After suffering a scary injury against the Cowboys that has resulted in a nerve issue impacting his strength, Redskins rookie defensive back Kyshoen Jarrett has been ruled out for Sunday.
The Washington Redskins will enter Sunday's matchup with the Green Bay Packers without one of their most consistent defensive backs, as head coach Jay Gruden on Monday announced that rookie Kyshoen Jarrett has been ruled out this week.
Additionally, Gruden said cornerback Dashaun Phillips "looks like he'll be OK" after suffering what was described as a stinger.
"Everything came back positive, looks like a stinger, quite frankly," Gruden said of Phillips' injury on Monday. "We'll see how he's doing tomorrow when he comes in here and we'll see if he can practice Wednesday. Kyshoen [Jarrett], the neck and spine, everything came back in a positive way. We're concerned about the nerve that affects his right arm. We're going to do more tests on that and go from there."
Jarrett was injured in the first quarter of Sunday's 34-23 victory over the Dallas Cowboys in the regular season finale, as he was jarred by running back Darren McFadden after he lowered his head into a helmet-to-helmet hit with the rookie.
Jarrett was able to walk off the field, with assistance from team medical personnel, but Gruden said his loss will be felt team-wide.
"Obviously, the loss of Kyshoen is very important because he played safety, nickel — did a little bit of everything — special teams. That'll hurt us," Gruden said. "Hopefully, we'll get Dashaun back where he's a special team guy and can play some nickel. But, overall, I think the health of our football team is pretty good this stage of the year."
While Jarrett wasn't necessarily expected to play a large role on the defense in his first NFL season, the Virginia Tech product has not only produced, but has been effective in numerous positions.
Jarrett – who stands at 5-foot-10 and weighs 200 pounds – has played safety, the nickel and slot corner this season while tallying 58 tackles with a forced fumble.
Seeing him go down the way he did was very difficult for teammates.
"At halftime you could see he had tears in his eyes and you feel for him because he's a big asset to our team," linebacker Will Compton said. "More importantly, he's a good guy to have around and he works tremendously hard. It was more tears out of disappointment than him hurting, but I hope he's alright. It's tough to see him go down because, like I said, he's a big asset to our team and a great person."
Without Jarrett in the lineup, the Redskins will have to assemble some sort of combination to limit the Packers' passing game which is led by five-time Pro Bowler and two-time first-team All-Pro Aaron Rodgers.
DeAngelo Hall just recently moved to primarily safety after a prolific career as a cornerback while Jeron Johnson has battled inconsistencies and injuries throughout the season.
The team's top three cornerbacks currently are Will Blackmon, Bashaud Breeland and Quinton Dunbar.
While Rodgers, by his standards, turned in a slightly off-kilter 2015 regular season (he completed just 60.7 percent of his passes, which was the worst percentage of his career), Gruden knows full well the University of California product is Green Bay's No. 1 playmaker, especially in the playoffs.
For his career, Rodgers has started 11 playoffs games, throwing 23 touchdowns to just seven interceptions.
"Green Bay obviously with Aaron Rodgers at the trigger is a very good football team," Gruden said. "Coach [Mike] McCarthy, like I said, has won a lot of football games and a lot of big football games. They have some good personnel over there – Randall Cobb. A very good football team that has had a very couple of rough games as of late, but they've had the ability to turn it up come playoff time. They have the experience and that's something we're going to have to deal with."
Phillips, meanwhile, could practice as early as Wednesday, just days after being removed from Sunday's game on a stretcher after a similarly scary helmet-to-helmet collision with McFadden.
The Tarleton State product finished the season with nine special teams tackles in just six games.