By Rich Tandler
One of the things that happens automatically the day after the Super Bowl is that players who were on injured reserve during the season are taken off of the list. That doesn’t necessarily mean that they are healthy, just that the designation from the previous year no longer exists. Here are the players who came off of the Washington Redskins’ IR list and what we last heard about the status of each:
S LaRon Landry (Achilles)—While we know that Landry has decided to postpone surgery to repair his Achilles injury, which has been an issue since October of 2010, we don’t know how the heel is doing. He has been using a alternative treatment using blood plasma. We should start to find out more as free agency approaches.
NT Chris Baker (quadriceps)—Baker was only on the roster for one game, Week 13 against the Patriots, and he was inactive. He is under contract for 2012 and given the nature of his injury he should be ready for offseason activities.
DE Kedric Golston (knee)—Golston went on injured reserve in November with a third-degree MCL tear and a partially torn ACL. There is never a good time to have such an injury but the timing was particularly bad for Golston as he is an unrestricted free agent. Given the nature of the injury it is likely that his rehab is ongoing and we will find out more about his condition as we get closer to the March 13 start of free agency.
WR Leonard Hankerson (torn labrum right hip)—As of the end of the season, his rehab was going well and a decision had been made to try to rehab it without surgery. We don’t know if things have progressed to the point where surgery can be ruled out. Certainly, if it was determined that surgery is necessary that would be a major setback. Otherwise he could be ready for OTA’s, which should start in May and training camp in August.
CB Phillip Buchanon (neck, knee)—It was reported that Buchanon protested being put on IR in early November. At the start of the season he served a four-game suspension for violation of the league’s performance-enhancing drugs policy. He was on the roster for three games and played in just one before being put on the shelf for the season. Buchanon was on a one-year contract and his future with the team is uncertain.
RB Tim Hightower (torn left ACL)—He was the team’s leading rusher at the time he went on IR in late October. Hightower made a few appearances in the locker room during the rest of the season and he indicated that the rehab was progressing as planned. Still, with a usual nine-month minimum rehabilitation time, Hightower will be doing well to be ready for training camp. He is a free agent and while there is mutual interest expressed in him staying with the Redskins no deal is imminent.
TE Chris Cooley (broken left index finger, left knee)—Cooley said in December that he could have played late in the season so there appears to be no obstacle to him being ready for OTA’s.
G Kory Lichtensteiger (torn right ACL, MCL)—It’s likely that he will need every bit of nine months to recover from tearing both major knee ligaments and perhaps a little bit longer. That should have him missing OTA’s and minicamp but back for the start of training camp. Lichtensteiger is a restricted free agent and is expected to be back with the Redskins.
DE Jarvis Jenkins (torn right ACL)—Jim Haslett said in early December that Jenkins could have suited up and played. He was half joking but reports were that his rehab was coming along extremely well. Given that his injury occurred in late August he could participate in OTA’s in May.