Ross shines, Jones injured as Redskins beat Jets 22-18
LANDOVER, Md. — Even though the Washington Redskins rested several key starters, they couldn't avoid injuries in their second preseason game.
With quarterback Kirk Cousins, receiver DeSean Jackson and cornerback Josh Norman watching from the sideline, top running back Matt Jones left in the first quarter of the Redskins' 22-18 victory over the New York Jets with a sprained left shoulder.
Jones couldn't raise his hand above his head even after the game, but coach Jay Gruden was cautiously optimistic about the situation.
"We'll continue to get him checked out, get rehab and hopefully it won't be too long," Gruden said. "It's a little upsetting, but I think he's going to be OK. I don't think it's going to be a long injury."
Jones looked good with 31 yards on seven carries before Calvin Pryor landed on him after pushing him out of bounds. The Redskins (1-1) can ill afford to lose Jones given their lack of experienced depth behind him.
Third-down back Chris Thompson, rookies Robert Kelley and Keith Marshall and second-year player Mack Brown split the bulk of the carries after Jones left. Wide receiver Rashad Ross was among the standouts for Washington with seven catches, including two touchdowns, for 58 yards.
"I thought Ross played outstanding," said quarterback Colt McCoy, who learned he was starting as he came out of the tunnel before the game and was 13 of 16 for 159 yards. "Ross brings speed to the table, and that's a big asset. When he uses it that way, it's good for the offense."
Having all of the options is better for the offense, but Gruden opted to rest Cousins, Jackson and Pierre Garcon — and Norman, cornerback Bashaud Breeland and linebackers Will Compton and Ryan Kerrigan on defense — to see other players in important spots.
The Jets (1-1) saw good things out of undrafted rookie receiver Robby Anderson, who made six catches for 131 yards. The Temple product hauled in a 50-yard pass from third-stringer Bryce Petty and made a 42-yard touchdown catch.
"He's got a very, very sneaky way of making hard catches look easy," Petty said. "He's made a bunch of those catches in practice, so it's nice to see that transition to the game."
Cornerback Darrelle Revis made an impact in his preseason debut, picking off McCoy in the end zone during Washington's opening drive. Starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick was 4 of 9 for 35 yards, and Bilal Powell ran for 23 yards on three carries.
Rookie Nate Sudfeld led Washington on the game-winning drive, completing it with an 18-yard touchdown pass to Kendal Thompson with 29 seconds left.
Jets: QB Christian Hackenberg didn't get into the game, which coach Todd Bowles repeatedly called a "coach's decision."
Redskins: Sudfeld, a sixth-round pick out of Indiana playing against brother Zach for the first time, was 10 of 20 for 77 yards, with most of that coming on the final drive.
Jets: K Ross Martin, a rookie out of Duke, made a 40-yard field goal and hit the right upright on an extra-point attempt. Nick Folk made his extra-point attempt. "Field goal kicking is easy, you make or you miss," Bowles said.
Redskins: Along with Ross, WR Ryan Grant had four catches for 43 yards. ... OL Spencer Long's costly hands-to-the-face penalty that led to a safety didn't help him in a competition at left guard against Shawn Lauvao, though it came with him at center.
Jets: LB Erin Henderson left with a shoulder injury that Bowles termed a stinger. ... WR Quincy Enunwa suffered a concussion while causing a fumbled punt return. ... DL Lawrence Thomas left with a shoulder injury, and Bowles wasn't sure of the severity. ... RB Matt Forte (hamstring) was active but did not play. ... DE Muhammad Wilkerson did not dress as he works back from a broken right leg suffered in the regular-season finale.
Redskins: LT Trent Williams (sore right knee) and TE Jordan Reed (sprained thumb) were held out for the second consecutive game.
Jets: Petty on pushing Geno Smith for the backup QB job: "If you're gunning to be the backup, I think you're wrong. I think we're all gunning to be the starter."
Redskins: Gruden on penalties: "There's quotation marks on a couple of those. ... It's still preseason for the referees, too."
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