- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 1, 2012

PHILADELPHIA — Brian Orakpo was frustrated. Strength exercises at halftime and all, he and the Washington Redskins training staff couldn’t figure out a way to get him back in the game.

He suffered a left pectoral muscle injury late in the first half of the Redskins‘ season-ending 34-10 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, and he couldn’t come to grips with his inability to return.

“I was just very disappointed I couldn’t finish this game,” Orakpo said. “Normally when I get banged-up or whatever, I’m always the guy that can shake it off and get back in there. But this time, it just wasn’t able to happen.”

Orakpo fell awkwardly on his left side when sacking Michael Vick and causing a fumble late in the second quarter. He wasn’t sure of the extent of the injury and said an MRI was scheduled for Monday.

“[It was] serious enough that he couldn’t play,” coach Mike Shanahan said.

Earlier in the afternoon, Orakpo reached the eight-sack plateau for the season. It’s the first time a Redskins player did that since Dexter Manley from 1983 to ‘89. But after watching his teammates allow 247 yards and 24 points in the second half, the record was merely a footnote.

“I couldn’t care less about the sacks, man,” Orakpo said. “I’m all about Ws.”

Orakpo did manage to continue some recent success against the NFC East. It took until his 17th division game, on Dec. 18, to register his first full sack in the NFC East, and he picked up two in this game.

“It’s something good,” Orakpo said. “I’m able to kind of get this little monkey off my back getting after these NFC East quarterbacks.”

Eli Manning and Vick down, “now I got [Tony] Romo left,” Orakpo said.

That will have to wait for next season.

Banged-up backfield

Already without Tim Hightower because of a torn ACL and after releasing running back Ryan Torain last week, the Redskins turned the rushing duties over to Roy Helu and Evan Royster.

Royster enjoyed plenty of success against Philadelphia, putting up 113 yards rushing and 52 receiving despite dealing with what Shanahan called “very sore” ribs and dehydration. The Penn State product needed to get an IV at one point but managed to get back into the game quickly.

“He was banged up most of the game,” the coach said. “He was hurting.”

Meanwhile, Helu, who was listed on the injury report with knee and toe ailments, was favoring his left leg for parts of the afternoon. He finished with just 5 yards on four carries, though he did turn a short pass into a 47-yard touchdown, limping all the way.

“He just never got back in the swing of things, and he was hampered throughout the game,” Shanahan said.

McIntosh inactive

Linebacker Rocky McIntosh’s role was reduced in the middle of the season. In the final game, he had none at all.

McIntosh was made inactive after picking up just four tackles in his past seven games. The 29-year-old impending free agent had started the first eight games but was replaced in the starting lineup by Perry Riley, considered the future at the position.

McIntosh signed a one-year deal with a $1.25 million base salary for this season.