ASHBURN -- Other than Josh Doctson's never-ending, yet improving Achilles injury, the two most long-term injury situations for the Washington Redskins involve running backs Keith Marshall and starter Matt Jones. Head coach Jay Gruden spoke at some length on situation with Marshall's left elbow sprain, and Breaking Burgundy caught up with Jones after practice. Here's what they said and what we heard, basically:
What Gruden said on Keith Marshall's left elbow sprain:
Update -- “Yeah, Keith Marshall looks like he’ll be out at least three weeks. We’ll get him reevaluated at that time and go from there."
Roster options with the injury possibly lingering beyond final cuts -- “Well, there’s a lot of options that [GM Scot McCloughan] will have to go through with you guys and that’s something we’re trying to figure out with our roster. Something could be done today or tomorrow with him, but we’re going to wait and get the final prognosis, but we’re thinking it’s about a three-week injury. Whether you put him on IR, whether you … we have to do something with him for the roster spot, without a doubt. That’s something we’ll figure out.”
Difficulty with the timing of the length of Marshall’s recovery -- "It’s a tough spot, it is a tough spot. It’s kind of similar to [Martrell] Spaight’s concussion last year. We weren’t sure how long it was going to be and we ended up having to put him on IR and we’re glad we did because it gave him time to get well. It’s something we’re going to have to talk about with [head athletic trainer] Larry [Hess] and Scot [McCloughan] here in the next couple hours.”
What We Heard: Best guess is that the next time the Georgia product plays for the Redskins is in 2017. As I wrote when the Marshall news broke Sunday night, injuries are never cool, but for the Redskins, Marshall's could be the best of worlds. I asked Gruden the follow-up on roster options because it seems unlikely the team would hold a spot open for a seventh-round pick who hasn't consistently flashed the potential that comes with a 220-pounder capable of running a 4.31 40-yard time as he did at the NFL Combine. Maybe, maybe Marshall stays as the fourth RB if Jones wasn't dealing with a shoulder situation, but that's not the case. Yet his potential is clear. So, what did we hear? Look for the IR. Also remember teams no longer must designate any player as the "Injured Reserve -- Designated for Return." Also don't assume Marshall ends up being the one guy they bring back.
What He Said: Matt Jones to Breaking Burgundy after practice, during which he worked on the side field.
On how's he feeling -- "I'm feeling pretty good. Going through rehab right now. I'm running around, walking on ball security, stuff like that. I'm feeling good right now, about 90 percent."
Status -- "If this was a game week I'm definitely a go."
What can he do now that he couldn't when he initially sustained the injury on Aug. 19. -- "Now I'm doing everything as usual. Taking my shirt off, shoes, tying them, lifting my hand up. All the little stuff. Brushing my teeth with my left hand. I'm doing basically everything, sleeping on that side now, Sleeper better. ...I got way better. Feels good."
What We Heard: Granted, Jones has an injury history that's a bit scary, but I believed what he was selling about playing Week 1. How much the Redskins will use the second-year runner Sept. 12 against Pittsburgh will be a question Gruden will be asked plenty once the team gets past the final preseason game.
As for the RB position, Jones acknowledged, "We're kind of down in the running back position right now, but we have guys that step and play. I feel like we're just going to come along. Chris is back. Hope we get Keith back in a couple of weeks. I'll be back. We'll just reunite for game one."
Don't count on Keith Marshall being part of the reunion.