In today's Rewarding Moments In Washington History presented by Maryland Lottery My Lottery Rewards, we look back to when Washington's 10-year veteran Ryan Kerrigan made his NFL debut.
On September 11, 2011, one player who would become Washington's most-beloved stepped foot onto FedExField for his NFL debut. It was none other than defensive end Ryan Kerrigan.
Kerrigan faced one of their division rivals, the New York Giants, for Washington's season opener, and he gave fans a sneak peak at how his career would unfold.
The score was tied 14-14 at halftime. On the third play of the third quarter, Washington's first-round draft pick batted Eli Manning's throw into the air, caught the ball and scampered nine yards for a touchdown. At this moment, Kerrigan emerged as a young leader for Washington's defense.
Washington carried that momentum and went on to defeat the Giants, 28-14. It was the first time Washington had beaten New York at FedExField since 2005.
Kerrigan's debut has many parallels to this year's season. Players could not be at club facilities for 132 days during the NFL lockout in 2011. Nine years later, COVID-19 caused a similar effect; the pandemic all but eliminated in-person interactions between teammates and coaches for nearly four months.
Heading into his 10th season, the four-time Pro Bowler has racked up 90 sacks, including at least 11 in three of his past four seasons.