Jansen plays on as calf worsens
The scene has become familiar the last three weeks at Redskin Park and wherever the Washington Redskins play: Jon Jansen limping off the field, hobbling out of the locker room, waddling to his car.
Since sustaining a calf injury several weeks ago, Jansen has generally sat out practice on Wednesdays and Thursdays, felt well enough to walk around on Fridays and started at right tackle on Sundays. He has started all 12 games and is expected to play Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles.
“Most guys with that kind of injury miss five to six weeks,” assistant head coach-offense Joe Bugel said. “He’s proved how tough he is with the two broken thumbs last year and now playing on a leg [that swells] to as big as a garbage can. He’s shown tremendous courage and tremendous heart.”
Jansen has faced tough tasks each of the last two games, but he contained Carolina’s Julius Peppers and did not allow a sack against Atlanta.
“Even if I sat out now, it wouldn’t heal by the end of the year,” he said. “If I can go, I’ll go. I prepare as if I’m going to play and then I see how it is on Friday and Saturday.”
Jansen said the injury worsens a little bit with each game he plays.
“I wish it would go back to square one [on Mondays], but it’s usually square minus 1 or square minus 2,” he said. “Every week, it’s been a little bit worse. It gets liveable by Saturday and Sunday and then on Monday, it’s a setback to where I was the Monday before.”
To compensate for the injury, Jansen said, “I have to be even more technique sound and be in good position and realize what I’m good at, what I struggle with because of the injury and do what I have to do to stay in good position.”
Bugel, who has coached in the NFL for 27 seasons, said Jansen’s performance hasn’t dropped off because of the injury.
“He can block out the pain,” Bugel said. “I don’t care how many needles they stick in him, he doesn’t scream or wince. I’ve never been around somebody that has a pain threshold quite like him
“When the ball is snapped, he’s full speed. And then limps back to the huddle, limps to the line of scrimmage and then goes full speed.”
The Redskins’ five starting offensive linemen have not missed a game or a start this season.
“Jon’s played great every week with it,” coach Joe Gibbs said. “It’s something that has been aggravating him the whole time. We’re hoping we’re going to give him more time off this week and then we see what happens at game time.”
Wary of the backup
Redskins linebacker Marcus Washington said the Eagles can’t be taken lightly even with Donovan McNabb out and Jeff Garcia in at quarterback.