LaRon Landry torn up about missing Sunday’s game

December 2, 2011

Washington Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan said that starting strong safety LaRon Landry will miss Sunday’s game against the New York Jets after a pulled groin kept him from practicing all week.

The fifth-year pro suffered the injury while trying to avoid a block by Seattle Seahawks offensive lineman Paul McQuistan during last week’s game. The safety’s leg was caught awkwardly when he landed, and he gingerly walked off the field after the play, which ended with Marshawn Lynch scoring on a 20-yard catch-and run.

Landry left the game to receive treatment, returned and played off and on down the stretch of Washington’s 23-17 victory. Immediately after the game, Shanahan thought the injury wasn’t too serious. But Landry said the pain worsened later, and he couldn’t do any running.

This will be the second game Landry will miss in the last three weeks. Two weeks ago, Shanahan held him out of Washington’s game against the Dallas Cowboys after the safety was unable to practice with a strained left Achilles’ tendon.

“It hurts when you come back and you strain the Achilles, and you hurt the hamstring so you never get back into the football shape that you’d like to be in,” Shanahan said of Landry, who this season has 48 tackles, 1.5 sacks and a forced fumble. “He was playing great that first part of the season that he was able to play in. Obviously, he was able to practice and do the things you need to do to play at a high level. I’m not sure he’s ever gotten into the shape he would’ve liked. But he’s been working hard to try to come back. He’s just had some nagging injuries that have kept him behind.”

Landry’s injured Achilles’tendon forced him to miss the final seven games of the 2010 season. During the offseason, he received platelet-rich plasma treatments in the hopes of expediting the healing of microtears in the tendon. He missed all of training camp and the first two preseason games while working his way back to full strength. But during the preseason, Landry suffered a hamstring strain, and he missed the final two preseason games and the first two regular season games while healing from that injury.

“Just seems like I’m snakebit,” Landry said in the locker room Friday. “One injury after another. … But I’m going to always persevere through everything.”

Said Shanahan, “I know it really tore him up. He was hoping he could be able to go, but it’s just too sore.”

The Redskins haven’t seen a fully healthy Landry since Week 6 of the 2010 season. He opened that season on pace to set career numbers in every statistical category and was in the running for defensive player of the year honors. He injured his Achilles’ tendon in the Week 6 game against Indianapolis and played the next three games despite the pain.

When the injury became too serious for Landry to even walk without pain, he was placed on the season-ending injured reserve list. At the time his season ended, Landry was the leading Pro Bowl vote getter at his position, having recorded 85 tackles, a sack, an interception and a forced fumble.

Landry, the sixth overall pick of the 2007 draft, is playing in the final year of his contract and would have liked to have a major impact as he worked toward a big payday. But his injuries have prevented him from doing that.

When asked how the injuries have impacted the ability to evaluate Landry and gauge his value, Shanahan said, “Everything’s part of the evaluation process. Everything you do, in-season, out of season, injuries. It’s all part of the process when you’re putting a team together.”

Despite the recurring injuries, the coach said the team won’t yet place Landry on injured reserve, but instead holds out hope that he can recover and contribute down the stretch of the season. A return date is hard to predict.

“It’s kind of hard to tell,” Shanahan said. “I thought his Achilles was fine. He had the hamstring and then went back to the Achilles… I can’t tell you all those things. I just know that he’s had some injuries and we’ll just keep our fingers crossed that he can rehab and get ready to play.”

Mike Jones covers the Washington Redskins for The Washington Post. When not writing about a Redskins development of some kind – which is rare – he can be found screaming and cheering at one of his kids’ softball, baseball, soccer or basketball games.
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