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Inability To Return This Season Finally Setting In For Brian Orakpo

By ZAC BOYER

zboyer@freelancestar.com | @ZacBoyer

ASHBURN – Brian Orakpo said knowing he will not play for the remainder of the season is a feeling that has “finally sunk in” five weeks after he tore his left pectoral muscle.

Orakpo

Orakpo, who was placed on injured reserve by the Washington Redskins two days after he tore the muscle, took the sling off his left arm this week and returned to Redskins Park. He was also in the locker room after the Redskins’ 38-26 victory over Minnesota on Sunday at FedEx Field.

“I’m going to get healthy and be ready to rock and roll once it’s ready to go next year,” Orakpo said, speaking for the first time since the injury.

The Redskins’ top pass-rushing threat originally tore the pectoral against Philadelphia in the final game of last season. He aggravated the scar tissue that resulted from offseason surgery during the second week of the preseason and sat out the final two preseason games as a precaution.

“I mean, it just wasn’t right,” Orakpo said. “It wasn’t right. You could see as I was having my wraps and all kinds of different stuff to compensate for the things I was going through. But you know, it’s just – it wasn’t right, but I was just going out there and just to play and do what I can, and it tore on me. I mean, it’s a game. It’s a physical, violent game that we play.”

Orakpo had surgery to repair the muscle that week and was given an estimate of four to six months before it would completely heal. He hopes to be back to a regular routine by the end of the Redskins’ season.

Rob Jackson, Orakpo’s primary backup for the past three seasons, has started all four games at right outside linebacker in Orakpo’s absence.

The Redskins have struggled with their pass rush for most of the season, though they were able to pressure quarterback Christian Ponder on Sunday while confusing the Vikings’ pass protection through the use of sub packages and different blitzing schemes.

“I’m not gonna sit here and say, ‘Man, damn. It was because of me they can’t get a pass rush.’ We’ve plenty of guys that can rush the passer,” Orakpo said. “They were able to switch it up last week, man. I think they need to start building off of that to start showing different things.”

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