One of the enduring features of the Washington Redskins, is that many of the players stay in the area during the offseason and continue to live amongst the fans. This is especially important for injured players, who benefit from being close to the trainers and team doctors at the team facilities.
They can also enjoy some of the finer things that the great Washington metropolitan area have to offer with their time off.
Take for example rookie receiver Leonard Hankerson, the team’s third round pick in last April’s draft, taken No. 79 overall. The team has high hopes for the Godzilla-handed young man, and rightly so after his breakout eight-reception, 106-yard performance in Miami.
His season was tragically ended following that eighth reception, when he tore his hip labrum, landing him on injured reserve. But following a procedure to fix the hip, Hankerson has been a familiar face at the facilities, and looks to make a full recovery:
In his down time, Hankerson has been amusing himself with Washington Wizards NBA basketball, embracing the team of his new city:
As anyone who follows the Wizards knows, this season has been difficult for fans, but Hankerson continues to be supportive. Last night, excited for a matchup against the Toronto Raptors, Hankerson took his dining experience to Velocity Five Sports Restaurant in Landsdowne, Va.:
It was there that Hankerson encountered a local Redskins fan that did not recognize his team’s top receiver prospect out of uniform:
He may be a fairly recent fan, but I bet Hankerson could name everyone on the Redskins roster. Just a guess.
So the next time you’re sitting in a sports bar in the DMV region, and you’re in a sports bar seated next to a quiet young man with enormous hands, make sure you do a casual double-take. He just might be your favorite player in a few years.
Bonus Rookie Rehab Update:
Rookie defensive end Jarvis Jenkins has been a fixture at the facilities since he tore his ACL in the preseason. He told me in Week 12 that he did not question the move to put him on injured reserve, but rehabbed fast enough to be ready by the end of the season. He told me yesterday that his offseason hasn’t yet begun because his rehab process will not be complete until March. As a result, he will not be headed out of town until then.