- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Trent Murphy has found that he can play through just about anything, so when he left for the locker room early in the first quarter of Saturday’s 27-24 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles, he was genuinely concerned.

“When I walk off the field,” he said, “it’s usually serious.”

Murphy fractured the third metacarpal in his right hand while trying to rush past Eagles left tackle Jason Peters. On Tuesday, the Redskins placed the outside linebacker on injured reserve, ending his rookie season.

“It’s real frustrating, especially to make it that far along in my rookie season and then not be able to play in the last game,” Murphy said. “But it’s part of the game, so [I’ve] just got to use it as extra motivation in the offseason.”

Murphy said his hand hit Peters‘ chest awkwardly and he felt a pop. He tried to stay in the game for a few more plays but was unable to continue.

The Stanford product, who celebrated his 24th birthday on Monday, had not received a specific timeline for his recovery as of Tuesday morning. He suspects, however, that after “like 4-6 weeks, it’ll be brand new.”

Murphy becomes the latest defensive starter to suffer a season-ending injury, joining cornerback DeAngelo Hall, outside linebacker Brian Orakpo and strong safety Brandon Meriweather on injured reserve. The Redskins currently have 12 players on IR.

“It seems like every one of them is on defense,” coach Jay Gruden said Tuesday. “When you start losing starters, then your backups have become starters, obviously, and then you’re looking to fill the backup roles. And those backups who become starters were key special team guys, and then you have to fill special teams. You know, it’s a domino effect.”

“It’s a tough thing to go through, especially when it all hit on the same side of the ball, so I think coach [Jim] Haslett and the defensive coaches have done a good job of working with what they have, and the players have done a good job of trying to come in here and learn as fast as they can and be ready when their number is called.”

Murphy finishes his rookie season with 33 tackles, 2 1/2 sacks, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery in 13 games. Though he showed flashes of potential and was praised by Haslett for his run-stopping prowess, Murphy also acknowledged that he made plenty of mistakes during his first year in the NFL.

“It went alright. A lot of room for improvement,” he said. “I left a lot of plays out there on the field. Made some, too, but definitely a lot more that I can do and that I’m capable of. So definitely have a lot of work ahead of me.”

To replace Murphy on the 53-man roster, the Redskins signed offensive tackle Rishaw Johnson off the New York Giants’ practice squad. Johnson, in his third season, played in three games in 2013 with Kansas City.

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