Resting Jammal Brown a Pivotal Play Heading into the Season
This week’s pivotal play is one that the Redskins had better hope pays off in the coming weeks.
With training camp getting underway on Thursday, Washington’s coaching staff decided to list projected starting right tackle Jammal Brown on the physically unable to perform list. Brown won’t be able to practice until he’s activated.
The decision could end up being one that benefits the club, if the time away from the practice field helps Brown heal. But if his health issues continue into the season – the Redskins could be in trouble.
Brown’s right hip tightened up and began bothering him during a condition test at the team’s complex on Wednesday. The right hip ailment is nothing new for Brown, who has been trying to overcome hip issues since the Redskins traded for him two offseason ago.
A 31-year-old offensive tackle entering his seventh NFL season, Brown missed four games last season and a pair of starts in 2010 because of his ailing hip. But the Redskins have continued to hold out hope that he’d be able to return to full health.
They traded for him in 2010 assuming that his health wouldn’t be an issue, despite the fact that he’d miss the entire 2009 season in New Orleans. Then the team re-signed him to a five-year contract in 2011 based on improved play down the stretch during his first season with the Redskins. The Redskins had hoped that Brown’s hip problems were behind him.
But after a disappointing 2011 season that saw him miss more games than he had in his inaugural campaign in DC, the team’s top decision makers once again held out hope that he’d get healthier.
An offseason yoga program was supposed to have helped heal him. But a day into training camp, with Brown now on the PUP list and journeyman offensive lineman Tyler Polumbus working with the first-team at right tackle, it looks as though there is once again reason for concern moving forward.
While meeting with reporters on Thursday afternoon, head coach Mike Shanahan wouldn’t divulge a timetable on when Brown is expected to return to the practice field. Shanahan offered only that an MRI was still needed, and that he hadn’t consulted with team doctors on a potential return date yet.
The Redskins will need Brown – or another veteran with a proven track record – to anchor the right side of the team’s line if they hope to protect rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III this season.
Asking the former NFL all-pro to practice before he was ready to would have been a bad idea. Pup-listing Brown was a necessary and pivotal play. What happens with Brown’s rehabilitation moving forward will be one of the team’s major storylines during training camp.