ASHBURN, Va. (AP) — Across the locker room from where Montae Nicholson slowly took off his hoodie, Jordan Reed deliberately lifted the shoulder pads over his head to avoid more pain.
It’s only Week 3, and the Washington Redskins are hurting as they prepare to face the Oakland Raiders on Sunday night.
“They’re trying to fight through it right now,” coach Jay Gruden said.
With the return of Reed to practice on Thursday, the Redskins could have all their injured players active against Oakland even if none are 100 percent. Reed is being bothered by a chest/rib injury, running back Robert Kelley by a rib cartilage injury, Nicholson, cornerback Josh Norman and linebacker Mason Foster by shoulder injuries and right tackle Morgan Moses by shoulder and ankle injuries.
Burgundy and gold has been replaced by black and blue.
“It’s painful,” Norman said Wednesday. “But this whole human body is going to go through trials and tribulations just like everybody else. We’ve just got to be geared up and ready for Sunday. We’re going to go through the pain for now because you definitely feel that. But we’ll be all right come game day, I feel like.”
Reed, Kelley, Nicholson, Norman, Foster, Moses and safety Deshazor Everett were all injured in a 27-20 victory over the Los Angeles Rams, though progress is coming faster for some than others. Reed was limited Thursday with Gruden saying the pain is becoming more manageable.
That’s something Kelley knows all about.
“It’s how much I can tolerate,” said Kelley, who got a break when tests showed he didn’t have any broken ribs. “The pain tolerance is pretty good right now because we’re not doing too much. We’ll see the closer we get to the game how I feel. It’ll be a call the coach has to make or the training staff will have to make.”
Gruden said a lot goes into determining whether to play someone at less than 100 percent or replace him with a healthy backup. After Foster popped his dislocated shoulder back in place and made the game-sealing interception in L.A., there’s no sense betting against him playing against the Raiders.
“The pain, you’re always going to be hurt, but as long as it works, it works,” Foster said. “We’ve got great athletic trainers, and I’m just going to keep working, keep going day by day and let them handle the situation.”
Nicholson, a fourth-round pick out of Michigan State, was elevated to the starting lineup last week and also has no intentions of sitting out with a sore shoulder that has “come a long way real fast.” The rookie safety wants to prove coaches right for trusting in him and has put his trust in trainers to get his shoulder right.
“I can’t complain,” Nicholson said. “I’m watching what I do and making sure I do as little contact as possible so I don’t re-irritate it, so on Sunday I’m hoping I’ll be pretty much 100 percent.”
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