Adam Carriker on the field in St. Louis. (The Associated Press)

ST. LOUIS – The Washington Redskins had two defensive starters suffer injuries within the first six minutes of their game against the St. Louis Rams on Sunday.

Left defensive end Adam Carriker suffered a right knee injury on the second play of the game and had to be helped off the field by members of the Redskins’ training staff.

Ten plays later, right outside linebacker Brian Orakpo sacked Rams quarterback Sam Bradford and forced a fumble. But Orakpo got up holding his left arm. He was visibly upset as he came off the field with a trainer by his side. Orakpo threw his helmet as he came to the sideline, then paced back and forth in front of the bench before taking a knee and grabbing his left arm.

Orakpo returned to the field for two plays, before leaving again. Orakpo, had his shoulder pads removed and then sat on the trainers’ table next to Carriker, who sat with his knee wrapped in ice. Orakpo’s injury was characterized as a “shoulder strain.”

It’s the same side in which Orakpo suffered a torn pectoral muscle at the end of last season, and had surgery to repair this offseason. Then in Week 2 of the preseason, Orakpo injured his left shoulder and didn’t return until Week 1 of the regular season.

The Redskins defense had gotten off to a strong start as linebacker Perry Riley forced a fumble on receiver Danny Amendola on the first play of the game. Cornerback Josh Wilson recovered the loose ball and returned it 30 yards for a touchdown.