The Washington Redskins are coming off a 31-17 victory over the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, which alleviated the hurt felt from a poor performance the previous week — a 21-9 loss to the Indianapolis Colts.
“It was big in a lot of ways,” head coach Jay Gruden said Monday regarding Sunday’s win. “To show we can bounce back from a tough loss. They’re all tough whoever it’s against, but playing at home [against the Colts], the way we played was disappointing for a lot of people — coaches, players, fans, everybody.
“This game [against the Packers] was definitely necessary for our success in the future.”
The Redskins now have a lengthy break before their next game.
They have a bye this week, and don’t play again until a Monday night matchup against the New Orleans Saints on Oct. 8.
Gruden said it’s a good time for a break because a number of offensive players have injuries.
Offensive tackle Trent Williams is having minor surgery to clean out a bursa sac problem in his knee, running back Adrian Peterson came out of Sunday’s game with a sprained ankle, and offensive tackle Morgan Moses is going through the concussion protocol.
On the defensive side, cornerback Josh Norman has a hamstring injury.
Gruden expects all of them to be ready to play against the Saints.
Williams’ surgery had been planned for the bye week.
“It has been an issue for the last several weeks,” Gruden said. “It has been irritating him quite a bit. He could play through it, but it’s something he wanted to clean up.”
And Gruden needs Williams to be healthy.
“He’s the best in the business, I’ve said it many, many times,” Gruden said. “It’s a great luxury to have that blind side protected. He’s just a great all-around football player when he’s healthy, and when he’s not healthy he’s the best in the business.”
He, Moses and Peterson played a major role in the Redskins churning out 166 rushing yards against the Packers one week after being limited to 65 yards on the ground in the loss to the Colts.
“Adrian made some quality runs,” Gruden said of Sunday’s performance. “He had a couple 10-plus runs, and a 40-yard run, and those help a lot.
“The offensive line did a good job blocking and Adrian did a good job finding the holes.”
Peterson finished with 120 yards on 19 carries, an average of 6.3 yards per carry.
The 33-year-old Peterson had just 20 yards the previous week against the Colts, but he has 236 rushing yards while averaging 4.2 yards per attempt for the season.
On the other side of the line, defensive tackles Jonathan Allen and rookie Daron Payne got more playing time than they did in the previous games, and Gruden figures that pattern will continue.
Regarding Payne, who was the 13th overall pick in this year’s draft, Gruden said, “We didn’t draft him in the first round to sit by me.”
Allen, the 17th overall selection in the 2017 NFL Draft, and Payne were college teammates at Alabama. Allen got his first two sacks of the season on Sunday against the Packers, and Payne had his first pro sack in that same contest.
OT Trent Williams is having minor knee surgery but is expected back for the Oct. 8 game against the Saints.
RB Adrian Peterson rushed for a season-high 120 yards against the Packers, but suffered a sprained ankle. He is expected to play against the Saints. He ranks fifth in the NFL in rushing with 236 yards.
QB Alex Smith threw his first interception of the season on Sunday against the Packers.
TE Vernon Davis had two receptions for 70 yards on Sunday after accumulating 16 receiving yards over the first two games.
TE Jordan Reed had four catches on Sunday, giving him 14 for the season. He has 168 receiving yards for the season.