The Washington Redskins may be without both of their starting wide receivers, Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson, for their first preseason game against the New England Patriots Aug. 7 at FedEx Field.
Garcon left practice early July 28 after tweaking his hamstring, which at first was thought to be a minor injury, but has had him in and out of team drills since. Jackson limped off the field Aug. 6 during the team's walk-through. It was clear that it was a lower leg injury, but so far, head coach Jay Gruden is downplaying the severity of the injury.
"DeSean got cleated today in a walk-through and twisted his ankle just a hair," Gruden said. "We'll see how he does at rehab or treatment and all that. We'll find out."
But as far as the availability for both wideouts against the Patriots, Gruden said he already knew he would not get to see his full starting receiving corps play together yet.
"There's a possibility [for Jackson]," Gruden said. "Pierre -- definitely not playing. DeSean, it's a possibility, yes."
If both receivers miss the game, look for Andre Roberts and probably Santana Moss to step into the starting spots for that game.
Some will point to the joint practices this past week with the Patriots as something that may have led to these injuries. But Gruden said the joint practices had been great.
"Actually Pierre hurt his hamstring before the Patriots got here," Gruden said. " [Jason] Hatcher was already hurt, obviously, before they got here, and DeSean just had a fluke thing today in a walk-through, which we have walk-throughs all the time -- the guy stepped on his foot, so it was a fluke. Everybody else, it was a great experience, I think, for everybody."
Hatcher, a defensive end the Redskins acquired during the offseason to improve their pass rush, is another player that won't play against the Patriots. He is still waiting to be activated off of the Physically Unable to Perform list, which is expected to happen any day now. Hatcher is recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery.
Starting safety Ryan Clark and backup safety Phillip Thomas will also miss the game Aug. 7 because of hamstring issues.
How much will the healthy starters play during the first preseason game?
"I'm planning to start them, obviously, and then see how we do," Gruden said. "Probably about 8-10 plays, tops, maybe the quarter depending on my satisfaction."