Washington is concerned that the lower leg injury suffered in today’s practice by veteran pass rusher Junior Galette is serious, tweets Tarik El-Bashir of CSNWashington.com. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter links), it’s an Achilles injury, and the team fears it’s torn — Galette is undergoing tests today to determine the severity of the injury.
If the team confirms that the Achilles is, in fact, torn, it would be the latest piece of bad news in a terrible offseason for Galette, who began the year with the Saints. The 27-year-old was New Orleans’ best pass rusher over the last two seasons, recording 12 sacks in 2013 and picking up another 10 – along with three forced fumbles – in 2014. Galette’s production earned him a lucrative contract extension in September, but his offseason was dominated by negative headlines.
In January, Galette was arrested on a domestic violence charge that was later dropped. More recently a video from 2013 surfaced showing a man that appears to be Galette involved in a beach brawl, striking a woman with a belt. The off-field concerns resulted in the Saints releasing the edge defender, despite having to eat a huge chunk of dead money. Following the move, reports surfaced indicating that Galette had a negative influence on the New Orleans locker room, and his former teammates didn’t seem too broken up about his departure.
Washington quickly snatched Galette off the free agent market when he became available, despite an expectation that he could face a suspension, but it was a low-risk, minimum-salary deal for the team. Although it won’t hurt the club much financially if Galette’s season ends early, it would be bad news for Washington’s pass rush, considering Brian Orakpo departed to Tennessee in March and Ryan Kerrigan is returning from arthroscopic knee surgery.
If Galette lands on injured reserve, it wouldn’t necessarily end his time in Washington — the team’s one-year contract with the ex-Saint includes the right of first refusal for 2016, meaning Washington will have the opportunity to match any offer he receives from another club.