Despite winning the first two games without him, the Redskins defense is buoyed by the play of starting strong safety LaRon Landry. As we tick down to game-time, his status is still optimistically uncertain.
Head coach Mike Shanahan gave his final assessment after the last practice in Washington.
“He couldn’t go full speed yet,” he said after another rainy practice. “He’ll be a game-time decision. It’s not like he couldn’t run, but it’s in the 70-80th percentile. I told him, I said, ‘Don’t push it – you’ll know when your body can push it and if you don’t feel like you’re loose or you can’t push it.’ That’s why we’ll get a feel for it before the game.”
Shanhan also suggested that he doesn’t want to risk losing Landry for more games by pushing him now, rather than being smart and holding him back.
Landry gave a rosier assessment a little earlier in the week, saying that he’s working with the coaching and training staff to ensure he’s ready for Monday Night.
“It feels good, and I’ve pushed it–each day I try to make strides” he said. “But it’s still up to coaching to decide whether I’ll be eligible to play on Monday night. In the NFL, you’ll never be 100 percent, but it’s all about how comfortable I feel when I’m out there performing. I’m still making progress, and we’ll see what happens.”
Outside linebacker Brian Orakpo assessed the situation in terms that I can fully grasp: food.
“It’s like ketchup on a burger, man, that’s all it is,” he said of Landry going. “We excited if he’s ready to go, we excited if he’s not. We all about food.”
So under that model:
- Redskins defense = burger
- LaRon Landry = ketchup
- burger + ketchup = delicious
- burger (no ketchup) = “still excited.”
The lesson learned here, is don’t talk to players about their teammates when they’re hungry.
If Landry is unable to go, reserve safety Reed Doughty is the next man up. Doughty has played pretty well in the first two contests, including a game-winning fumble recovery last week. He has no reservations taking the field if his number is called tonight.
“I have to prepare like a starter every single week, and that goes for both of the safeties,” he said. “I have to know what OJ’s doing too, and I think we saw that last week. I’ve done games where I didn’t get a single rep during practice, and I all of a sudden, you’re in the game, and you play the rest of the game. And that’s kind of why they have veterans on the team, so that they know, ‘Okay, you’re not gonna get any reps in practice—at all—some weeks. And, y’know, you gotta be ready to go.”
Catch Doughty’s additional comments on Dallas below:
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