- The Washington Times - Friday, September 25, 2015

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — For a night that started so horribly on special teams for the Washington Redskins, at least it ended on a somewhat positive note in Thursday’s 32-21 loss to the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium.

Eli Manning had just launched a pass down the right sideline for Rueben Randle that deflected off cornerback Bashaud Breeland and into Randle’s hands for a 41-yard touchdown. It was one of those nights where everything was bouncing in the Giants’ favor and away from the Redskins.

On the ensuing kickoff, Redskins wide receiver Rashad Ross fielded Josh Brown’s kickoff in the end zone and returned it for a 101-yard return with 3:21 remaining.

Ross took the return up the right sideline, got a key block from Kedric Golston, who was playing with a broken hand, and outran one last Giants tackler to the end zone.

The Redskins‘ last kickoff return for a touchdown before Ross’ was a 96-yarder by Brandon Banks in Week 8 in 2010 against Detroit. It was the second-longest kickoff return in team history.

“Early on, I had been trying to hit one and it just wasn’t there,” Ross said. “The last one, I saw the hole, blocking by all 10 of them and just hit it. I’m very blessed. From day one, I wasn’t supposed to be playing, the odds were always against me. Just to make the team, actually get out to play in the regular season and score as a kick return dude, I’m just really blessed.”

Ross, who was inactive for the season-opener, made the 53-man roster after entering the season having been cut by four different teams, including the Redskins.

After DeSean Jackson injured his hamstring in Week 1, Ross was active in Week 2 and named the team’s starting kickoff returner.

It wasn’t all good for the Redskins‘ special teams on Thursday. On the opening drive, the Redskins were forced to punt from their own 17-yard line.

Inside linebacker Terrance Plummer failed to block Rashad Jennings, who blocked the punt. The ball rolled out of the end zone, resulting in a safety.

“It was a good job from the special teams unit on not giving up,” fullback Darrel Young said of Ross’ return.

“We gave up a blocked punt earlier. We’ve got to find some toughness. That’s all it is right now. We’ve just got to be tough on ourselves. You’ve got evaluate yourself and say, ‘Hey, what can I do better to put this team in a better situation?’ We have a lot to fix, but the good thing is that we have time to fix it.”


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