Coach Ron Rivera said Wednesday the team will keep the No. 1 receiver off his feet for a couple of days, confirming an MRI on McLaurin's injured toe did not show any significant damage “for the most part” and reiterating that X-rays revealed no broken bones.
Rivera added the Commanders were “very fortunate” the injury was not severe, so optimism remains about McLaurin being able to play in their season opener Sept. 10 against Arizona.
“We’ll continue to just monitor that, continue to rehab and the treatments and stuff,” Rivera said before practice. “We’ll continue the monitoring process and continue to have him rehab it and get his treatment. The doctors have come up with a really good plan, and we’re looking forward to having him back out on the field next week."
Washington plays its final preseason game Saturday against Cincinnati. McLaurin is obviously a no-go for that game, and even more starters could sit out.
Rivera defended the coaching staff's decision to play the starting offense for the first half against Baltimore on Monday night because players needed to work together with new quarterback Sam Howell in new coordinator Eric Bieniemy's system. McLaurin injured a toe on his right foot late in the second quarter when Ravens linebacker Kristian Welch landed on it.
“To get a good half in was really the target,” Rivera said. “The only unfortunate (part) of the whole situation was unfortunately Terry got a toe injury out of it.”
McLaurin, a 2019 third-round pick out of Ohio State, has become the face of the franchise and is in the midst of a $71 million contract signed two summers ago. Despite playing with 10 different quarterbacks since breaking into the NFL, he has surpassed 1,000 yards receiving in each of the past three seasons and fell just short his rookie year when an injury limited him to 14 games.
Bieniemy called McLaurin “a unique and special individual” whom the Kansas Chiefs scouted prior to the draft four years ago and loved.
“I don’t know when Terry’s ever been underrated,” said Bieniemy, who won the Super Bowl twice in his five seasons as offensive coordinator with Kansas City. “I have known all about him. And there’s no hidden secrets and there’s no surprise to his mental ability, his physical capabilities. I just love the person, I love the role model and I love the leader and I love the things that he brings to this organization and to our locker room.”
Washington has recent experience with turf toe after running back Antonio Gibson was knocked out of one game by the injury and missed the next two. Rivera said the key with toe injuries is figuring out the extent of it, including consulting with a toe specialist about how to handle McLaurin.
“We’ve sent all this stuff to Dr. (Robert) Anderson,” Rivera said. “He has come out and basically told us: ‘Hey, I like your plan. Continue with the plan.’”
Elsewhere on the Commanders injury front, Chase Young continues to work out on the side at practice after leaving the first preseason game Aug. 11 at Cleveland four snaps in with what the team called a stinger. Rivera said Young, the 2020 Defensive Rookie of the Year who's nearly two years removed from surgery to repair a torn ACL, has a doctor's appointment coming up.
“Everything’s looking positive, looking in the right direction,” Rivera said.
Injured tight end Logan Thomas also continues to work back from a calf strain that has knocked him out of practice. Rivera said things have been going well with Thomas' rehab, which has been focused on getting the 32-year-old ready for the season.
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