- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 27, 2015

ASHBURN — Exiting the Washington Redskins’ facility with his left knee planted into the pad of a scooter and left foot craned in the air, Junior Galette organized his things in the back seat, lowered himself into the front one, then drove his BMW slowly away from Redskins Park.

The Redskins took a risk when signing Galette after his personal transgressions prompted the New Orleans Saints to take a thumping salary cap blow just to cut him. Washington signed him with hopes of rehabilitation and rejuvenation. Those focuses still stand, but shifted in meaning after Galette tore his left Achilles tendon Wednesday in practice. He is scheduled to have surgery on Friday and is out for the season.

The reaction to Galette’s injury was swift and downtrodden. Coach Jay Gruden was clearly disturbed Wednesday by the season-ending step Galette took which caused the tendon to tear. General manager Scot McCloughan was equally taken aback.

“Awful,” McCloughan said Thursday. “Feel so sorry for him. He cried for three hours. Today, he was crying. He thinks he let us down. He didn’t. It’s injury. It’s part of the business and you can’t foresee it coming, wish you could, but it is what it is.

“And, we’ll be fine moving forward. You just feel bad for the kid. How hard he worked, how important it was to him to redeem himself from what the media was talking about him as a person and just be a football player.”

Galette is expected to remain with the team during his rehabilitation from surgery.

“And, next year he’ll come back and be a damn good football player,” McCloughan said.

McCloughan believes that will be with the Redskins.

“No doubt,” McCloughan said. “No doubt about it. The veterans that I respect on this team came to him in the training room and grabbed him. We had guys crying with him. That’s family. That’s football. That’s what we are. It’s cool.”

Galette, who signed a one-year contract for $745,000, the minimum for a player with four to six years’ experience, will become an unrestricted free agent in March. According to multiple reports, his contract stipulates a $413,000 reduction in pay if he were hurt in the preseason.

He had 12 sacks in 2013 and 10 sacks in 2014. The Redskins projected him as the starting right outside linebacker, opposite Ryan Kerrigan. Second-year linebacker Trent Murphy will likely replace Galette as the starter, with Preston Smith and Jackson Jeffcoat among those competing for time.

• Todd Dybas can be reached at tdybas@washingtontimes.com.

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