Wide receiver Anthony Armstrong passed through waivers unclaimed on Tuesday after being released by the Jacksonville Jaguars, and now is a free agent. But Armstrong didn’t immediately generate any interest from his former team, the Washington Redskins, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.
Armstrong spent the first two seasons of his NFL career with the Redskins, recording a combined 51 catches for 974 yards and five touchdowns in 13 starts. But he had a quiet preseason – hampered by a shoulder injury for much of it – and recorded three catches for 76 yards, and Washington released him prior to the start of the season.
Armstrong signed with the Miami Dolphins and had three catches for 12 yards in five games played before getting released two weeks ago. Jacksonville claimed Armstrong, but he didn’t appear in a game, and was released on Monday.
Despite their unstable receiving unit, the Redskins didn’t express any interest in Armstrong’s services after he passed through waivers.
The Redskins have been without top free agent signing Pierre Garcon for six of their nine games this season because a torn ligament in the second toe of his right foot has rendered him unable to push off, run or cut with any speed. Garcon said the toe even hurts when walking.
The receiver missed the last five weeks while trying to let the injury heal with hopes of avoiding surgery. Garcon returned to practice on Monday in hopes of playing again this season, but the Redskins will not know until later this week if he will be able to play Sunday against Philadelphia.
Armstrong, like Garcon, played the ‘X’ receiver position while with Washington. Second-year pros Leonard Hankerson and Aldrick Robinson have split time at that position, but neither has produced consistently. Hankerson has 26 catches for 342 yards and a touchdown, but has struggled to hold onto the ball. Robinson, who has started two games, also has been guilty of drops and has just nine catches for 120 yards and a touchdown. A third option, Brandon Banks, has seen time at that position as well, but has been even less productive, recording six catches for seven yards.
After opening the year with one of the top scoring attacks in the league, the Redskins mustered a combined 25 points in their last two games thanks largely to a lack of playmakers on offense.
Armstrong had his best season with Washington in 2010, when he started 11 games and recorded 44 catches for 871 yards and three touchdowns. He suffered a hamstring injury early in the 2011 campaign and despite contributing regularly on special teams, never managed to work his way back into consistent playing time on offense, finishing the year with just seven catches for 103 yards and two touchdowns.
It’s not out of the question, however, that Washington would consider bringing Armstrong back if he remains on the market and Garcon is unable to avoid season-ending surgery. His familiarity with the offense, speed and ability to contribute on special teams as well would seem to make him a fit.
The Redskins earlier this season brought back tight end Chris Cooley – whom they also released before the start of the season — when starter Fred Davis was lost to a torn Achilles’ tendon.