Forget about getting backups ready to start. Jay Gruden is worried about having 46 healthy players in uniform.
That’s the absurd state of the Washington Redskins on the injury front. Tight end Jordan Reed and defensive lineman Matt Ioannidis are among those expected to be out Sunday at the Seattle Seahawks with the status of about a dozen other players in doubt.
“The issue is we’ve got 13 guys that are questionable, and we only have seven guys that we can put inactive,” Gruden said Monday. “That’s the major issue that we have right now. We have to try to get six of those guys up — at least — somehow.”
Reed strained his right hamstring and Ioannidis broke a hand in a 33-19 loss to Dallas that dropped the bruised and battered Redskins to 3-4. No. 3 tight end Niles Paul, who is in the NFL’s concussion protocol, starting left guard Shawn Lauvao, who has a stinger, starting center Spencer Long (knee injury) and backup safety Stefan McClure (hamstring strain) could also miss the Seahawks game.
Gruden’s injury report included 13 players who are questionable or worse to face NFC West-leading Seattle.
“It becomes a challenge,” Gruden said. “But we’re going to keep fighting on and put some guys out there and get them ready to play. That’s all we can do.”
Starting left tackle Trent Williams, No. 2 cornerback Bashaud Breeland and starting right guard Brandon Scherff have knee injuries; top receiver Jamison Crowder has hamstring and lower-leg injuries; rookie safety Montae Nicholson has a stinger and a shoulder injury; backup offensive lineman T.J. Clemmings has a sprained ankle and third tackle Ty Nsekhe is working back from core muscle surgery.
That list doesn’t include right tackle Morgan Moses playing through two sprained ankles, other injuries across the roster and long-term health issues with defensive lineman Jonathan Allen (foot), kicker Dustin Hopkins (hip) and linebacker Mason Foster (shoulder) that landed those players on injured reserve.
“It’s crazy,” said No. 1 cornerback Josh Norman, who missed two games with a broken rib. “Can’t really say enough about how crazy it is.”
The injuries got so bad along the offensive line against the Cowboys that rookie center Chase Roullier and guard Tyler Catalina made their NFL debuts and two players signed Saturday, Arie Kouandjio and Orlando Franklin, were pressed into game action.
“You really can’t make this up,” said Williams, who hopes to continue playing through a right knee injury that eventually will require surgery. “This is something that I’ve never in my life, playing football, seen an injury bug bite a team like it’s bitten us.”
Gruden said Ioannidis will have surgery on a fractured metacarpal in his hand but could return for Washington’s game against the Minnesota Vikings on Nov. 12. Without Allen and Ioannidis for now, the Redskins’ depth will be tested on the defensive line — and all over the roster.
“It obviously hurts, not only on your offense and defense but on your special teams also,” Gruden said. “It’s our job as a staff to get these guys up to speed and get them ready to play. That’s the only thing we can do. We got it on our shirt, ‘By any means,’ so we’ve got to just get it done, have great effort, attitude and preparation, and hopefully we’ll figure out a way to get it done.”