Based on his last two performances, you’d never guess that Redskins wide receiver Pierre Garcon had anything wrong with him. The wide receiver does, however, remain hobbled by that bad second toe on his right foot. But, determined to help his team, Garcon has figured out how to play through the pain.
“I still feel a lot of pain,” Garcon admitted. “It’s going to be going on for a while, so it’s just a matter of pushing through it.”
Since coming back from a five-week layoff with vain hopes that the torn ligament in the toe would heal on its own, Garcon’s production has increased steadily. Meanwhile, the Redskins have won each of the three games that he has played in since the bye.
In his first game back (against Philadelphia), Garcon recorded three catches for five yards. But Redskins players remarked that just having him on the field helped open up the offense because he was another threat for the defense to account for.
Then against Dallas, Garcon recorded four catches for 86 yards – including a 59-yard touchdown – and showed the same speed and explosiveness that the Redskins saw in the season opener, when he had four receptions for 109 yards and a touchdown before injuring his toe.
Then last Sunday against the Giants, Garcon had his most productive game since his Redskins debut, catching eight of 11 passes for 106 yards and a touchdown for the deciding score.
“Pierre has been a big part of our system,” Coach Mike Shanahan said. “Going into the season, he gave us a lot of confidence, and unfortunately, we lost him after the first quarter. But I think he has demonstrated the last couple of games exactly what type of wide receiver he is both in the running game and the passing game. We’re glad to have him.”
With Garcon on the field, the Redskins have posted a 5-1 record. Conversely, they are 1-5 without him.
“[He brings] just a different attitude out there,” quarterback Robert Griffin III said. “He’s a guy, as we all like to say, he walks to the beat of his own drum, and it’s a different drum. It’s not a normal drum. It’s good to have him out there with the tenacity that he plays with. He’s fearless, and he’s our guy. So that’s why we like him out there.”
Garcon downplayed the significance of his individual impact. He likes to think that he’s simply a piece to the puzzle.
“It’s just we get lucky. We call plays, things happen,” he said. “We’re fortunate that we’ve got more of a balanced offense and we continue plays and finish plays and work hard during plays after we catch the ball, or after Alfred gets hit, he’s making yards after contact. Robert’s a big weapon, and we just have more options when I’m out there, I guess.”
Garcon admitted that he is somewhat surprised with how he has been able to contribute despite the injury. But at times, he is surprised that he’s in the NFL at all.
“I’m surprised just that I have an impact in the NFL,” he said with a laugh. “It’s a tough game and a tough league and not everybody can play in this league. I’m just happy I can help out the team. I just want to impact the team in a positive way and help the team win. That’s why I’m out here: to win.”