Sunday will mark Ryan Kerrigan's first game action in nearly nine months, and he's fired up to get back at it in a new-look Redskins defense.
It doesn't matter if it's a Thursday Night Football battle following a tough challenge just four days prior, or a division battle late in December, the Redskins can always count on Ryan Kerrigan to bring his best each week.
Sunday afternoon against the Miami Dolphins at FedExField, Kerrigan will once again be out on the field.
It'll mark the first time he's seen game action since December after being held out of all four preseason games for precautionary reasons following a minor knee procedure in the offseason.
"It's just weird more than anything," Kerrigan said. "Because like you said, I'm never out and I don't like to be out, so it's weird more than anything. So you've got to follow the doctor's orders."
Head coach Jay Gruden said the 2012 Pro Bowler could have easily appeared in games during August had they been regular season matchups, however.
"I'm very excited about Ryan Kerrigan and his progress from his injury," Gruden said. "He looks outstanding right now."
Kerrigan is the very definition of durability and consistency, as the Purdue product has appeared in every single regular season game for the Redskins over the last four seasons.
Last year, the 6-foot-4, 260 pounder turned in a career season, recording a career-high 13.5 sacks to go along with five fumbles forced.
Kerrigan said a return following almost nine months away from game speed will be "a challenge," but one he isn't shying away from.
"I haven't had the preseason feel yet, but at the same time, practice for us on the line of scrimmage is pretty much the same as a game with the exception of tackling and cut blocking," Kerrigan said. "So that's the only difference. It's not like I haven't been hitting people. I mean I hit people every day in practice. I think the only difference will be bringing a ball carrier to the ground."
Redskins outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan was named the 78th-best player in the NFL in the NFL Network's "Top 100 Players Of 2015." Take a trip back through Kerrigan's career with the Redskins.
Kerrigan may be a beneficiary to new defensive coordinator Joe Barry's scheme, which preaches a little more attacking from the front seven.
"I like the defensive scheme that allows us to really attack up front, and play one-gap football," he said. "I think that should allow for us to put an offense in a negative-yard situation. …Like most of the guys on the line of scrimmage, I come off the ball, penetrate, play in the opponent's backfield."
This will mark the first time the Redskins have faced the Dolphins since 2011. In that game – played at Sun Life Stadium in Miami – Kerrigan, then a rookie, recorded two sacks.
It was the first of five games he's recorded at least two sacks in a game. Fellow linebacker Trent Murphy believes he might be able to add to that total this Sunday.
"He'll be ready to explode and probably get three sacks the first series of the game," Murphy said smiling. "So we're all excited to see that."
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