Washington Redskins head coach Jay Gruden on Tuesday spoke about Junior Galette's reported injury, admitting it will be hard for the linebacker this year but a strong return will happen.
The Washington Redskins were dealt a late offseason blow on Monday when news broke that linebacker Junior Galette reportedly torn his Achilles while preparing or the season.
Galette suffered a torn Achilles last year just days prior to the Redskins' regular season opener against the Miami Dolphins.
Re-signed in the offseason to a one-year deal, Galette was rearing to go, excited to get back on the field and show his explosiveness remains from his days with the New Orleans Saints when he logged 22 sacks combined during the 2013 and 2014 seasons.
But the Stillman College product torn his other Achilles this week.
"Junior did everything he had to do to get his Achilles ready to play this year, worked as hard as anybody in the weight room," Redskins head coach Jay Gruden told ESPN 950 in Richmond. "He was doing some standard get-offs I guess and popped the other [Achilles].
While the injury could potentially keep Galette out for an entire season, Gruden is confident the 28-year-old can make a complete recovery like others who have battled a similar situation.
"I had a player in Cinncinnati, Leon Hall, who did the same thing," Gruden said. "But he came back and played a couple years after that, and I'm sure Junior will bounce back. It's going to be hard on him this year, but he'll bounce back in a big way."
The loss of Galette – along with second-year safety Kyshoen Jarrett who was waived on Monday with a failed physical designation – certainly hurts, but the team believes a deep roster will help offset the losses.
"Well we feel like we are [building depth]," Redskins President Bruce Allen said. "Obviously losing Junior before camp that's going to hurt, and Kyshoen Jarrett not being able to come back that's going to hurt, but this is where a lot of young guys are going to get an opportunity to get reps against the first-team, against the second-team. And we're able to evaluate who is going to be able to help us. Because through the season, you will go through 65 players during the year. That's the league average. Some guys will miss just a week or two, some will miss a little bit longer."
What also helps the Redskins is some of the veteran leadership that's already in place on the defensive side of the football.
Linebacker Ryan Kerrigan is entering his sixth season in Washington and has started and played in every regular season game since being selected in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft.
Safety DeAngelo Hall, meanwhile, has seen pretty much everything over the last 13 years playing in the NFL.
"[General manager] Scot [McCloughan's] staff and the coaches have developed these young players, but you also have to have sound veterans, the Ryan Kerrigans, the DeAngelo Halls to show them there's a right way to work in NFL and right now, with their strong leadership, these young guys are developing quicker," Gruden said. "And we are counting on them a lot."