There's a fine line between hurt and injured. Running back Chris Thompson is walking it this week as the Washington Redskins ready for Sunday's playoff game against the Green Bay Packers.
"At this point everybody is hurt," Thompson said following Wednesday practice, a practice during which all available players were on the field. "You know, being injured is a totally different story, and I’m just hurt right now. So, I’ve just got to fight through it.
Every football player deals with various aches and pains this deep into the season. The pass-catching scat back is no exception. It's not the shoulder issue that cropped up last month, but a toe injury that developed during the regular season finale win over the Cowboys. Thompson, though a full participant in Wednesday's practice, wasn't near 100 percent during the portion available to the media.
"Yeah, I was a little frustrated today," Thompson said. "My foot was hurting me a little bit, wasn’t able to do the drills at the speed that I wanted to. But as practice went on, I started warming up, started feeling better once you guys left. That ten minutes, it helped me get warmed up. After that, I got to practice."
Here's where the fine line between hurt and injured factors in. Thompson needs to show the coaching staff he's good to go for what would be his first playoff game. But if he pushes too hard, hurt could turn into injury.
There's another factor. Thompson is one of four running backs on the roster. Head coach Jay Gruden says the plan is to have three of them active. Based on health alone, Alfred Morris and Pierre Thomas appear safe. That leaves Thompson and Matt Jones, who missed the last two games with a hip injury.
"Well, special teams will factor into it a little bit, but really we want to play the three healthy backs and [Matt] Jones is limited right now," Gruden said Wednesday. "Unless he shows us some major improvement tomorrow and Friday he's going to be the odd man out." The coach the added, "Chris Thompson is banged up a little bit with his toe. I think it's between those two guys right now. We'll make a determination on Friday or Saturday."
Thompson said he and Jones know the scenario, "but we really trying to both just make sure we’re ready. It’s huge for us, and hopefully by Sunday, I know for sure I’ll be fine. I think Matt will, too, as long as he’s being smart through the week, so, just one of those things. We both need to be ready and healthy for Sunday"
Sunday cannot come soon enough for fans. For Thompson and those dealing with injuries, the more time the better.
"It’s, you know, gotta get the practice reps in, but, you know, as far as doing a lot of extra stuff just, you know, especially for Matt just being smart. He knows what hurts and what doesn’t at this point," Thompson said. "If he knows that a cut that he makes here and there might be painful then he just doesn’t need to do it. But also, like I said, he needs to get the reps in."
As for his situation, Thompson said, "My pain tolerance is pretty high, you know, I can deal with a lot more stuff than probably other people can."
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