How will the injuries to Barry Cofield and Jordan Reed Impact the Redskins

Redskins Personnel Washington Commanders

The Redskins suffered two big injuries in Sunday’s game and both could have a major impact on the Redskins performance going forward. Here’s how these injuries will affect the Redskins and what can be done to stop the bleeding:

TE Jordan Reed:

Reed suffered a hamstring injury early in the Texans game and was unable to return. While there isn’t a full understanding of just how long Reed will be sidelined, 2-3 weeks seems likely at this point, with the possibility of it being longer. Hamstring injuries are also an injury that is ripe for a reoccurance, if a player comes back too soon.

The loss of Reed is a big blow to the passing attack, particularly on 3rd down plays and in the red zone. Overall the Redskins can be fine in their passing game as they can opt for more 3 WR formations to ensure there are three good options for RGIII to find. As we saw week 1 back-up Niles Paul can be an athletic target down the field and can fill some of the mis-match value that Reed brings to the table. Paul though is limited (and not just with his fumbling of the football), in his size and isn’t going to be that big target that can outmuscle linebackers and safeties for contested balls. This obviously is really going to impact the Redskins near the goalline as they don’t have one wide receiver or tight end that can present that big physical target who defenses have to respect. The Redskins will have to get more creative when they want to throw the ball near the end zone, but otherwise the impact of the Reed loss, hurts but is managable.

NT Barry Cofield:

Cofield’s injury has been described as a high ankle sprain, which typically can keep a player out 3-5 weeks depending on the severity of the injury. It is also an injury that can be nagging or re-occur, which is probably why the Redskins opted to place Cofield on the short term IR with the designation to return. It means the Redskins will be without Cofield for at least 8 weeks, which will hopefully give Cofield enough time to get back to 100%.

The Cofield injury will cause a reshuffling of the defensive line as starting end Chris Baker will move into the nose tackle position, while top back-up Jarvis Jenkins will move to the starting role. Baker came into the league as a nose tackle and can play the position at an above average rate. Jenkins should fill in decently for Baker as a starting end, but both positions will see a drop in their production. Cofield isn’t a flashy player who makes a ton of plays, and he’s certainly not an elite nose tackle, but he’s a good consistent player at the center of your defense. That is not something that is easy to replace, even with a solid player like Baker.

Baker has showed a lot of promise, but he hasn’t been a consistent player where he is a force and a threat that the offense needs to take into account each and every snap. Baker has also not shown that he can hold up over long stretches. Cofield would play 75% or more of the snaps each week, and while that number was maybe a little high, he gave you production throughout. Baker has not played that much for an extended period of time, so it is unclear if he can hold up that much. With him as a starting end, the Redskins could more easily rotate in his back-ups (namely Jarvis Jenkins and Kedric Golston), to give him a breather. At nose tackle there isn’t a natural back-up to Baker right now. Both Kedric Golston and Jarvis Jenkins could play there in a pinch, but neither is ideal and obviously Jenkins is now the starter at the one end position. It could be tough for the Redskins sub out Baker if the concern is with him wearing down over the course of the game/season. Also, with Jenkins now in the starting line-up, that means the 40 odd back-up snaps will fall to either Golston or 3rd string DE’s Clifton Geathers and Frank Kearse. For this week though the Redskins might not even be able to rely on Golston as he tweaked his groin in the first game and his status for this week is up in the air.

Not only is the Cofield injury more of a concern for the Redskins due to the extended period of time that he is gone, but his impact was likely greater on the team than Reed’s. The Redskins will no doubt miss Jordan Reed, but it will also be easier for them to make up for his loss. Cofield’s injury could have a major domino effect that weakens 3 positions (NT, starting DE and top rotational DE). The Redskins can overcome these injuries, but they are both tough losses for a Redskins team that can’t afford to lose key players.

Related Articles

Who will Washington draft in the First Round? The tea leaves say it’s Ohio State WR Chris Olave

For now, assume Washington will at least kick the tires on whichever top quarterback prospect is available. Keep…

Read More about Who will Washington draft in the First Round? The tea leaves say it’s Ohio State WR Chris Olave

The Commanders have few options for a veteran QB trade

Ron Rivera has made it abundantly clear that his number 1 priority this offseason is to upgrade the…

Read More about The Commanders have few options for a veteran QB trade