Washington football notes: Kicking woes and injury replacements

After protecting kicker Dustin Hopkins a number of instances this season, Trainer Ron Rivera mentioned Monday the staff is “discussing” different choices. Hopkins ignored his 6th kick of the season Sunday, a 43-yard box purpose that will have confirmed a very powerful within the 30-27 loss. Hopkins’s general kick proportion (82.four) this season is 2d lowest amongst energetic kickers, forward of simplest Tennessee’s Stephen Gostkowski at 78.7 p.c.

The omit stings much more on reflection. Across the league, kickers hit 11 box objectives of 50 or extra yards this week — matching essentially the most in one week in NFL historical past. One in all them was once the 59-yard game-winner from Detroit’s Matt Prater. That is the second one time a ignored box purpose harm Washington in a decent sport; the primary was once right through a 20-19 loss to the New York Giants remaining month.

The foundation drawback is if Washington is to win this yr, in a season of ancient scoring however with a tender offense not able to triumph over many errors, solid kicking has to play a key function. As an example, after Washington’s promising opening power Sunday was once derailed, it nonetheless had the ball on Detroit’s 38-yard line. The staff will have salvaged the ownership with a 55-yard box purpose, and Hopkins has the leg. However Rivera mentioned he didn’t push Hopkins as it was once “a variety factor,” and the kicker have been coping with a proper groin harm all week.

The choices to Hopkins are restricted. Washington may advertise green kicker/punter Kaare Vedvik from the apply squad, or it will attempt to re-sign Brett Maher, who was once with Washington in short this yr and is now at the Houston Texans’ apply squad. Some of the few veterans to be had, Chandler Catanzaro, performed for Rivera with Carolina in 2018. It’s tougher to carry workout routines this yr as a result of the desired six-day quarantine, and if Washington have been to signal someone, he more than likely wouldn’t be to be had till the Thanksgiving sport at Dallas.

“The arduous phase is while you convey a man in, it’s important to you should definitely have a man that matches you,” Rivera mentioned. “[He has to have] numerous enjoy since you’re going to exchange an skilled man. Once more, it’s one thing that we’re discussing.”

The small, situational lapses that experience plagued Washington all season reappeared within the loss to Detroit. Two examples stand out a few of the leisure.

The primary was once cornerback Kendall Fuller’s blown protection on a 55-yard landing move. This was once particularly deflating as a result of, whilst Washington had the league’s top-ranked move protection getting into the sport, the unit has proven a protracted incapacity to forestall large performs. The landing was once the 6th time the protection allowed a play of 50 or extra yards this season, tied with Dallas for many within the NFL.

Rivera attributed this play to “deficient eye self-discipline,” and Fuller perceived to chunk at the stutter step via Marvin Corridor, which labored in live performance with a pump faux via quarterback Matthew Stafford.

“It’s unlucky as it came about towards our very best duvet man as of presently,” Rivera mentioned. “He simply were given out of place and overpassed the place he had to be. … [The big plays are] one thing that we’ve were given to get corrected.”

The second one instance is the two-play collection ahead of the general box purpose. There was once defensive finish Chase Younger’s roughing-the-passer penalty, in fact, however simply as relating to on that play was once the lack to stick deeper than Lions huge receiver Quintez Cephus, whom Stafford slightly overthrew. At the subsequent play, the defensive backs performed off as a result of they didn’t wish to get beat. However Rivera later mentioned he idea this made the nine-yard of entirety to Marvin Jones, which arrange Prater’s box purpose, too simple.

It’s unclear who will play left take on this Sunday towards the Cincinnati Bengals. The starter for lots of the season, Geron Christian Sr., has ignored the previous 3 video games with a knee harm, and his substitute, Cornelius Lucas, left the Lions sport with an obvious left leg harm.

If neither can play, the staff’s emergency plan, no less than on the finish of the Lions sport, was once to shift Morgan Moses from proper take on to left and sub in David Sharpe at proper. But the staff want to steer clear of disrupting two positions on a line that have been jelling.

This gave the look of a imaginable alternative to play rookie Saahdiq Charles, who was once eligible to go back from injured reserve this week. However after consulting with a couple of docs, Charles elected to go through season-ending knee surgical procedure Tuesday, in keeping with an individual with wisdom of the location.

The promising fourth-round pick out debuted at left guard in Week 6 towards the Giants, however on his 2d snap, he dislocated his proper kneecap. Charles driven to go back, the individual mentioned, however after docs warned him there was once a prime chance of re-injury, he made up our minds the good move long run was once to have surgical procedure quicker. Staff physician Robin West will carry out the process. The timeline for complete restoration is 4 months, the individual added, because of this Charles must be able for minicamp subsequent Would possibly, when he’s going to be a candidate to compete for beginning jobs at guard or take on.

Amid a season of instability within the secondary, the standing of loose protection Deshazor Everett is unsure as neatly. The veteran suffered an ankle harm towards Detroit, and the staff changed him via bringing again benched former loose protection Troy Apke. It’s imaginable the staff may keep on with the rotation this week or give not too long ago promoted protection Jeremy Reaves an opportunity at some of the spots.

Within the linebacking corps, Cole Holcomb turns out to have supplanted Kevin Pierre-Louis because the starter out of doors. Since Holcomb returned from a knee harm 4 weeks in the past, his snaps greater every week whilst Pierre-Louis’s snaps reduced, and the cut up crystallized Sunday, when Holcomb performed each and every snap and Pierre-Louis performed a season-low 14.

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