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Life After Orakpo: Redskins Need To Get Healthy

Several players are set to return while new faces will try to replace injured starters

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    ST LOUIS, MO - SEPTEMBER 16: Quarterback Robert Griffin III #10 of the Washington Redskins huddles the offense during the game against the St. Louis Rams at Edward Jones Dome on September 16, 2012 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

    It's safe to say that the Redskins came out of the Rams game worse than they went in. In addition to losing in inexplicably heart-breaking fashion, they also lost Brian Orakpo and Adam Carriker to injuries for the season. But this is the NFL, where 15 times a year there's always next week. And next week for Washington means preparing for the Bengals (1-1).

    For as much that went wrong in St. Louis, the Skins received some good news Wednesday: cornerback Josh Wilson, who suffered a concussion against the Rams, has been cleared to play. Coach Mike Shanahan said tight end Fred Davis was "fine" after he took a shot to the head in the same game (yes, it went uncalled).

    But Washington could again be without wide receiver Pierre Garcon and safety Brandon Meriweather. The former injured his foot in the season opener while the latter has yet to play while recovering from a knee injury.

    Garcon, the Skins' biggest free-agent acquisition, made an immediate impact in Week 1 hauling in four passes for 109 yards and a touchdown. Without him in the lineup, quarterback Robert Griffin III targeted eight other receivers with only Leonard Hankerson and Aldrick Robinson averaging more than 10 yards per reception.

    On the other side of the ball, it would be nice to get Meriweather on the field but there are more immediate concerns: replacing Orakpo and Carriker. Shanahan indicated that Rob Jackson and Chris Wilson will see snaps in Orakpo's absence. Jarvis Jackson, meanwhile, is likely to replace Carriker.

    "When somebody's injured, we shouldn't have a drop off," Jenkins told the team's website. "That's what everybody gets coached for, it's why everybody goes to training camp, it's why our defensive line coach coaches everybody the same, because once one guy goes down, somebody has to step up."

    In theory, anyway. The reality is that Washington allowed the Rams' offense to rack up 452 yards. The Bengals are a much better team.

    Finally, we said we had moved on from the Rams game but we keep getting pulled back in. So this will be the last word … we think.

    On Wednesday, RGIII said the Rams targeted him during the game.

    "They were doing a lot of dirty things," he said. "I still think they have an extremely good team. That doesn't take anything away from them. But the game was unprofessional. Who am I to talk? I've barely been a pro for very long, but from what I experienced against the Saints to that game, it was definitely unprofessional, and it does need to be cleaned up."

    Wow. When you're the dirty team in a conversation that also includes the Saints it might be time to revisit things.

    Shanahan reiterated many of the sentiments he shared Sunday. "As I said after the game, I thought the officials did not control the game, and that's a mistake," he said. "You've got to have people take control, and there wasn't any control in that game. I was disappointed in that."

    The best way to get over that disappointment: win this week.