Redskins head coach Jay Gruden always tends to be optimistic about the health status of his players, but after Thursday's practice he had a real reason to be.
Wide receiver Jamison Crowder suited up for his second consecutive practice, participating in drills and making cuts on his injured ankle that's forced him to miss the last seven games. Unlike previous weeks, the pain has been tolerable, and the extra time to prepare for the Eagles has afforded more healing time to give Crowder the belief he'll be able to play Monday night.
"I think so, I'm just taking it day-by-day right now," Crowder said. "Like I said, it felt alright out there running, I've still got a few more days left until we go play, so I've just got to see."
Crowder, who injured ligaments along with a bone bruise in his ankle, had a setback a couple weeks ago as he prepared to return to action. He's experienced pain of varying degrees, which has sometimes forced him out of practicing or doing drills on the side field.
Crowder said anytime he was cutting or planting on the injury, it was hard to bear, but that "it feels better now." He's dealt with other injuries over his previous three seasons, primarily in his hamstring, but this is the longest stretch he's been sidelined.
"It's been tough, that's a part of the game though you deal with injuries," Crowder said. "I didn't think that I would be out this long, you know my ankle, I messed it up pretty bad with torn ligaments and things of that nature, some bone bruises like that. It was bad. It was tough, but I'm coming around now so just moving forward now."
Before wide receiver Trey Quinn returned from Injured Reserve against the Texans two weeks ago, the Redskins had to move Maurice Harris to the slot position in order to fill the void. Quinn is still dealing with the lingering effects of his own ankle injury sustained in the season opener, but Gruden believes there's a chance both could be active for Philadelphia.
"Oh there will be a chance for sure. We'll just have to Gerry-rig how we are going to do that," Gruden said. "Right now with Trey being limited and Crowder being semi-limited, we'll see, probably this week play the healthiest one. If we can play both, we'll figure out a way to do that. The good thing about Jamison, he can play all three positions. Quinn can probably play all three also. He's a very smart guy but we'll just have to figure out where we want to put them as far as matchups are concerned. We could play both."
Check out these photos of the Redskins' preparing for their Week 13 game against the Philadelphia Eagles Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018, at the Inova Sports Performance Center at Redskins Park.
In the meantime, Crowder is taking things day by day, talking with his coaches, getting back up to speed in the offense and providing a target that Colt McCoy could potentially use on Monday. The next two days will determine if that will be the case.
"Just going out there and being able to run and cut and plant on it. And you know just hoping that that pain decreases," Crowder said of what he'll be evaluating. "I think each day as I go get my treatment and stuff, continue to get treatment and rehab and everything it starts to feel better. So, like I said these next few days I'm confident that it'll come around and I'll get it done."