LANDOVER, Md. – Friday, the Redskins won their second game of the preseason. But the 21-16 victory over the Bills may have been a costly one.
Starting linebacker Ryan Kerrigan, who has never missed a start in his 82-game NFL career, left the game in the first quarter with a groin strain. Rookie running back Keith Marshall did the same later in the first quarter due to an elbow sprain. Both players are expected to undergo MRIs Saturday.
Starting right tackle Morgan Moses, a UVa product, left the game with an ankle sprain. He’s listed as day-to-day. Quinton Dunbar, a reserve defensive back, bruised his shin. He’s also listed as day-to-day.
While Kerrigan’s injury may be the most concerning, Marshall’s could have the biggest impact on the roster. Starting tailback Matt Jones is out for the rest of the preseason due to a sprained AC joint in his shoulder. Backup running back Chris Thompson was held out of Friday’s game with an undisclosed injury. Marshall and fellow rookie Robert Kelley were expected to receive the bulk of the carries. However, Marshall left the game after landing hard on his elbow after his first carry of the game.
“When they are right, we’ll protect them in practice,” head coach Jay Gruden said of his injured running backs. “They have to get the reps and the looks somehow. That’ll be the biggest challenge. We’ll be getting Matt [Jones] back on the field in practice so he’ll get the looks he’s going to see in Pittsburgh. This week will be another week off.”
Gruden said starting quarterback Kirk Cousins won’t play in the team’s final preseason game Thursday at Tampa Bay. Many of Washington’s starters will also likely sit.
After Buffalo took a 6-0 lead on a pair of Dan Carpenter field goals, the Redskins went up 7-6 lead when Kirk Cousins hooked-up with Ryan Grant for a 38 yard touchdown catch and run in the second quarter.
In his first action of the preseason, Jordan Reed caught a 20 yard touchdown from Cousins with 1:59 left in the second quarter. The PAT from Dustin Hopkins staked the Redskins a 14-6 lead.
With 31 seconds to play in the half, Cousins and Pierre Garcon connected on a perfect corner fade from nine yards out to give the Redskins a 21-6 advantage.
With two seconds left in the second quarter, Dan Carpenter added his third field goal of the half, a 52 yarder, to pull the Bills to within 21-9 at halftime.
With Kirk Cousins out of the game, the Redskins offense went cold in the second half. Jonathan Williams’ 37 yard TD run in the third quarter cut the Washington lead to 21-16.
The Skins defense survived a Bills barrage, led by Virginia Beach product E.J. Manuel, inside the red zone with less than 30 seconds to play in the fourth quarter. The stand culminated in a Kendall Fuller interception on Buffalo’s final play. Despite not scoring in the second half, Washington improves to 2-and-1 in the preseason with a 21-16 victory.