TAMPA, Fla. | Pierre Garcon reported progress this week with his injured right foot and voiced legitimate optimism that he might be able to play for the Washington Redskins at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
He looked ready to make that happen in the hours before Sunday’s game at Raymond James Stadium, jogging around on the field and looking ready to go. He will be able to at least give it a shot, as the Redskins’ No. 1 receiver is active against the Buccaneers.
Garcon, who made four catches for 109 yards and a touchdown in the opener at New Orleans, hasn’t played since the first half against the Saints. He suffered a bruised foot on his 88-yard touchdown catch-and-run in the first quarter.
“It’s just a lot of pain,” he said this past week. “It’s got to take some time off to heal up properly and to get back out there to full strength.”
It has been an issue of “pain tolerance,” coach Mike Shanahan said.
Not having Garcon has been something of a pain for quarterback Robert Griffin III, who has taken his fair share of hits while waiting for other receivers to get open. Having Garcon back should be a “big help,” Griffin said.
“It provides even more depth. He’s our guy. He’s a starter. So then, you have the guys who we’re starting now becomes the backups and the rotational players. They’ve got some experience and they’ve made plays,” he said earlier in the week. “It just gives us more depth. It gives us a big, strong, mean guy out there.”
The Redskins’ other inactives are cornerback Cedric Griffin, quarterback Rex Grossman; receiver Aldrick Robinson and safety Brandon Meriweather, who collided before the game; guard Adam Gettis, newly signed running back Ryan Grant and linebacker Markus White.
Trent Williams is active after suffering a bone bruise in his right knee last week. It’s uncertain whether he or Jordan Black will start at left tackle.
At running back, Grant being inactive puts the burden on starter Alfred Morris and backup Evan Royster. Fullback Darrel Young would be the third option.
Garcon’s availability helps at receiver and is even more necessary after Robinson appeared to suffer a head or neck injury. Leonard Hankerson will also start at wide receiver.
Special teams standout Reed Doughty will start at strong safety instead of DeJon Gomes. Meriweather had hoped to play against the Buccaneers, but the pregame incident may have contributed to his not being active. It was not immediately clear if his collision with Robinson had anything to do with the decision.