The Redskins have placed their 2017 first-round pick on Injured Reserve after he suffered a Lisfranc injury in Washington's Week 5 victory over the San Francisco 49ers.
The Washington Redskins announced on Thursday that they have signed defensive lineman A.J. Francis to the active roster from the practice squad.
In corresponding moves, the team placed defensive lineman Jonathan Allen on Injured Reserve and signed defensive lineman Ondre Pipkins to the practice squad.
Allen, of course, was the team's first-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft out of the University of Alabama.
The 22-year-old started all five of Washington's regular season games to date, recording 10 tackles along with a sack. In total, he appeared on 163 defensive plays during Washington's 3-2 start on the season and registered 29 quarterback pressures/hits, second most on the team according to coaches stats.
In the regular season opener against the Philadelphia Eagles, Allen recorded a season-high four tackles. Two weeks later during Washington's dominating performance over the Oakland Raiders, Allen took down Derek Carr for his first NFL sack.
But Allen suffered a Lisfranc injury in the fourth quarter of Washington's 26-24 victory over the San Francisco 49ers this past Sunday. He underwent successful surgery this week.
"We got better news after the surgery that it wouldn't be as lengthy as some of these surgeries typically are," said Redskins head coach Jay Gruden. "So that's good news, but we still have to rehab it. He is a big man and sometimes bigger guys take a little bit longer but we will wait and see. We will just play it by ear and hopefully we see him again, but it is up to the rehab."
The Redskins are allowed to bring two players off Injured Reserve during the year. Players must be on Injured Reserve for eight weeks before potentially being designated to return.
With Allen sidelined for now, though, the Redskins will move forward with a defensive line that includes Francis along with Ziggy Hood, Stacy McGee, Terrell McClain, Matt Ioannidis and Anthony Lanier II.
Hood is the veteran leader of the group, as the 2009 first-round pick of the Pittsburgh Steelers is in his ninth NFL season. So far this year, the University of Missouri product has collected two tackles along with a half-sack.
Check out images of defensive lineman, Jonathan Allen during his first few months with the Washington Redskins.
McGee and McClain, meanwhile, were signed on the first day of free agency this year. So far, the pair has combined for 14 tackles along with one sack, one pass defensed and one fumble recovered.
Ioannidis has been one of the brightest stars on a defensive unit that has shown marked improvement this year. After being used sparingly during his rookie season as the team experimented with his use at tackle, the 23-year-old is producing at end. He's tied for the second most sacks on the team (3.5) with linebacker Ryan Kerrigan.
"He is playing some three-technique in nickel, getting some opportunities to rush where he didn't get that last year," said Redskins head coach Jay Gruden. "He mainly was a base player playing the run. Now he is actually in sub packages rushing the passer. So he is getting more opportunities."
As for Lanier, the 2016 college free agent signing out of Alabama A&M has yet to appear in a regular season game this year. But the team has high hopes for the 6-foot-6, 286 pounder, especially after an offseason in which he packed on more than 15 pounds to his frame.
"He is a lot stronger and that's a good thing," Gruden said. "[He's] a small college guy and he came in and got some experience last year and then hopefully parlays that on to a good strong preseason and training camp. We will see how it translates on game day. He will be a part of the rotation, not just on third down. He might have to play some early downs. He is a guy that hopefully is getting better not just at rushing the passer, but playing the run."
Francis returned to the Redskins on Wednesday as a practice squad addition before being signed to the 53-man roster. The Washington, D.C., native split time between the Redskins' practice squad and active roster in 2016 but hasn't appeared in a regular season game since 2015.