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Achilles tendon injury ends LaRon Landry’s season

Former first-round pick to conclude consecutive seasons on injured reserve

- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 15, 2011

Washington Redskins strong safety LaRon Landry will finish the last year of his contract on injured reserve because of the same left Achilles tendon injury that sidelined him in 2010.

Landry on Wednesday visited renowned foot and ankle specialist Dr. Robert Anderson, who recommended postseason surgery to repair his ailing Achilles.

"It’s not torn, but if he feels like it needs to have surgery on it, obviously something is seriously wrong," said coach Mike Shanahan, who announced the move after Thursday's practice.

The prognosis creates significant uncertainty about whether the Redskins will attempt to re-sign Landry this offseason. He is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent. By season's end he will have missed 17 of Washington's last 32 games.

"I think everybody will be taking a look at it — not just us — saying, 'Hey, let’s look at the surgery. Let’s look at what Dr. Anderson says, how long the rehab will be. How long will he take to come back full speed?'" Shanahan said. "I think everybody will make decisions then."

Shanahan did not say whether Landry has agreed to have the recommended surgery, and Landry declined comment after Thursday's practice.

He has missed five of 13 games this season because of three different injuries. A strained hamstring cost him the first two games. The Achilles flared up and kept him out of the Nov. 20 contest against Dallas, and a strained groin has sidelined him the last two weeks.

Landry, 27, missed the last seven games of 2010 because of the Achilles. He was diagnosed with microtears in the tendon and received platelet-rich plasma therapy to try to heal it. He did not have offseason surgery.

"Last year in the first nine games that he played, he should have been player of the year," Shanahan said. "I think he would have been defensive player of the year, but he hasn’t been able to stay healthy, and hopefully he can get it fixed."

Landry, the sixth-overall draft pick in 2007, began training camp in July on the physically-unable-to-perform list because of the Achilles.

"LaRon, to me, has just got to get healthy," defensive coordinator Jim Haslett said. "When he gets healthy, obviously he's a good football player. He just hasn't been healthy in a year and a half."

The Redskins have rotated safeties in and out of the lineup this season because of injuries.

In addition to Landry's ailments, free safety Oshiomogho Atogwe's sore knee has cost him three games. Veteran Reed Doughty replaced him in the starting lineup against New England last Sunday. Doughty will start again against the New York Giants on Sunday, Shanahan said.

That's a major disappointment for a coaching staff that envisioned an imposing safety duo comprised of Landry and Atogwe after the team signed Atogwe to a five-year, $26-million free agent contract last March.

"I thought those two would be kind of like Ryan Clark and Troy [Polamalu] in Pittsburgh, and it hasn't worked out that way, obviously," Haslett said. "Some things don't work out.

"Those things, we adapt to and you get better, but that's one area we've got to make sure that we get some stability in the future."

Rookie DeJon Gomes has replaced Landry as the starting strong safety, Haslett and Shanahan said.

"I like DJ, and I think he's going to be a good football player," Haslett said. "This gives him a chance to play five, six games and show us what he can do for the future. I think he's a really instinctive football player."

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