Jansen Ruptures Left Achilles' Tendon
Byline: Jody Foldesy, THE WASHINGTON TIMES
CANTON, Ohio - Right tackle Jon Jansen, one of the Washington Redskins' best and sturdiest players, ruptured his left Achilles' tendon last night in a 20-17 preseason win over the Denver Broncos in the Hall of Fame Game.
As coach Joe Gibbs made his preseason debut in his second stint with the club, Jansen suffered a shocking and demoralizing injury. Jansen was told by doctors that such injuries take four months to heal in the best-case scenario, but given his size he likely is looking at a five- to six-month rehab. However, the club is upbeat he can recover fully.
An MRI is scheduled for today to determine the full extent of the setback. Jansen felt the tendon pop and immediately knew what happened on the play in the first quarter. He said he wasn't touched by a Broncos defender and that the injury occurred when he "turned to run downfield."
Jansen, 28, is known as the "Rock" because he didn't miss a game at the University of Michigan and has sat out just one play in his first five NFL seasons. Last night he was just starting to adjust to the idea of missing an entire season.
"For me personally, it's a something that's a challenge I've never dealt with before," Jansen said in the locker room while standing on crutches. "I've never had to be helped off the field. I've never missed a practice. I'm disappointed and frustrated, especially with the new coaching staff. I was really excited about this season."
The 1999 second-round pick also is a key veteran leader, the only player acquired by the Redskins before 2000. He was the offensive captain for last night's game.
The injury occurred on a third-and-9 screen pass to running back Chad Morton. After the whistle, Jansen, on the opposite side of the field, momentarily tried to stand from a kneeling position but couldn't. He hobbled off the field without putting any pressure on the ankle, his weight supported by Redskins trainers.
Seated on a metal bench on the sideline, Jansen buried his face in his hand several times. Quarterback Patrick Ramsey and long snapper Ethan Albright came over to say a word of encouragement. After a few moments, a trainer draped a towel over Jansen's head and he was left alone.
It was unclear who will be Jansen's long-term replacement. Journeyman Daryl Terrell subbed in at right tackle on the following series, but the most likely in-house replacement is Kenyatta Jones, who started in place of injured right guard Randy Thomas last night.
Jones, best known for throwing boiling water on his personal assistant while he was a member of the New England Patriots, started at right tackle for New England in 2002. Jones' off-field incident was settled April 29, when he received one year's probation after pleading no contest to a felony assault charge.
Jansen's injury came nearly a year after nose tackle Brandon Noble tore his ACL and MCL and dislocated his kneecap in a preseason game against the Patriots. Noble recovered remarkably well and participated in the first week of this camp but didn't make last night's trip because of a broken hand.
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