Although linebacker Zach Brown has been dealing with multiple lingering injuries for several weeks, he remains committed to playing each Sunday as long as he's fit.
As long as Zach Brown can run, he'll continue to play.
The Redskins' starting inside linebacker has managed to start in each of the team's 12 games, the lone stalwart at a position that has seen its fair share of fluctuation this season. But it's not like Brown has avoided injuries himself.
For the last several games, Brown has fought through Achilles and hamstring injuries, showing up as questionable on the injury report and seeing his practice time suffer because of it. But even with the Redskins practically eliminated from playoff contention and another free agency period looming, Brown is determined to keep playing so long as his body lets him.
"If you're going to play this game, you're going to play this game," Brown said. "When you step on the field, you should always play to win. You always should step on the field to win, you should never think you're going to lose when you step on the field. If you're stepping on that field thinking you're going to lose, then there's no point in you stepping on that field or being on that team. So, for me, my confidence is always at an all-time high. I'm going to keep doing what I have to do, because if I don't, then it'll probably be worse."
Brown signed with the Redskins last March after a breakout year with Buffalo Bills, in which he collected 149 tackles and an interception. He currently leads the league in tackles with 117 and has provided stability in the middle of a defense that has seen multiple starters miss games to various injuries.
At inside linebacker alone, both Mason and Foster and Will Compton were placed on Injured Reserve while Martrell Spaight has been nursing an ankle injury for a few weeks, forcing the team to activate Josh Harvey-Clemons and bring back Zach Vigil, who competed with the Redskins in training camp.
Check out these photos of the Redskins' defense and special teams preparing for their Week 14 game against the Los Angeles Chargers Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017, at the Inova Sports Performance Center at Redskins Park.
The biggest concern Brown faces is rupturing his Achilles, which has been on his mind as more players have fallen prey to them, including cornerback Richard Sherman recently.
"It's always a concern, but if it's going to happen, it's going to happen, there's nothing really you can do about it," Brown said. "You can be walking up the stairs and it can happen. If it's going to happen, it's going to happen, there's nothing I can really do about it. All I can do is keep doing treatment on it and getting it worked on."
Brown has received acupuncture, massages and ankle mobility stretches, strengthening his muscles around it to relieve the area of extra stress. He said Wednesday that he'll continue to receive treatment through the end of the season and that it has started to feel better.
The uncertainty remains, except, of course, his desire to keep playing.
"At the end of the day, I'm going out here playing a game and I like to play the game," Brown said. "I like to play the game with passion and I hate to lose. So, for me, I try my best to help people do better and just try to help some of the young guys. At the end of the day, the rest is -- you can rest when the season's over."