- The Washington Times - Monday, November 7, 2016

Washington Redskins’ tight end Niles Paul has been placed on the injured reserve list with a labrum injury that will require surgery, according to coach Jay Gruden.

That complicates things for the Redskins. While Paul is the team’s third tight end behind Jordan Reed and Vernon Davis, Paul generally lined up as the team’s fullback. With Paul out, the team is in need of a player who can fill that void.

One possibility for the Redskins, tight end Derek Carrier, was activated from the physically unable to perform list (PUP). Carrier was placed on the PUP list on Aug. 30, as he had not yet recovered from ACL and MCL tears that he suffered in Week 14 against the Chicago Bears in the 2015 season.

The Redskins now have 21 days to determine whether or not Carrier can join the roster this season. It doesn’t, however, seem likely that Carrier will instantly be able to jump into the Redskins’ game day lineup, as he has just returned to football and team-related activities after almost a year of not playing football. Gruden did say that Washington is looking into adding a player who can fill Paul’s role on the team and that he’s excited at the possibility of having Carrier back on the field.

“We’re going to look around today, tomorrow and see if we bring another guy in,” Gruden said of finding a potential Paul replacement. “Hopefully Derek [Carrier] starts his clock, [we will] see if he’s ready to go. You know, he played a lot for us when he was up. First action back for a long time with him, but hopefully we get him ready to go.”

Carrier said he was really happy to get back on the field.

“Just going out there and being with the guys again was exhilarating,” Carrier said. “It’s so tough. I think that’s one of the hardest things, just being on the sideline watching your teammates as they put in work. But just being out there with the guys was a lot of fun.”

Gruden wouldn’t elaborate on the rest of his injury report, stating that he would give more details regarding his team’s injuries on Wednesday. 

But two players, safety Will Blackmon, who broke his left thumb against the Cincinnati Bengals in London and offensive tackle Morgan Moses, who has an ankle injury, both sounded confident abou playing against the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday.

Blackmon said he anticipates playing, even after getting a couple of pins put in his thumb during surgery last week, and that he feel no discomfort “at all.” Blackmon said he’s not exactly sure how the broken thumb happened.

“I don’t even know, man. I just went in … I remember I tried to smash [Bengals wide receiver] A.J. Green, and I didn’t realize how strong he was. I ended up bouncing off him,” Blackmon said. “I came up, and next thing I know, my thumb is facing east, and that was it. I looked at my hand, and I just finished that next play, came out and talked to the trainers about it. They popped it back in place, went in and got an X-ray, cast it up and went back out there.”

With the recent suspension of left tackle Trent Williams, the Redskins can not afford to lose any more starting offensive lineman, but Gruden sounded hopeful about the availability of starting right tackle Morgan Moses, who’s been nusring a sore ankle.

“He’s a tough guy and played through worse injuries, but you never know,” Gruden said. “We’ve just got to do the best we can and get him as much rehab as we can and see how he’s feeling come Wednesday.”

Moses was seen on the sideline playing catch in the early part of Monday’s practice away from the rest of the Redskins’ offensive linemen as they took part in drills. But Moses himself sounded positive about his status for the upcoming game.

“[It’s] good, man,” Moses said of his ankle. “You know, I had a week off to be able to rehab it and stuff. You know, I stayed here during the bye week and I should be ready to go.”


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