Questions began to surface over the weekend when quarterback Colt McCoy, who was named as the grand marshal for an IndyCar race in Austin, Texas, arrived at the event on crutches. According to reports, McCoy underwent "preventative maintenance" surgery on the broken leg he suffered against the Philadelphia Eagles on Dec. 4, but the Washington Redskins did not immediately comment on the matter.
On Tuesday, Redskins head coach Jay Gruden explained McCoy's condition during a media availability session at the NFL owners meetings in Phoenix. Gruden labeled McCoy's second surgery as a "minor procedure," and that McCoy's recovery will be complete come OTAs.
"What happened was when he had the injury, we were aggressive trying to get him back on the field, so fast that we probably didn’t give it time enough to heal the right way," Gruden said. "So they went back in and did a small procedure to make sure that thing is on track to be full strength by the season.”
The longstanding Redskins play-caller is one of two quarterbacks on the roster along with newly-acquired Case Keenum, and Gruden said the team will hold a competition for the starting job. That was not the case a year ago -- the Redskins immediately saw Alex Smith as their starter when they traded for him last January -- but with Smith sidelined indefinitely, Gruden said, "that's the only way to do it."
Gruden also said the team is interested in adding a third quarterback, whether that be through free agency or in next month's NFL Draft, to compete during training camp.
"Both Colt and Case are very young guys still," Gruden said. "They're not 22, 23 but they're young for quarterbacks. They're guys that you would like to give the opportunity to, and hopefully they take the opportunity to prove that they're legitimate No. 1 quarterbacks that you don't have to go out and say, 'Oh we need a quarterback of the future.'"
Durability has been the biggest issue for McCoy over his career, and now he'll go through another recovery stint before he's ready to try and reclaim the starting job he lost after suffering a season-ending injury in December. However, Gruden maintained the Redskins will not allow McCoy's injury history to influence future personnel decisions.
"It's frustrating, I know for him for sure," said Gruden, who went on to explain how McCoy drinks a gallon of unpasteurized milk every day for strong bones. "We hope that these [injuries] are in his past, and let him come out and compete with Case, and if he wins the job we're going to count on him being healthy."