The Washington Redskins were dealt a significant blow Tuesday with the news that rookie safety Phillip Thomas, a prospective starter, suffered a torn Lisfranc ligament in his foot.
According to the Redskins' official Twitter account, head coach Mike Shanahan told reporters that Thomas will undergo surgery and is expected to be out four to five months, ending his 2013 season.
Thomas, the 119th overall pick of the draft, was one of three rookie defensive backs to start the Redskins' preseason opener August 8 against Tennessee. He was joined by fellow safety Bacarri Rambo and cornerback David Amerson.
It was easy to see why the Redskins had high hopes for the trio, who collectively made 47 interceptions over their collegiate careers.
Thomas joined Dee Milliner (Alabama) and Johnthan Banks (Mississippi State) as Thorpe Award finalists in 2012. The 6-1, 208-pound defender racked up 84 tackles and forced an eye-popping 12 turnovers as a senior. Thomas, the first unanimous All-American in the history of Fresno State football, led the country with eight interceptions - returning three for scores - and forced four fumbles.
The torn Lisfranc is the second major leg injury for Thomas, who missed all of 2011 with the Bulldogs after suffering a broken leg and fractured ankle in camp.
Thomas' season-ending injury darkens the clouds somewhat over the Washington secondary as he's a talented big-play defender. Fortunately for Washington, there is plenty of starting experience on the roster. The Redskins return part-time starters Reed Doughty and Dejon Gomes (though some fans would argue that isn't a good thing) and saw veteran Brandon Meriweather return to the field last week. He'd experienced soreness in his knee and is coming off of a torn ACL, himself.