The Washington Redskins got both good and bad injury news on Friday. Derrius Guice is set to miss the season, but DL Matt Ioannidis should be ready for Week 1.
After last year’s nightmare season in which the Redskins dealt with numerous injuries, the last thing they wanted to see was anyone go down in preseason Week 1. However, as is typically the case in the preseason, the team did suffer a couple of big injuries on both sides of the ball. Matt Ioannidis and Derrius Guice both were dealing with issues, and Guice’s turned out to be season-ending. It was a nightmare for Redskins fans.
However, Ioannidis’ injury turned out to be less severe. ESPN’s John Keim is reporting that Ioannidis will miss a little time, but he should be back by Week 1. This is excellent news for the Redskins defensive line.
Ioannidis really came on as a pass rusher last season, and this year he has the potential to be a dominant interior player for the Skins. Against the Patriots, Ioannidis was able to notch one sack in which he bull-rushed the opposing tackle into quarterback Brian Hoyer. It was a great demonstration of strength, and he figures to be a big part of the defense this year.
Had Ioannidis been lost, Washington would have lost more depth on their defensive line. The position is looking like a strength, but one injury could capsize the positive momentum that they have built on that unit. Thus, Ioannidis reportedly being ready for Week 1 is good news, and he will probably end up being a starter for the team.
While Ioannidis is out, the Redskins will probably experiment with playing Tim Settle and Daron Payne together in the starting lineup. Settle had a good showing in the preseason opener and proved that he might be able to be a solid nose tackle early in his career. If the team would rather keep Settle as a backup, they will likely play Ziggy Hood in place of Ioannidis as a first-team option. Hood is versatile and while he didn’t play well last year, there’s a chance that at his natural position, 3-4 end, he will have a better chance to succeed.
The news on Ioannidis is a silver lining to an otherwise upsetting day for the Redskins faithful. Though Guice’s injury will have an impact on the team, they will still have a chance to be a competitive squad, as they have other upgrades on defense and offense that could help them get over the hump.