The Washington Redskins could be without two starters when they take the field for their home opener Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Head coach Jay Gruden confirmed Monday that nose tackle Barry Cofield and tight end Jordan Reed "could miss some time" after suffering injuries in the team's 17-6 loss yesterday to the Houston Texans. Both Cofield -- who suffered a high ankle sprain -- and Reed -- who has a mild hamstring strain -- have undergone MRIs.
"We'll see how it goes," Gruden said. "We have the trainer and it'll probably be a week or two or three. We'll see."
Gruden said Chris Baker – who started against the Texans at defensive end – will likely move over to the nose tackle position while Cofield recovers. Jarvis Jenkins could be a candidate to fill in Baker's spot at defensive end.
The Redskins were already down a nose tackle after Chris Neild suffered a season-ending knee injury in the team's fourth preseason game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. If Cofield is unable to start on Sunday against the Jaguars at FedExField, it'll snap his streak of consecutive starts at 81, the longest-active streak among NFL defensive tackles.
"Chris Baker can play nose," Gruden said. "He finished the game at nose and did a very good job at nose. So, our depth is being tested a little bit on defense line, and whether we get some of these guys back or not, we'll find out. But Chris Baker is a very good nose guard, so we will be OK there."
As for Reed, Gruden said replacing the second-year tight end's versatility will be difficult.
"You have a lot of formations and part of your game plan designed around him, playing him outside, in the slot and all that," Gruden said. "When he goes out after the seventh play of offense, it hurts you a little bit. … He was a major part of the game plan, especially in the red zone. But, it didn't work out that way and now we've just got to get him well as soon as we can and keep moving."
Veteran tight end Logan Paulsen will likely move into the starting role at that position, with Niles Paul serving as the backup. Gruden also said the team hasn't ruled out bringing in some other free agent tight ends for workouts this week, but "if we have to play with two, we will."
"We have Logan [Paulsen] and Niles [Paul], they both know the system," Gruden said. "To bring a guy in this late and get him ready in a couple days is going to be rough but it happens all across the NFL and if we have to do that we will."
Gruden said the team wants to find out the severity of Reed's injury "before we go crazy" making various roster moves.
"Hopefully it's not as long as we are dreading," the first-year head coach said. "But we'll find out here in the next couple days."