PHILADELPHIA — The Washington Redskins were only whistled for four penalties in Sunday’s crippling 24-16 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. But offensive lineman Trent Williams accused umpire Roy Ellison of cursing him late in the first half.
Williams claimed that on the final Redskins’ drive of the half, as the two teams lined up for a snap, Ellison used a pair of expletives toward him that included the words “garbage” and “disrespectful.” Teammate Kory Lichtensteiger verified the strong claim even after teammates yelled at Williams to stop talking lest he incur a serious fine from the NFL.
“They got 11 on the field and then we got to play against the refs and we’re outnumbered,” Williams said. “It’s a travesty, week-in and week-out.”
Washington defensive coordinator Jim Haslett expressed frustration at what he saw as uncalled holding penalties in last week’s loss to the Minnesota Vikings.
A pool reporter dispatched to speak with head referee Walt Coleman spoke briefly with him on the officials’ bus, received a brief “okay” when he told of Williams’ accusations before the door shut and the bus drove away.
“To me, this is a players’ league. I just don’t think there’s no room for you to have to take that from the team and the ref,” Williams said. “I think it’s very unprofessional…I’m at a loss for words. You never expect that as a player going into the game to have to beef with the refs also.”
Joshua Morgan, who led the Washington Redskins with 48 receptions last season but has seen his playing time steadily decrease this year, was inactive for Sunday’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Morgan, who has 11 catches for 124 yards this season, has gradually been phased out of the offense as wide receiver Leonard Hankerson has taken over as the top Z receiver.
But while Morgan was frustrated after the game – he told the Times he was asked not to speak to reporters – he may have a chance to play again soon.
That’s because Hankerson was injured early in the second quarter and the initial diagnosis, according to Redskins coach Mike Shanahan, was a possible injured lateral collateral ligament (LCL) in his left knee.
Hankerson entered the game with an unspecified hamstring injury. He stayed on the field after failing to break a tackle by Eagles linebacker Connor Barwin in open space. He did not return to the game.
Undrafted rookie wide receiver Nick Williams, signed off the practice squad on Tuesday, returned punts in Morgan’s place. Williams, whose 2,045 kickoff return yards are a record at UConn, grew up 45 minutes from Philadelphia in East Windsor, N.J.
Williams made a poor decision in the first half by letting a punt land at the 8 instead of fair catching it. The Redskins began their second drive at the 2. In the third quarter he muffed a punt before falling on the ball himself to avert disaster.
In the second half, Williams made his first career catch for a first down. He finished with six punt returns for no yards and that one reception and also caught a two-point conversion early in the fourth quarter to cut the Philadelphia lead to 24-8. Williams also allowed a late fourth-quarter punt to bounce at the 20. It was downed at the 4 for a 70-yard punt to put Washington in bad field position for its final drive.
Defensive end Stephen Bowen, who aggravated his injured right knee in practice on Thursday, was active and played on Sunday. Bowen originally tore the PCL in the knee in the Redskins’ victory over the Chicago Bears on Oct. 20. But he left the game in the first half with what was again listed as a knee injury. He, too, did not return. Bowen said he will have an MRI on Monday and was hurt on a crackback block, but didn’t believe the injury was serious.
More concerning for Washington: A concussion diagnosis for tight end Jordan Reed, who did not play in the second half, though he came out of the locker room for warm ups. Cornerback Josh Wilson missed time in the first half as he was being evaluated for a concussion, but returned to the contest.