Ryan Kerrigan Sky High After Second Career Interception Return
ASHBURN – Ryan Kerrigan leapt six inches into the stands at FedEx Field on Sunday, though his adrenaline certainly had pushed him much higher.
Kerrigan jumped into the first row behind the end zone after returning an interception 28 yards for a touchdown, then was mobbed by his teammates as they all celebrated the first points of the Washington Redskins’ eventual 24-17 loss to Atlanta.
Quarterback Matt Ryan was trying to throw the ball to receiver Harry Douglas for a screen pass on third-and-5 with 10:11 remaining in the second quarter, and right tackle Tyson Clabo allowed Kerrigan to release into the backfield. The linebacker was between Ryan and Douglas when the ball was thrown, and despite initially struggling to bring it in, Kerrigan was able to catch the ball and return it 28 yards.
“I saw the offensive tackle give me a little free ride, like most tackles do when it’s a screen pass, and I saw the back scatting and I also tried to trail him a little bit,” said Kerrigan, who finished with five tackles. “Fortunately, I was right in the throwing lane and I was able to make the play.”
It was the second time Kerrigan has returned an interception for a touchdown. He did so in the season opener against the New York Giants last year on a similar play, batting down a screen pass by Eli Manning and running nine yards for the score.
“[I was] just looking at his release, trying to make sure I was in the throwing lane, not to jump too soon, not to jump too late,” Kerrigan said. “Fortunately, I was in the throwing lane and timed the jump well.”