- The Washington Times - Monday, December 14, 2015

The Washington Redskins were counting on tight end Derek Carrier to be available for the entirety of Sunday’s 24-21 win against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field, but that changed once he sustained a right knee injury.

Carrier was inactive against the Dallas Cowboys last Monday because of a left ankle sprain and was questionable for Sunday’s game, but coach Jay Gruden was confident Carrier could contribute fully against the Bears. Tight end Je’Ron Hamm was inactive, which left the Redskins in a bit of a jam once Carrier left the game after playing just 10 offensive snaps.

When Carrier sustained the ankle injury against the New York Giants in Week 12, the Redskins relied on offensive tackles Tom Compton and Ty Nsekhe as the second and third tight ends in jumbo sets and did the same against the Bears. Without Carrier in multiple-tight end sets the Redskins lose an eligible receiver, which ultimately limits their versatility.

That problem was complicated once right tackle Morgan Moses was injured. Moses missed nine snaps at the start of the third quarter when he was being evaluated for a concussion. Nsekhe filled in at right tackle, meaning the Redskins could not run any three-tight end sets until Moses returned.

As of right now, Carrier’s status is uncertain for this Sunday’s game against the Buffalo Bills. Either way, it might help to keep Hamm active in case of an emergency situation like what happened against Chicago. Fortunately Moses returned to the game, which gave the Redskins the flexibility to run their jumbo sets again. If he had not returned, though, the Redskins would have been forced to make do with whatever personnel was available.

Compton played 21 snaps against the Bears and has played 66 snaps in the last three games. Nsekhe played 13.

Here are a few other observations from Sunday’s snap counts:

** As expected, defensive end Jason Hatcher was on a limited count because of the pinched nerve in his neck. He came in on third downs to rush the quarterback and played 12 snaps. The Redskins also played a fair share of dime coverage, which enabled the defense to deploy just two defensive linemen at times. Defensive end Chris Baker played 37 snaps, nose tackle Terrance Knighton played 29 and defensive end Ricky Jean Francois played 22. Defensive end Frank Kearse, who is usually inactive, chipped in 14 snaps and defensive end Kedric Golston played nine.

“At this point in time, I’m giving my teammates all I’ve got,” Hatcher said after the game.

** With running back Chris Thompson inactive because of a torn labrum in his left shoulder, Alfred Morris and Matt Jones handled most of the snaps, as expected. Jones played 44 snaps, twice as many as Morris’ 22 snaps, and filled in Thompson’s role as the third-down back. The Redskins did get a small contribution from veteran Pierre Thomas, who was signed on Friday. Thomas played four snaps, which is remarkable in itself considering how quickly he had to learn. The Redskins were careful not to dump the entire playbook on Thomas — just the packages he’d be in for on Sunday — which is how he was able to get ready in time to play against the Bears. Thomas caught one pass for 12 yards in the second quarter on first-and-20. The goal for the Redskins is to have Thomas ready for the final three games in case Thompson is unable to return.

** Inside linebacker Keenan Robinson was active for the second consecutive week, but once again he did not play any defensive snaps. However, he did play five snaps on special teams — a small improvement after not playing any snaps at all against the Cowboys. Robinson is managing what he called a “complicated” right shoulder injury, which is still preventing him from contributing on defense.

The full snap counts are listed below, with the total number played in parentheses:

Offense: LT Trent Williams (70/70), LG Spencer Long (70/70), C Josh LeRibeus (70/70), RG Brandon Scherff (70/70), QB Kirk Cousins (70/70), RT Morgan Moses (61/70), TE Jordan Reed (59/70), WR Pierre Garcon (58/70), WR Jamison Crowder (49/70), WR DeSean Jackson (48/70), RB Matt Jones (44/70), RB Alfred Morris (22/70), OL Tom Compton (21/70), WR Ryan Grant (14/70), FB Darrel Young (13/70), OL Ty Nsekhe (13/70), TE Derek Carrier (10/70), WR Rashad Ross (4/70), RB Pierre Thomas (4/70).

Defense: ILB Will Compton (59/59), CB Bashaud Breeland (59/59), FS Dashon Goldson (59/59),CB Will Blackmon (59/59), OLB Ryan Kerrigan (56/59), CB Quinton Dunbar (53/59), OLB Preston Smith (43/59), ILB Mason Foster (43/59), DB Kyshoen Jarrett (39/59), DB DeAngelo Hall (37/59), DE Chris Baker (37/59), NT Terrance Knighton (29/59), DE Ricky Jean Francois (22/59), OLB Trent Murphy (19/59), DE Frank Kearse (14/59), DE Jason Hatcher (12/59), DE Kedric Golston (9/59).

Special teams: Young (18/26), Houston Bates (18/26), Grant (17/26), Murphy (17/26), Deshazor Everett (16/26), Carlos Fields (14/26), Jarrett (13/26), Golston (12/26), Dashaun Phillips (10/26), Jamison Crowder (9/26), Blackmon (9/26), Dustin Hopkins (9/26), Tress Way (8/26), Nick Sundberg (8/26), Knighton (8/26), Breeland (8/26), W. Compton (8/26), Goldson (8/26), Nsekhe (8/26), T. Compton (8/26), Jean Francois (6/26), Dunbar (6/26), Rashad Ross (6/26), Jones (5/26), Keenan Robinson (5/26), Foster (4/26), Smith (4/26), Kerrigan (4/26), Long (4/26), Scherff (4/26), Morris (3/26), Brian de la Puente (2/26), Hall (2/26), Carrier (2/26), Moses (2/26), Kearse (1/26).

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