The Redskins defeated the Denver Broncos 20-17 in the Hall of Fame Game on Monday night, as backup kicker Ola Kimrin nailed a 39-yard field goal to seal the preseason win with just three seconds left.
Redskins players mobbed Kimrin following the kick.
But the win came with the sobering news that right tackle Jon Jansen sustained a ruptured left Achilles injury in the first quarter. Immediately after the game, team officials stressed it was premature to say it was a season-ending injury.
Jansen was helped from the field and was unable to put any weight on his left ankle.
The six-year veteran, who has not missed a start in five seasons with the Redskins and is known for his durability throughout his career, was later carted off the field.
He was replaced by Daryl Terrell. Rookie Mark Wilson played right tackle in the second half.
"I have to tell you we had a big downer there," head coach Joe Gibbs said. "It took a lot out of us there for a while.
"I told Jon the main thing now is to get this fixed and get back here so he can work with Joe Bugel for the rest of the year. He means a lot to the team as a leader."
The injury aside, the Hall of Fame Game marked the official return of head coach Joe Gibbs. He received rousing applause when he brought his team onto the field at Fawcett Stadium.
It was the first football game that Gibbs has coached since 1992 when he retired from the Redskins after winning three Super Bowl championships.
"A lot has changed about the game and it's still a big learning curve for me," Gibbs said afterwards. "It was like a mental test?But it was good to be back out there. I really appreciate the players-I told them that-because of their attitude."
Kimrin's field goal thwarted a Denver comeback after the Broncos had tied the game in the final two minutes on a touchdown and two-point conversion.
Tim Hasselbeck led the Redskins on a 7-play, 66-yard scoring drive that included a 35-yard pass to rookie Jafar Williams. For the game, Hasselbeck was 7-of-11 for 118 yards, playing mostly the second half in relief of Mark Brunell and Patrick Ramsey.
Earlier, the Redskins had taken a 17-9 lead, thanks to a Sean Taylor interception return for a touchdown in the third quarter and Gari Scott's 33-yard touchdown reception from Hasselbeck in the fourth quarter.
But it was Taylor's play that shifted the game's momentum in the Redskins' direction. The Redskins scored the first touchdown of the game when rookie first-round draft pick Taylor picked off a dump-off pass from Matt Mauck and raced three yards into the end zone.
The score gave the Redskins a 10-9 advantage midway through the third quarter. It was Taylor's second interception of the game.
"I came out here, played my game and a couple plays fell my way," Taylor said. "I'm just trying to contribute to what we're trying to do and that's win games."
Teammates were marveling at Taylor's impact.
"Just to see what he did tonight was very promising," linebacker LaVar Arrington said. "He'll continue to get better and he'll be someone to be reckoned with."
In the third quarter, Tim Hasselbeck took over for Ramsey. Midway through the fourth quarter, Hasselbeck led the Redskins on a 5-play, 56-yard drive capped by the 33-yard touchdown pass to Scott.
The 6-4, 192-pound wide receiver had a step on his nearest defender and caught the ball just as he crossed into the end zone.
In the first half, the Redskins' starting unit struggled offensively in the first half, compiling just 44 total yards. Brunell was 4-of-8 for 18 yards in limited action. Ramsey replaced Brunell early in the second quarter and was 3-of-8 for 12 yards.
Running back Clinton Portis, playing against his former team for the first time since the Redskins' blockbuster trade with the Broncos last March, had four carries for 11 yards in limited action.
Most of the Redskins' starters were taken out of the game late in the first quarter.
The Redskins had the first key play of the game when cornerback Shawn Springs, another off-season free agent pickup, intercepted Denver quarterback Jake Plummer on the Broncos' 40-yard line.
The Redskins were unable to push the ball into the end zone and had to settle on a 39-yard field goal by kicker John Hall.
Denver responded with three field goals. Jason Elam kicked a 39-yarder in the first quarter, then connected on field goals from 40 and 47 yards in the second quarter.
The halftime score was 9-3, but Gibbs drew up some adjustments and the offense became more efficient in the second half.
Defensively, the Redskins were led by linebacker Khary Campbell, who logged eight tackles and a sack. Undrafted rookie defensive tackle Ryan Boschetti logged 1.5 sacks.
Marcus Washington made an impression early on when he recorded tackles on the game's first two plays.
Redskins players who did not make the trip to Canton due to injuries: Ladell Betts, Phillip Daniels, Chris Clemons, Rashad Bauman, Cliff Russell, Brandon Winey, Mike Barrow, Randy Thomas, Taylor Jacobs, Brandon Noble and Walt Harris.