Head coach Jay Gruden announced Monday that running back Derrius Guice dealt with knee soreness following the Redskins' season opening loss in Philadelphia on Sunday. Guice received an MRI on Monday, and the team is still awaiting the results.
Gruden said that Guice, who rushed 10 times for 18 yards, had his knee checked out by the trainers during the game before being cleared to return. However, Guice still felt sore on the bus after the game, prompting further evaluation. Guice's availability for Week 2 against the Dallas Cowboys is uncertain.
If Guice cannot play, Gruden is confident in veteran Adrian Peterson's ability to consistently produce. Peterson was inactive Sunday.
"Adrian [Peterson] is ready to go," Gruden said. "He’s got a great attitude about it. I know he’s not happy about it, but when his number is called he’ll be ready to go and his number will be called.”
-- Gruden said defensive linemen Jonathan Allen (knee) and Caleb Brantley (foot) are considered day-to-day after leaving Sunday's game early with injuries. Allen played just seven snaps before exiting the contest with a knee sprain, while Brantley played eight snaps before aggravating his foot.
These losses meant a bigger workload for the other defensive linemen, who Gruden admitted were "pretty gassed" from the Eagles' long drives in the second half.
"That had a major impact," Gruden said of the injuries along the defensive front. "The depth and keeping those guys fresh is what we kind of rely on throughout the course of a game, course of a season. We were unable to do that yesterday.”
-- The final injury update concerned tight end Jordan Reed, who missed Sunday's game with a concussion. Gruden said he's "very optimistic" Reed will return soon but added, "you just never know."
"He's still progressing," Gruden said. "As tolerated, we'll increase his workload this week and see how he does.”
-- Gruden attributed Philadelphia's second-half success to several factors. He first credited head coach Doug Pederson and his staff for their offensive play-calling before addressing the Redskins' inability to get off the field on third down. (The Eagles were 8-for-10 in these situations after halftime.) The defensive front also strayed from their typical pass-rush lanes on occasion, Gruden said. This allowed quarterback Carson Wentz to scramble and make plays with his legs.
"Unfortunately we just couldn't get off the field," Gruden said. "We had to play tighter defense, played man-to-man a couple of times on 3rd-and-5 and our guys were too far off. They’ve got to come up and challenge the receivers from time to time. That's something we’ve got to correct and moving forward that we do a better job of challenging them and being more sound.”
Then, of course, there was the miscommunication that resulted in an easy touchdown to DeSean Jackson in the third quarter. Gruden said the play call was not sent in early enough, which resulted in one player receiving a different call than the rest of the secondary. That resulted in Jackson running free down the right side, and by the time Montae Nicholson came over it was too late. The 53-yard touchdown tied the game, and the Eagles took the lead on an extra point moments later.
"Unfortunately it happened for us and it’s been addressed from the coaching staff to the players on understanding the importance of communicating," Gruden said. 'I'm not going to point fingers at the coaches or the players in that regard. We just understand that it can't happen again in pro football.”
-- Gruden said penalties severely hindered an almost nonexistent running game Sunday.
"When a run hits and a run doesn’t hit, it could be the back-side cut off, could be the tight end point of attack, could be a holding call, could be a clipping call," Gruden said. "We had a chance to have first-and-10 at the 35, instead we had second-and-25 at our own 20. Those plays are killing us."
Washington showed Sunday that its more than capable of producing offense through the air. Quarterback Case Keenum had 30 completions for 380 yards passing and three touchdowns. Rookie Terry McLaurin racked up 125 receiving yards, while running back Chris Thompson made seven receptions and three other Redskins caught four balls each. And that's without Reed, who is widely regarded as the team's biggest playmaker.
However, without a consistent rushing offense, passing becomes that much more difficult. That became apparent in the second half against the Eagles.
"We have the weapons to get the ball to," Gruden said. "Now we’ve just got to protect and do a good job of staying balanced, and our running game has got to be better. And I have to stick with it a little more.”