Despite starting each of the past two games and making it through each unscathed, Washington Redskins wide receiver Pierre Garcon has yet to recapture the big-play form that he displayed during the first quarter of his team’s season-opening victory at New Orleans. Offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan said that although it has helped having Garcon back on the field, he can tell the wideout remains less than 100 percent.
In the season opener, Garcon – the Redskins’ biggest free agent acquisition of the offseason, signing a five-year, $42.5 million contract with $21.5 guaranteed – recorded four catches for 109 yards, including an 88-yard touchdown. On that touchdown play, Garcon injured his right foot, straining it near the ball of his foot. Garcon had to leave the game after only eight plays. X-rays revealed no breaks in the bone, but Garcon missed the next two games, and returned to action two weeks ago at Tampa Bay. But in the past two games, Garcon has combined for only four catches for 44 yards.
Garcon last week played a season-high 39 of Washington’s 49 snaps. He was targeted seven times but managed to hang on to only three of those passes for 24 yards. Although Garcon struggled with drops against Atlanta, the biggest difference appears to be explosion. He hasn’t seemed to have the same burst or ability to get separation from defenders. After recording a total of 101 yards after the catch on his four receptions against New Orleans, Garcon has averaged just 4.75 yards after his four receptions since.
Garcon has declined interview requests since the Tampa Bay game, but Shanahan said the diminished impact is a byproduct of the slowly-healing injury.
“He’s battling it, I can tell,” Shanahan said. “You can see him on the practice field and stuff and in the games that it hurts him to run. He has a lingering foot problem and it does hurt him. He’s been able to play through it here the past couple weeks and it helps us having him out there, but no, I don’t think he’s 100 percent. I appreciate him battling through it and being out there for us. I just hope that each week it gets better.”