Thursday's dramatic win over the Cowboys moved the Redskins one step closer to the playoff hunt, but may have come at a tremendous price at inside linebacker.
Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan announced Friday that rookie inside linebacker Keenan Robinson suffered a serious pectoral injury in the final moments of the Thanksgiving Day game, one that may cost him the remainder of his rookie season.
He will have an MRI today to confirm the injury and any appropriate steps moving forward.
"Right now it doesn't look good," Shanahan said told reporters.
Robinson was a fourth round pick (119th overall) out of Texas in April's draft, and has served as the primary backup to Perry Riley and a regular on special teams.
Over the last four weeks, Robinson has had an increased presence on defense, sharing snaps with Lorenzo Alexander in place of London Fletcher (ankle).
He has also played a larger role in goal line packages, using his size and speed against talented tight ends Jason Witten, Brent Celek, Greg Olsen and Heath Miller.
The disappointment for the Redskins is two-fold, as Robinson will be hard to replace in the lineup and he loses valuable playing time in his rookie campaign.
"I think he'll be an every-down player for years to come," Shanahan said of Robinson. "He's got speed. He's got quickness, and he's not afraid to hit, and extremely bright, so that's a good upside."
The Redskins have weathered a number of injuries on defense this season, particularly at the linebacker position. Fellow Texas alum Brian Orakpo was placed on season-ending injured reserve in Week 2, after re-tearing his pectoral muscle.
Fellow linebacker and defensive captain London Fletcher also continues to nurse an ankle sprain suffered in Week 11 against the Eagles.
Fletcher re-aggravated the injury on Thursday against the Cowboys, but Shanahan expects him to be ready for Monday Night Football against the Giants.
"His ankle is quite sore," Shanahan said of Fletcher. "He needs the extra days of rest. Knowing what type of competitor he is and how sore he was going into this last game, I really didn't think there was a chance for him to play in the back of my mind. When he was able to play in that game — the type of desire he had to actually play the whole game or close to it.
"Looking at him, early in the week, I'm never counting him out again."
Fletcher appeared in his NFL-leading 235th consecutive game on Thursday afternoon and said that the extra three days rest before next Monday will be key.
The Redskins currently have Alexander, Mario Addison and Chris Wilson at linebacker.
Alexander has been a capable backup to Fletcher this season, while the other two are viewed primarily as outside linebackers.