After a fairly awful 2014 season, the Washington Redskins are hoping that 2015 will prove far more productive as head coach Jay Gruden embarks on his second year at the helm.
With off-field issues, quarterback controversies and downright poor results marring his debut campaign in charge - the Redskins struggled to a 4-12 record - Gruden would have been hoping to avoid any unnecessary drama at this stage of pre-season.
Reports today, though, have revealed that one of his key men is facing a fairly length spell on the sidelines after undergoing surgery. An all to familiar scenario for Redskins fans of late.
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According to CSN Washington, standout Redskins linebacker Ryan Kerrigan is expected to miss some, if not all, of the team's OTA workouts after having undergone anthroscopic knee surgery.
The same report reveals that the 26-year-old, who has never missed a game in his four-year NFL career, has been suffering from soreness and discomfort in his left knee for a while now. Clearly the team have been forced to take action.
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Kerrigan has been one of the few bright spots for the Washington Redskins over recent seasons. Ranking second amongst NFL outside linebackers in quarterback hurries, he posted career numbers in sacks (13.5) and forced fumbles (5) in 2014 as he cemented his place as one of the franchise's best defensive talents.
Fortunately for the Redskins, the knee procedure has come early enough that a full recovery should be possible in time for the new 2015 campaign. Although, with their recent bad luck on the injury front, Washington fans will still be crossing their fingers that Kerrigan does not suffer any adverse reaction to the surgery.
With team OTAs scheduled to begin next Tuesday and conclude on June 18th, it is very possible that the LB misses the entirety of the program. Rehabilitation takes precedent of course, but it is a blow that such a key figure will not be able to suit up early as the staff build for a crucial campaign.
There is one potential positive to come form the news, though.
With Ryan Kerrigan's rookie deal coming to an end soon, and the team having just picked up his $7 million fifth year option, his time on the sidelines may afford the Redskins front office more time around the negotiating table to work out a new deal.
Redskins fans: Do you think your team can bounce back and have a good 2015 season under Jay Gruden? Have your say in the comments below...