- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Washington pass-rusher Montez Sweat suffered a broken jaw in Sunday’s loss to the Denver Broncos, a source confirmed — a major blow to the team’s defense and defensive line. 

Sweat will reportedly miss four to six weeks because of the injury. The 2019 first-rounder is second on the team in sacks with four and he makes a strong tandem with Chase Young. The Burgundy and Gold’s front four had been playing better of late, too. 

106.7 The Fan first reported Sweat’s injury. 

Washington’s defensive line depth is thin behind Sweat as the team chose to skew young at the position after letting franchise sack-leader Ryan Kerrigan walk in free agency. James Smith-Williams, a seventh-rounder from 2020, has served as the team’s main rotational pass rusher, though only has one sack this year. The team also has second-year edge rusher Casey Toohill and rookie Shaka Toney.

Washington will likely miss Sweat’s speed and length. Over his first three seasons, the 25-year-old has recorded 20 career sacks in 40 games. At the NFL scouting combine, he set a record among defensive linemen in the 40-yard dash — running it in 4.41 seconds. 

Earlier this year, controversy surrounded Sweat after he told reporters that he was not a fan of the team’s information push to get players vaccinated. Sweat said he would not get vaccinated until “I get more facts and that stuff.” Sweat has regularly spoken to reporters this year with a mask on, a requirement for unvaccinated players while indoors. 

Sweat’s injury also hurts as coach Ron Rivera noted the number of injured players on the verge of getting healthy. With the team at its bye week, Rivera noted that players like wide receiver Curtis Samuel (groin), tight end Logan Thomas (hamstring), tackle Sam Cosmi (ankle) and guard Brandon Scherff (knee) were nearing their returns. He added that cornerbacks William Jackson III and Darryl Roberts also appear on track to play after the bye. 

But now, Washington will have to adjust without Sweat in the meantime. Chase Young, the pass rusher opposite of Sweat, has just 1½ sacks this season. The team is tied for the 11th-most sacks in the NFL with 19.

Of that 19, 10 have come within the last three games.

Rivera said last week he’s started to see a coordinated pass rush that has helped generate more pressure.

​​”You could really see them in sync in terms of the way they were rushing together,” Rivera said. “That was one of the things I really thought they’ve really stepped up and has been very good.”

The Athletic reported that Sweat does not need surgery for his broken jaw. 

• Matthew Paras can be reached at mparas@washingtontimes.com.

Copyright © 2021 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide