NFL: Redskins TE Cooley (ankle) probably headed to IR
By JOSEPH WHITE
AP Sports Writer
ASHBURN, Va. — Redskins tight end Chris Cooley is essentially done for the season with a broken right ankle, and two defensive players will likely be sidelined for at least a game.
Washington coach Jim Zorn said Tuesday that Cooley will probably be placed on injured reserve this week after getting hurt in Monday night’s 24-17 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.
The two-time Pro Bowl player will be sidelined a minimum of six to eight weeks, and it’s yet to be determined whether he will have surgery. With only 10 weeks left in the regular season and the Redskins (2-5) headed nowhere, it makes little sense to plan for Cooley to return.
“I don’t think we can hold the roster spot open,” Zorn said, “so we’ll be looking for another tight end to come in and help us out.”
Zorn said two backups who play regularly, linebacker H.B. Blades and cornerback Byron Westbrook, sustained knee injuries that are being re-evaluated. He anticipates neither being available for the game at Atlanta following the off week.
Cooley, the team’s most reliable pass-catching threat, stumbled to the turf without contact on the first play of the second quarter against the Eagles. Cooley, who has never missed a game since the Redskins drafted him in the third round in 2004, has 29 catches for 332 yards and two touchdowns this year.
“It’s just devastating,” Zorn said. “Much like the other really good players we have on our team, he brings the fight on the field, and it’s going to be a big loss for us.”
The Redskins are already without right guard Randy Thomas, out for the year with a torn right triceps, and left tackle Chris Samuels, who will likely go on injured reserve this week with a neck injury that has jeopardized his career.
“It all builds, but we have to make the best of it, and we will,” Zorn said. “The bottom line is to win, and nobody really cares that guys get injured. You feel bad, but the team moves on, and the team stays together and the team will put out great effort to pick up that slack.”
Other injuries from the Eagles game include sprained ankles on four players: quarterback Jason Campbell, running back Clinton Portis, fullback Mike Sellers and defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth. Tackle Stephon Heyer stretched a ligament in his knee and was wearing a brace Tuesday, and defensive tackle Cornelius Griffin sprained an elbow.
The off week will give most of those six players time to heal. Heyer could be the most limited when practice resumes.