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Kedric Golston's Presence Will Be Missed For The Remainder Of Season


Above his play on the field, it is Kedric Golston's veteran leadership and presence in the locker room that his teammates will miss the most as he sits out the season with a hamstring injury.

A steady presence on the field and in the locker room, nose tackle Kedric Golston didn't play in fewer than nine games throughout each of his 10 years with the Redskins.

That streak – and, more importantly, that stability – has been snapped for the team's longest-tenured player, after Golston's MRI on Monday indicated a hamstring strain and prompted the Redskins to place him on Injured Reserve for 2016.

The news brought some disappointment to a defensive unit that leaned on Golston's guidance.

"You lose just about every good tangible and intangible thing imaginable," linebacker Ryan Kerrigan said on Wednesday. "He's easily one of the favorite guys on the team by everybody on the team. [He's a] good leader for us, real fun guy to be around, keeps guys in line, but also keeps things fun. Just really going to miss his presence. He's one of the better guys I've ever been around. You can't overstate enough the loss and impact of his leadership loss and his loss for our team in general."

At 33, Golston signed a one-year deal in the offseason, and after primarily serving as a backup and help on special teams, won the team's starting nose tackle job over the summer.

He recorded two tackles against the Steelers in the season opener, but couldn't play more than one snap vs. the Cowboys last Sunday. Running to his right on the first defensive snap of the game, he fell to the ground in pain and stayed there until the training staff could escort him off the field.

At the time – with defensive ends Kendall Reyes and Anthony Lanier both inactive – the defensive line unit was spread thin, but still managed to create pressure thanks to the help of linebacker Trent Murphy.

"He's a big loss," defensive end Chris Baker said of Golston. "He was a great mentor to a lot of people on this team…He's a great guy on and off the field, but you know this is a brutal league and you never know who's going to get hurt or when you're going to get hurt, you just got to continue to get better. When you next get the opportunity to step up and play, you got to take advantage of it."

Check out these photos of the Redskins' defense and special teams preparing for their Week 2 game against the Dallas Cowboys Friday, Sept. 16, 2016, at the Inova Sports Performance Center at Redskins Park.

For defensive Ziggy Hood, who made strong impressions throughout training camp as he shifted to multiple positions on the line, he took a lot of nose tackle tips from Golston to heart and will "carry the legacy that he left behind" there if necessary.  

"He helped me out playing a new position, which I never had the opportunity to play as much," Hood said. "He is not really a big name guy, like the Casey Hampton or Haloti Ngata, but when he plays, he plays well and he does his job, he does his job well. And we lose a guy like that, especially up the middle. So with that experience gone we have to rely on guys like [Chris Baker], whose been here a lot longer than the most of us and try to go off of him and let him feed us energy."

Golston's roster spot was replaced by defensive end Matt Ioannidis, the team's fifth-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. 

Popularly known as "Uncle Ked" around the locker room, Golston will be missed this season, especially by those younger players still trying to find their place in the NFL.

"Morale is always up when he's around," Ioannidis said. "He's a guy that's played a lot of years and knows a lot. He's got a lot of tricks up his sleeve. I wish him a speedy recovery and I understand that this is a hard time for him, so when he comes back, I'm going to be as studious as I can and learn from him, because he's been really good to me since I got here."

"It's definitely a sad feeling. Even with what I'm going through right now, Ked gave me words of wisdom – still showing me things that happen being a pro," said second-year linebacker Martrell Spaight, who was also place on Injured Reserve early last season. "It's always difficult having a guy like that go down because nine-plus years in the league – he's got so much to offer to the young players like myself. That's tough watching him go down, but we still really learned the things he brought to the program and the things he's taught us in this program, so we just going to learn from everything he's taught us and run with it."

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