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Pierre Garcon Held Out Of Wednesday’s Practice To Rest Sprained Toe
(Originally posted 10/17/12, 4:29 p.m.; Updated 10/17/12, 8:12 p.m.)
ASHBURN – Part of it has been about making a first impression. Part of it has been about his competitive nature.
All of it has added up to a miserable six weeks for Pierre Garçon.
The receiver was completely held out of the Washington Redskins’ practice on Wednesday because of a sprained second toe in his right foot, marking the first time since Sept. 12 – three days after he injury originally occurred – that he has not played some role for the team.
Garçon is hoping that sufficient rest will allow the lingering pain in the toe to go away. He has played in only three of the Redskins’ six games this season, and his status for the game against the New York Giants on Sunday, and for the near future, is in doubt.
“Very much a mystery,” head coach Mike Shanahan said. “I don’t want to set him back for the rest of the season, so I told him, ‘Hey, when you feel like you’re ready, you let me know.’ We’ll do everything we can with treatment on those types of things and get him ready to play.”
Shanahan clarified on Monday that Garçon has been dealing with an issue in a plantar plate, otherwise known as a capsule, in the second toe. That capsule protects a joint that connects two of the bones in that toe, but an MRI taken recently showed nothing more than inflammation in the area.
“I’ve got some equipment in my shoes to help with that,” Garçon said, speaking candidly about the sprain for the first time since it happened. “I’ve got some new equipment in my cleats too to help out with that, too. It’s coming along, but when I walk around, when I push off, when I use my toes – it’s mainly when I go up on my toes trying to get my sprinter’s stance and trying to get in my football stance to run a little bit.”
Shanahan said the receiver had been taking a painkiller that allowed him to play, though Garçon declined to talk about the exact nature of the treatment he’s received.
Garçon has caught eight passes for 153 yards and a touchdown this season – a total that includes four receptions for 109 yards and the 88-yard touchdown catch on which he was injured at New Orleans on Sept. 9.
He has been on the field for 96 of the Redskins’ 395 offensive plays this season, or 24.3 percent, after signing a five-year, $42 million contract to join Washington after four years in Indianapolis in March.
“I mean, Pierre’s one of the best receivers in the league, and he’s proven that time and time again,” quarterback Robert Griffin III said. “We’d love to have him out there. … When we do get him back, he’ll definitely be an asset for us, so I told him today I’ll try not to get frustrated with not having him out there and he told me he’ll make sure he tries to keep a clear mind so when he does get back out, he’ll be ready to go.”
Garçon spent Wednesday’s practice in black sweatpants and stood by himself through much of the early part of practice, throwing a football to himself while keeping an eye on receiving drills.
“It always feels good not doing nothing on it and giving it time to heal up,” Garçon said, “but it’s tough to say when you’re sitting around doing nothing and you feel good.”
The receiver was targeted by the Redskins during the offseason because of his breakaway speed and his physical play. The 88-yard touchdown reception was a prime example of Garçon’s ability to gain yards after the catch; the ball traveled just 16 yards before Garçon scored, which was something the Redskins’ receivers could not do last season.
Leonard Hankerson, in his second year, has primarily filed in for Garçon as the Redskins’ top split end. He, Santana Moss and Joshua Morgan, Washington’s other free agent signee, all have caught 16 passes this season.
“As a player you always want to go out there, even when you know you’re not 100 percent, but you still want to help the team,” Garçon said. “You still can somehow think you can fight through it – bite on your mouthpiece a little bit harder and just take the pain. But I wasn’t being very productive injured, so [Shanahan] just made a decision and I’ve got to live with it and give it my best I can.”