Redskins Best Defensive Player Undergoes Knee Scope

By Andrea Hangst

Washington’s best defensive player, outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan, underwent a knee scope according to CSN Washington’s Tarik El-Bashir on Wednesday. Sources reported to El-Bashir that Kerrigan “had been battling soreness and discomfort in the knee for some time,” but that injury is not considered serious. There is no timetable for his return, though it’s expected he will be sidelined for at least part of Washington’s offseason activities, which start back up on May 26.

In four years with Washington, the 2011 Round 1 draft pick has amassed 247 combined tackles, 38 sacks, 15 forced fumbles, two interceptions and 16 passes defensed. In 2014, his best season so far, he had 64 combined tackles, 13.5 sacks and five forced fumbles. Pro Football Focus (subscription required), ranked him the league’s 5th-best 3-4 outside linebacker for the year, and noted he had nine additional quarterback hits and 51 hurries—the second-most recorded at the position—to go with his double-digit sack total.

Kerrigan has never missed a game, and this recent knee scope should help ensure that he remains on the field for all 16 games in the 2015 season. Washington certainly needs him; the team’s second-highest sack total last year belonged to defensive end Jason Hatcher, with 5.5. They did add to their pass-rushers in the draft, though, selecting Mississippi State’s Preston Brown in Round 2.

A lot is riding on Kerrigan playing well in 2015. Kerrigan is on the final year of his rookie contract, with Washington choosing last year to pick up his fifth-year option, worth $7.038 million. Any further damage done to his knee could cost him millions of dollars in a new contract. Getting this scope out of the way now, before the meat of training camp begins, is a smart move for Kerrigan as he works toward earning a lucrative second contract.

Photo: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports