- The Washington Times - Monday, October 24, 2016

Washington Redskins cornerback Josh Norman, who left Sunday’s game against the Detroit Lions after hitting his head hard on the turf in the third quarter, has entered the NFL’s concussion protocol, according to coach Jay Gruden.

Since 2014, Norman has missed just two games. The 28-year-old was recently graded as the NFL’s top cornerback by Pro Football Focus.

If Norman isn’t cleared by a doctor by Thursday, his status for Sunday’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals in London will be in the air. The Redskins leave for London on Thursday, complicating the timing of Norman’s return.

“We just have to wait and see,” Gruden said Monday. “I think he’ll have to see the doctor again tomorrow and take the necessary steps and hopefully Thursday will be the last time he sees him and we’ll have to get an answer before obviously we leave Thursday night … So hopefully by then we’ll have a good answer.

Losing Norman would be a huge loss for the defensive backfield, but safety Will Blackmon said there are players prepared to step up, including Quinton Dunbar, who would fill in for Norman if needed.

“[Defensive coordinator Joe] Barry does a good job of making sure all of us are getting reps in practice,” Blackmon said following Sunday’s game. “We are in constant communication. He mixes it up pretty good because of situations like this. Coach Barry, he’s been around for a long time. He has seen [this situation].”

While the defensive unit mulls life without its best player, the Redskins offense is looking forward to the return of its superstar: Gruden said tight end Jordan Reed has been cleared to take part in practice this week — though Reed is still a question mark for Sunday’s matchup.

“He’s just cleared to practice and he still has to do all the tests and still have to get cleared by the independent doctor … who gets a lot of airtime,” Gruden said.

An MRI revealed that offensive tackle Trent Williams’ left knee, which he sprained on the second-to-last play of the game, had no structural damage. It is believed Williams will play Sunday.

“Foot kinda got stuck in the turf and my knee got hyperextended,” Williams said following the game.

Offensive guard Brandon Scherff suffered a sprain in his shoulder. Scherff said following the Detroit game that he returned to the game after receiving some numbing medication in his shoulder. According to Gruden, Scherff’s status will be monitored for the remainder of the week. However, his return to the game suggests that Scherff will be good to go on Sunday.

“He’s a tough sucker, but he is sore,” Gruden said.

Gruden also provided an update on cornerback Bashaud Breeland, who suffered a left ankle sprain in the fourth quarter. Breeland had already missed two games earlier this season with a right ankle injury. Gruden said Breeland will also be monitored for the remainder of the week.

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