Redskins cornerback Josh Norman is expected to miss two to four weeks after fracturing a rib in Monday’s 29-20 loss to Kansas City, Coach Jay Gruden said Tuesday afternoon.
Under a best-case scenario, Norman wouldn’t miss a game, using the upcoming bye week to heal and returning for the Oct. 15 game against the 0-4 San Francisco 49ers. But Gruden made clear that Redskins trainers and Norman would make the decision and that the cornerback wouldn’t be rushed back to competition if he were in danger of further aggravating the injury.
Despite the loss, which dropped the Redskins to 2-2 entering the bye, Gruden was bullish on his players’ effort, praising their toughness battling back from injuries, a rash of penalties and big second-half plays by the Chiefs to have a chance to win it in the final minute.
While the coach acknowledged that 2-2 “isn’t where we want to be,” he said he hoped fans could see the squad’s talent and progress. “It’s a matter of putting it all together,” he said.
Left tackle Trent Williams, who aggravated his right knee cap, was among the players forced to the sideline for treatment but returned to finish the game. Gruden said Williams would undergo an MRI to determine the extent of the damage.
Williams suffered the injury during a goal-line play late in the first quarter when someone rolled up on the back of his foot, which twisted under the weight and “kind of [caused a] chain reaction to the knee,” as he explained in the locker room afterward.
He returned to the game once, but came out because the pain was so intense. After doctors evaluated him, he came back and completed the game.
“It just took a lot of heart,” said Williams, a five-time Pro Bowl honoree. “It was painful, but when that adrenaline is rushing and you’re competing, a lot of that stuff kind of just goes to the back burner. I’ve played through pain before. I knew what it was going to take. I didn’t want to let my team down, so I figured I’ve gotta push through.”
Gruden disclosed Tuesday that wide receiver Josh Doctson injured a shoulder upon crashing to the ground after leaping for the potential game-winning touchdown reception in the final minute, the score tied. Doctson got his hands on it, but the ball squirted out when he hit the ground and was ruled incomplete. Gruden gave no indication that Doctson, the team’s first-round draft pick in 2016, wouldn’t be ready to go for the Redskins’ Week 6 return. The same appears true of running back Rob Kelley, who is “day-to-day” with an ankle sprain.
And Gruden acknowledged that tight end Jordan Reed was still nursing rib and sternum injuries during Monday’s game, which is why the coach activated all four tight ends and used Reed sparingly. Reed was on the field for just 13 snaps and didn’t figure in running plays in which he’d be required to block.
The Redskins started strong against the Chiefs, bolting to a 10-0 lead while muzzling Kansas City’s third-ranked offense. But the momentum shifted in the second half, in which the Chiefs dominated time of possession and, with the score tied, exploded for nine points in the final minute to win in regulation.
Said Gruden: “This is the most talented roster I’ve had since I’ve been here. This is the most hard-working roster I’ve had since I’ve been here. They played their hearts out; they battled to the bitter end.
“I think this team had a chance to win every game they play.”
More on the Redskins: