Garcon said his status remains unchanged, and that he doesn’t know when he will return. But people with knowledge of the situation say that Garcon will remain sidelined at least until after Washington’s Week 10 bye.
Sprinters who have suffered the same injury, which is near Garcon’s second toe, have recovered in six to eight weeks. But because the injury is not certain to heal, even with an extended layoff, Garcon left the door open for surgery after the season if necessary.
Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan most recently described Garcon’s injury as an inflamed capsule in the second toe of his right foot. Technically known as a plantar plate tear, the injury involves a partially torn ligament inside the capsule of the toe, where the toe arches. That prevents the receiver from substantially pushing off the toe.
According to a person with knowledge of the situation, an offensive lineman could probably play with the same injury, but a sprinter or receiver uses that ligament when pushing off and making cuts.
Garcon said Anderson’s findings confirmed that team doctors had diagnosed the injury correctly, but Garcon said he had remained optimistic that his condition would heal quickly.
Anderson “just specified that it was a plantar plate tear,” Garcon said Thursday in the Redskins locker room. “We knew, but we didn’t really want to believe it. We wanted to think it was something minor that could be fixed within the five or six weeks that I was out.”
Garcon made an immediate impact in the Redskins’ season opener, recording four catches for 109 yards — including an 88-yard touchdown — in the first eight plays of the game. But on the scoring catch-and-run, he felt a pop in the toe.
Garcon revealed Wednesday that wasn’t the first time the toe had bothered him, however.
“It was overuse. That’s the best term. I felt it early in the year. I felt it early in the preseason. But, you know, I just kept playing,” Garcon said. “I’m kind of stubborn. So I just keep playing, fighting through whatever. But it was just a toe injury so I was like, ‘it’ll be all right. Just ice it. Just keep playing.’ And then in New Orleans I felt a pop. And that’s when things are serious, when you feel a pop.”
Garcon left and didn’t return to the game against the Saints, then missed the next two contests. Originally, Garcon and the Redskins believed he couldn’t further injure himself by playing on the bad toe.
Garcon said he decided on his own to play in the next two games. But he recorded only four catches for 44 yards in those two outings combined. Garcon warmed up for the Week 6 game against Minnesota. But after watching the receiver continue to struggle to run effectively or change directions, Shanahan told Garcon not to play.