Forget about it being an issue of “pain tolerance” with injured Washington Redskins receiver Pierre Garcon. Sunday he wanted to play despite inflammation in his right foot, an injury suffered Week 1 that he tried with poor results to come back from.
Coach Mike Shanahan wouldn’t let him, making it the third game of the young season Garcon missed.
“As a player you always want to go out there, even when you know you’re not a hundred percent, but you still want to help the team,” Garcon said. “You still can somehow think you can fight through it, bite on your mouthpiece a little bit harder and just take the pain. But I wasn’t being very productive injured.”
Garcon is still experiencing discomfort in the capsule in his right foot underneath the second toe. He missed practice Wednesday and there is no timetable for testing the injury, so it would seem unlikely that he would play Sunday at the New York Giants.
“We’re going to hopefully give him a little time, get that thing healed,” Shanahan said. “How long it’ll take, I don’t know: one, two days, two, three weeks, I really don’t know. But he’s a tough guy.”
Tough enough to try to play two games at less than 100 percent, admittedly too soon.
“I need my toes to be a hundred percent to be fast. It’s not a hundred percent, I can’t really give it power or force,” said Garcon, who has some equipment in regular shoes and his cleats to alleviate the pain. “It’s coming along, but when I walk around, when I push off, when I use my toes, it’s mainly when I get up on my toes trying to get my sprinter’s stance and trying to get in my football stance to run a little bit.”
Shanahan conceded Garcon’s injury is “very much a mystery.”
“Well, I wish I knew. He’s sore right know; we want to get him well,” he said. “I told him to do whatever he can do. If he needs to rest, rest. Whatever he can do to help him get ready to play. Right now he’s sore, obviously it’s very painful. So hopefully it will get well soon.”
As a guy the Redskins signed to be Robert Griffin III’s primary target and someone to stretch the field, the last thing Garcon wanted was something that took away speed.
“I couldn’t run as fast as I used to,” he said. “It’s tough because I pride myself on it, running fast, but when you can’t really do that, your options are limited on what I can do.”
Garcon said he didn’t really experience a setback last week but instead came to the realization that he wasn’t the same player when trying to compensate for the foot injury.
“It was just everyday pain. You don’t want to continue to feel the pain, so I guess we kind of shut it down,” he said. “It wasn’t getting better, but it wasn’t hurting more. I’ve been dealing with it for a long time.”
Shanahan said Monday that Garcon could get through games if he has some “juice” beforehand.
“He’s a very physical player, and if he could go, he would go,” Shanahan said Wednesday. “But at the same time I don’t want to set him back for the rest of the season, so I told him, I said, ‘Hey, when you feel like you’re ready, you let me know.’ We’ll do everything we can with treatment and those type of things to get him ready to play.”
With some extra rest, Garcon is hopeful that he will be able to get back on the field for game action sooner rather than later. But as for his short-term plans to test it, he still appeared hesitant.
“It’s all up to coach,” he said. “I feel like every day I can try it, but if you keep trying it, that hurts the recovery process. At the end of the day, it’s up to coach. Whatever coach tells me to do, I’ll be up for.”
Garcon said he did not have a particular game circled for when he can be 100 percent. When that time does come, the 26-year-old will have to deal with more than just confidence on the foot.
“It does [stink] not being able to play, but you can’t really sit around and mope about it,” he said. “It’ll only bring you down. This is a very mental game and if you’re mentally ahead of the game you can do anything.”