On Monday, the Washington Redskins learned that long-snapper Nick Sundberg and linebacker Brian Kehl would each miss the remainder of the season due to knee injuries.
The severity of each players injury was unclear immediately after the game but MRI scans done on Monday revealed a torn meniscus for Sundberg and an ACL injury for Kehl.
Both guys played a major roles on Washington's special teams, a unit already struggling and thought to be the main reason the team lost to the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday night.
Sundberg was injured in the second half of that game while making a tackle on punt coverage. “I hit him out of bounds, and I had a weird – I didn’t really feel anything – but I tried to get up, and couldn’t put any pressure on it,” Sundberg said.
Center Will Montgomery played in place of Sundberg for the remainder of the game but Washington may consider signing a specialist this week.
Timing between the long snapper, holder, and place kicker is paramount in executing field goals and could be the difference between three points and zero points, or snaps going over the punters head. It may be part of the reason Kai Forbath missed a 49-yard attempt in the fourth quarter.
"Anytime you lose a guy that you count on, it takes some work, takes some timing," said head coach Mike Shanahan. "If it's on extra points and field goals, if it's on punts, it does take some time. There's a learning process that goes with it."
Kehl's presence will also be missed as he is the team's leading tackler on special teams with five.
The only other players with multiple tackles on special teams are Jerome Murphy with three and Darrel Young with two.
Someone will have to step up in a major way, otherwise Washington could see more breakdown's in special teams coverage.