Under the leadership of rookie QB Robert Griffin III and the sensational play of rookie RB Alfred Morris, the Washington Redskins roared through the second half of the 2012 NFL and captured the NFC East division title. A key piece of the Redskins’ offense last season was wide receiver Pierre Garcon. The speedy Garcon provides the Redskins with a legitimate deep threat but can Washington count on him this season?
A free agent acquisition in the 2012 offseason, Garcon was supposed to provide the deep threat the Redskins receiving corps had been lacking. In his first game, Garcon caught passes for 109 yards and a score and the future looked bright. Not so fast. Garcon tore ligaments in his toes and he missed six of the team’s first eight games. This offseason, Garcon underwent shoulder surgery.
How important was Garcon to the offense? Without him in the lineup, Washington was 3-6 at their bye week. He sucked it up and returned after the break and the team never lost another regular season game. The Redskins were 9-1 when he played. He caught 36 balls for nearly 500 yards and three scores down the stretch. Despite missing six games, Garcon still led the Redskins in receiving yardage with 633.
Entering his sixth season, Garcon has only played a full 16 games once in his career.
Garcon is not the only receiver on the roster that has had health issues. WR Josh Morgan was a free agent addition last year but was coming off a broken foot injury he suffered in 2011 as a member of the San Francisco 49ers. He also underwent surgery this offseason, having seven screws removed from his foot and having a procedure to repair ligament damage in his hand.
During his best season, 2011 with the Indianapolis Colts, Garcon caught 70 passes after being targeted 134 times for 947 yards and six scores. A healthy Garcon this season is capable of 1,200 yards and 8 scores.
Garcon told reporters at Redskins camp last week that be believes Washington could have the best offense in the NFL this season. The franchise did score the second most points in the NFC last season, averaging just over 27 points per game and it’s a fair assumption to believe that the core nucleus of young players will improve as they become comfortable with the offense for a second season. In order to do that though, Garcon needs to be in the lineup each week. His track record shows the odds are against that happening.