The Washington Redskins could be without cornerback Josh Norman for several weeks after he fractured his ribs in the first half of Monday night’s 29-20 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium.
Norman left the game right before the two-minute warning after suffering the injury tackling Chiefs wide receiver Chris Conley on a 21-yard gain. He trotted off to the sideline, favoring his right side as the Redskins medical staff rushed over. Norman was taken inside the blue medical tent on the sideline, then went inside the locker room before halftime.
On the first play following Norman’s injury, Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce scored on a 17-yard touchdown to cap Kansas City’s first scoring drive of the game with 1:54 left in the first half.
Redskins Coach Jay Gruden told ESPN during halftime that Norman would be out for several weeks. After the game, however, Gruden said Norman would be further evaluated on Tuesday.
Norman said he had a burning desire to return to the game, even if it was to serve as a decoy, but he spent the rest of the game supporting his teammates on the sideline as the Redskins defense suffered multiple injuries in the second half.
“You want to do something more. It’s just a mortal body; it just don’t give you what you need,” Norman said. “It won’t sustain in getting out there and helping those guys. You try to fight through, you try to numb the pain and blocking it out. Yes, I wanted to go in so bad. … It’s a long season. But when the juices get amped up and I want to get going, I want to go. Fell a little short in doing that today.”
In Norman’s absence, Washington used Quinton Dunbar as the team’s right cornerback and kept Bashaud Breeland on the left side and Kendall Fuller in the slot. Dunbar dealt with cramps at the end of the game as he was used both on defense and special teams.
The Redskins entered the season with depth at cornerback, carrying six players on the 53-man roster, but they now will be without one of the top cornerbacks in the NFL for an extended period. Norman, the highest-paid cornerback in the league after he signed a five-year, $75 million deal last year, was off to a strong start this season. He had allowed a reception every 20.2 snaps during the first three games of the season, according to Pro Football Focus, which was tied for fifth among cornerbacks with Breeland.
Dunbar, 25, is in his third season with the Redskins. Listed at 6-foot-2 and 197 pounds, Dunbar was a wide receiver at Florida but switched positions during his first NFL training camp in 2015. He entered Monday with two career interceptions and 10 passes defended in 28 appearances (three starts).
Beyond Dunbar, the Redskins drafted cornerback Fabian Moreau in the third round this year. The UCLA product has excelled on special teams, but Washington hasn’t relied on him much on defense. Moreau received just five defensive snaps during the first three games this season, but received limited action spotting for Dunbar at times during the second half.
The Redskins also have Josh Holsey, a seventh-round pick out of Auburn this year, as another option on the roster. Holsey earned a spot on the 53-man roster with an impressive training camp, but he has been a healthy scratch during the first four games.
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