RICHMOND, Va. – Washington Redskins defensive end Junior Galette will miss the entire 2016 season after tearing his Achilles tendon. After being acquired by the New Orleans Saints, the seven-year veteran was slated to be a game-changing edge rushing hybrid the Redskins desperately needed. Galette suffered the same injury to his opposite leg last year […]
RICHMOND, Va. – Washington Redskins defensive end Junior Galette will miss the entire 2016 season after tearing his Achilles tendon.
After being acquired by the New Orleans Saints, the seven-year veteran was slated to be a game-changing edge rushing hybrid the Redskins desperately needed. Galette suffered the same injury to his opposite leg last year before he even suited up for the burgundy and gold.
“We’re upset obviously, more so of him [Galette] as an individual,” said Washington Redskins Head Coach Jay Gruden. “Just watching him work and getting ready from the previous injury, how hard he was training, the attitude that he came into the building with and the excitement that he was going to bring to this football team, only to see it cut short with another Achilles.”
The undrafted free agent star cemented himself as an elite pass rusher with New Orleans, where he thrived during his five-year stint with the team. During that time, Galette had 128 tackles, 31.5 sacks, five forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. In 2014, Galette accounted for 45 tackles (career high) and tallied double-digit sack totals (10) before joining the Redskins in 2015.
“Devastated is a good word for him. For this football team, injuries are a part of the game,” said Gruden. “We have to rebound. You know, Ryan Kerrigan, we saw Preston Smith, we’ve got Lynden Trail, we’ve got some young guys, Houston Bates, that are going to have to fill the void, that he so-called would have filled for us. We are going to look at our young guys here in the building that we’re excited about. We still have some good pass rushers sitting here, and they are going to have to produce.”
Redskins fans have been waiting for Galette to show what he could bring to the defensive unit, but the “next man up” rhetoric proved to be true after Washington reached the postseason in his absence. With Galette out of the picture for another year, Gruden will get another look at a budding star who has excelled at rushing the quarterback in Smith. Smith had a breakout rookie season last year after he racked up 35 tackles, eight sacks and three forced fumbles.
“I think he [Smith] just gained a little bit more confidence in how to rush and the speed of the game,” Gruden said. “I think sometimes he was feeling his way through a little bit early, not quite sure, but I think once he gained confidence of where he’s supposed to be, he was able to fire off the line and make some plays with his length. He’s bigger, he’s stronger, he’s faster this year. I think he’s going to be a heck of a pass-rusher for us for a long time.”