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More Redskins starters head to injured reserve
Four more Washington Redskins were placed on injured reserve on Tuesday, leaving the roster in flux during a short week with a Thanksgiving Day game on Thursday against the New York Giants.
They weren't just any losses, either. The Redskins placed running back Chris Thompson (broken right leg), wide receiver Terrelle Pryor Sr. (ankle), center Spencer Long (quadriceps tendon) and left guard Shawn Lauvao (stinger) on IR. Thompson is second on the team in receiving yards (510) and rushing yards (294).
Pryor has had a disappointing season (20 catches, 240 yards, one touchdown), but has been playing hurt since Week 2 when he took what he considered a dirty hit on his ankle by Los Angeles Rams safety Cody Davis. But Pryor began the year as a starter and his absence leaves Washington thin at receiver.
Long has been playing hurt since he had knee surgery on Aug. 22 and had missed three of the past four games. His backup, rookie Chase Roullier, is out with a broken right hand, so Washington is relegated to using third-string center Tony Bergstrom. Lauvao missed a Week 9 win in Seattle, returned to action the following week against Minnesota, but was reinjured in Sunday's 34-31 loss at New Orleans.
The Redskins have 15 players on injured reserve. That's a high number, though not unheard of over the course of four months dating to training camp. But Washington's situation isn't exactly normal. Nine of those 15 either began the season as a starter or - like Thompson - are considered impact players.
It doesn't help that the Redskins have other offensive linemen playing hurt (left tackle Trent Williams, right guard Brandon Scherff) and have had to scratch tight end Jordan Reed (hamstring) each of the past three weeks. He almost certainly won't play on Thursday.
"It's one thing to have a lot of guys go on IR, which we have. But it's another thing having guys with one- or two-week injuries who are inactive and then you've got to get guys ready," Washington head coach Jay Gruden said. "You try to get your practice squad to match what you need at practice - or to even have a practice. That's been the hardest part. We've been so heavy on the offensive line from a personnel standpoint, it's damaged our inside 'backers, safeties, wide receivers, tight ends and running backs."
SERIES HISTORY: 169th regular-season meeting. Giants lead series, 98-66-4. The teams have split two playoff games. New York kept Washington out of the postseason in their most recent meeting on Jan. 1, 2017, a 19-10 victory at FedEx Field. If the Redskins had won the regular-season finale they would have qualified.