readers to consider a list of 8 high-profile Commanders players who are suffering from a list of (relatively) mild injuries like calf strains, back tightness, plantar faciitis and turf toe — all serious enough, but not torn ACL or Achilles tendons — and say which one they are most concerned about.

By a wide margin, the answer was “the Captain”, Terry McLaurin, who suffered a toe injury that may or may not be ‘turf toe’ late in the 2nd quarter of the 2nd preseason game.

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Similar to the plantar faciitis that the head coach says is plaguing DT Jon Allen, big toe injuries tend to be painful and heal slowly — a bad combination, especially for a receiver who has to be able to run, cut at full speed and jump on every play.

If there is any ‘good news’ here, it would be that Washington’s season opener will take place a full 20 days after the injury occurred. Three weeks provides an unusually generous window of opportunity for an NFL player to rest an injured body part and get treatment on it.

The Commanders’ first opponent, the Arizona Cardinals, is also considered by most people to be the least challenging of Washington’s 14 scheduled opponents of the ‘23 season, so many people have expressed the notion that Terry could sit this one out, and extend his recovery period to a full four weeks.

Ron Rivera’s comments on Terry’s injury and the general set of nagging injuries that have accumulated through training camp and the preseason have been interesting.

Ron Rivera said Wednesday that X-rays on McLaurin’s toe were negative, and “his MRI showed the same thing for the most part.”

For the most part?! Thank you for the clarity, Dr. Ron.

No wonder fans are worried.

If the coach doesn’t seem exactly ‘cavalier’ about the accumulated injuries, he certainly doesn’t sound deeply concerned.

These are not long-term things that we think these guys are going to miss anything. We just want to make sure that they’re sharp and ready to roll. We’ve had a few good, really good weeks of camp and we’re just trying to be really smart about some things. Jon Allen, he’s just messing with plantar fasciitis, nothing serious right there.

I like the proactive desire to ‘just try to be really smart about some things’, but did the head coach then say that his Pro Bowl defensive tackle is ‘just messing around with plantar faciitis’??

I’ve had this condition twice, about 10 years apart, and I can say that it’s not something anyone wants to mess around with. Apparently, 18% of readers, like me, have experienced the chronic pain that goes with plantar faciitis and put Jon Allen at the top of their concern list.

The Bengals

One of the limitations of how we handle the logistics of the Reacts surveys is that questions are normally submitted on Monday to the people who process the articles and generate the graphics for the results.

With Washington playing against the Ravens on Monday night, I held off until the end of the game to submit my questions for this week, and, as a result, felt a bit hurried — a situation slightly exacerbated by living my life 13 hours ahead of the east coast of the United States. I produced my questions during a quick break at work on Tuesday morning in an effort to keep things on schedule.

I mention this because, in the immediate aftermath of the Ravens game, when the starters had played a full half of football and it seemed reasonable to think that coach Rivera might want to get his young quarterback another series or two in the first quarter of the Bengals game to work on some things, I thought it was worth asking Hogs Haven readers whether they felt the first team offense should play on Saturday against the Bengals.

By the next day, I was feeling like I may have asked a question that was going to get an overwhelmingly one-sided response.

I was a bit surprised to find that the opinion split was only about 70/30, and not the 90/10 that I had anticipated.

Some people felt that a little game action this Saturday would provide some needed polish to help the team get off to that ‘faster start’ that the coaches have been talking about all offseason and preseason.

While Ron Rivera hadn’t specifically discussed his plan until recently, I had the impression that we’ll see a healthy dose of Jake Fromm, and that the Commanders will be prioritizing rest & recovery over quality competition in this final preseason game of 2023.

We’re likely to see a game played mostly by guys who are hoping to earn spots on the practice squads in Washington and Cincinnati.

NFC East competition

If you aren’t aware of it already, Reacts surveys come in two forms; team-specific surveys are run in articles on the team sites, but national polling is done via email. If you want to sign up to participate in the email surveys, it’s easy to do so by clicking here.

In this week’s national survey, NFL fans of all 32 teams were asked to predict division winners.

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The result here probably isn’t any kind of a shock, though I was a bit surprised at how lopsided the result is. In 2022, the Eagles didn’t lock up the division title until Week 18. After a super bowl appearance, the team’s roster was heavily raided in free agency, and they lost both the offensive and defensive coordinators to head coaching positions. I think there’s a good chance that Philly is the only team in the division whose 2023 roster and coaching staff may have taken a step backwards from its 2022 iteration.

And then there’s the little matter of the NFL’s longest streak — 18 straight seasons — without a repeat winner.

Looking ahead to the Week 1 home opener

I’ve been trying to keep an eye on the Cardinals to see what their fans are saying via the Reacts surveys.

This week, their survey got ambushed by late breaking news.

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Yesterday, we found out that Arizona traded for Browns backup QB Joshua Dobbs, and there’s a lot of chatter about the possibility of Dobbs starting the game against Washington. Given that he just played against us on the 11th of August (8/17, 77 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT; 3 carries for 11 yards), that may not be as far-fetched as it might otherwise sound.

The possibilities appear to be the newly-acquired Dobbs, rookie 5th round draft pick Clayton Tune, or journeyman and former Washington QB, Colt McCoy.

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