Mason Foster, Washington Redskins linebacker, to be put on injured reserve, have shoulder surgery
ASHBURN, Virginia Washington Redskins linebacker Mason Foster will undergo shoulder surgery and be placed on injured reserve, coach Jay Gruden announced Friday.
Foster has a torn labrum and opted for surgery because the pain has become unbearable. The linebacker initially dislocated his shoulder in a Week 2 win against the Los Angeles Rams.
The Redskins will use backup linebackers Will Compton and Martrell Spaight to replace Foster. Washington plays the Dallas Cowboys in a crucial NFC East matchup Sunday at FedExField at 4:25 p.m.
“He’s been trying to play with it, and hats off to him for trying to fight through the injury,” Gruden said. “There are certain categories of what he has right now, and his is pretty painful. He can’t sleep at night. He wants to get it fixed and I don’t blame him. He fought through a couple games for us and the pain has been unbearable for him. His range of motion isn’t there.”
Foster missed Week 3 against the Oakland Raiders with the injury, but played in the Redskins’ next three games.
Foster made a significant impact on the Redskins defense, switching from will linebacker to mike linebacker in the offseason. As the “mike,” Foster was responsible for calling out adjustments and communicating play calls.
Redskins linebacker Zach Brown previously touted his communication with Foster, but said there won’t be much of an adjustment with Spaight or Compton. In Week 3, when Foster was out, Brown was mostly paired with Spaight, who played 90 percent of the defensive snaps.
“We’ve just got to talk to them [Compton and Spaight] and do it in practice,” Brown said. “I talked to them a lot in practice this week. We’ve just got to communicate and see how they want us to do things. Because at the end of the day, you’re out there playing a game. The coaches give you the tools. We just have to use them.”
The Redskins, though, are on short notice to adjust without Foster. The linebacker had been “limited” in practice, but Gruden said he found out of Foster’s decision this morning.
Foster told his fellow linebackers of his decision Thursday, Brown said.
Foster’s pending surgery is another blow to the Washington defense, who have been dealt a laundry list of injuries this season. The Redskins have five defensive players on IR and nine defensive players on their injury report.
“You’ve just got to be a professional,” Brown said. “You have to hope they know their playbook, which Comp’ and Spaight do. For me, I played with them before when Mason was hurt the first time. So it’s almost like, it was an interruption and now it’s back to the regular beats.”
Compton, meanwhile, said he hasn’t been told of his role for Sunday. But the linebacker has experience with the Redskins, starting 24 games over the past two seasons. Compton competed for a starting role in training camp, but was beaten out by Brown and Foster.
He has played just seven snaps this season.
“Mason’s one of my boys, it was tough to see him go,” Compton said. “I know he’s been battling through a lot, but he’s got to do what’s best for him. I hope he sticks around.”
Gruden said the Redskins will likely sign someone once Foster goes on IR.
Foster had 31 tackles this season and an interception, which happened near the end of the Redskins’ win over the Rams after he dislocated his shoulder.
“We’re OK, but we’ll miss Mason, without a doubt,” Gruden said.