It’s not London Fletcher’s 234 straight games played, but Washington Redskins linebacker Ryan Kerrigan had an impressive streak going, too. Through his first 25 NFL games, Kerrigan had never missed a defensive snap.
That ended in Sunday’s 31-6 blowout of the Philadelphia Eagles.
“I kind of hesitated at first,” Kerrigan said. “I was like, ‘Oh man, what did I do?’ ”
Kerrigan didn’t do anything wrong. He just played 65 of 74 snaps because it wasn’t worth risking his being injured in a game that had already been decided. Eagles running back LeSean McCoy suffered a concussion late in the game; coach Andy Reid said he had no regrets about keeping him in.
Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett did not hesitate to take Kerrigan and other prominent defensive starters out.
“We took everybody out,” Haslett said. “What we had, we took out as many guys as we could, so it wasn’t just like, ‘We’re taking you out.’ We had one conversation with London; that was the only one we had a conversation with.”
Kerrigan thought about the streak but insisted he wasn’t bothered by the decision. Coach Mike Shanahan certainly wasn’t.
“You can’t go on those streaks. It’s more starting streaks than it is playing,” he said. “We want to take care of him and obviously do what we think’s best for him to keep him healthy.”
Kerrigan, unlike several defensive starters over his first two NFL seasons, has been able to so far remain healthy. But as Haslett pointed out, it’s early in his career to pump up a streak like this.
“We’ll see if he can do it over the long haul. It’s not just over a year and a half,” Haslett said. “That’s something you’ll be judged over a long period of time. And hopefully he takes good care of himself. He takes care of his body, he studies the game, he prepares, he’s in the weight room, he’s stretching. He does everything that a 10-year guy does, and he’s in his second year.”