For many teams Thursday night was the night that football finally returned, as a number of the franchises played out their first preseason games of the 2015 campaign.
Unfortunately for one Washington Redskins player Thursday night was also the night that his 2015 season came to a premature end.
Tight end Niles Paul suffered a gruesome looking ankle injury, a video of which can be seen below, in the first quarter of the Redskins' game against the Cleveland Browns and head coach Jay Gruden confirmed the worst in the aftermath.
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The injury came as Paul attempted to complete a blocking assignment for Washington running back Alfred Morris. Unfortunately, as the veteran ties up one Browns opponent another lands awkwardly on Paul, trapping his ankle underneath him.
Niles Paul was carted off the field immediately after the play, and the Redskins confirmed the severity of the injury after the game:
The season-ending injury is a blow for both the franchise and the player himself.
Paul had, only a few days ago, been named as the Redskins' starting tight end for the 2015 season after producing his best year in the NFL in 2014. The four-year veteran had over 500 yards on 39 receptions last year.
Losing their designated starter before the new season has even gotten under way is a big blow to Washington.
They can fall back on a proven talent in the form of Jordan Reed but the former Florida stand out has his own history with injury.
Indeed, Niles Paul only saw so many opportunities in 2014 because Reed consistently struggled to stay healthy.
Redskins fans: How much of an impact with this have on offense? Have your say in the comments below...