Washington Redskins kicker Graham Gano suffered fractures in two bones of his lower back during the final game of the season and has remained in the area to rehabilitate the injury at Redskins Park, according to multiple people familiar with the situation.
Gano suffered the injury while trying to make a tackle after the Eagles blocked his 36-yard field goal attempt in the second quarter of the Jan. 1 game against Philadelphia. The Eagles’ Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie recovered the ball, and Gano tried to tackle him. But the defensive back flipped the ball to teammate Tom Nelson to keep the play alive.
Before Gano could stand up, defensive end Jason Babin hit the kicker in the back, sending Gano sprawling. He immediately grabbed his back and was tended to by trainers before being helped off the field. No penalty was called. Gano later returned to kick a second-half field goal and an extra point.
Gano moved around the locker room with relative ease the following day, and the Redskins never announced the injury. It was not clear Wednesday which bones were fractured.
Gano’s recovery is expected to take six to eight weeks. He is scheduled to become a free agent this offseason, but would like to return to Washington, and special teams coach Danny Smith has spoken highly of the Florida State product’s development this season.
Gano completed his second full campaign with the Redskins this season, with a franchise- and career-best 59-yard field goal among his highlights for 2011. Gano made 31 of 41 field goals, but five of those attempts were blocked as Washington’s field goal line struggled.
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