Landon Collins might be done for the season. The veteran safety was having a strong outing in the eventual beatdown of the visiting Dallas Cowboys when he went down with a non-contact injury that led to him being carted off the field. He didn't return to the contest, and the Washington Football Team are afraid terrible news is on the way. The club reportedly fears Collins suffered a season-ending Achilles injury, per Mike Garofolo of NFL Network, and he'll have an MRI on Monday to either confirm the initial fears or provide a different diagnosis.
If Collins is in fact out until 2021, it's a huge loss for the Washington defense, and leaves a void not easily filled. The former second-round pick landed in Washington after spending his first four seasons with the rival New York Giants, hitting free agency in 2019 before going on to sign a six-year, $84 million deal with Washington. A three-time Pro Bowl safety, Collins is the stabilizer in the secondary and also provides assistance in blitz packages as needed.
The Cowboys were reminded of the latter on Sunday, when Collins blew past tight end Dalton Schultz en route to a sack fumble that led to a safety for Washington.
It’s a safety for @WashingtonNFL! 🙏— NFL (@NFL) October 25, 2020
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So, where to go from here if you're Ron Rivera?
The immediate answer to an absent Collins would be Deshazor Everett, an undrafted talent who has now spent several seasons with the team. He and rookie seventh-round pick Kamren Curl might be asked to do more along with the possibility of Troy Apke seeing some time at strong safety, but there are also free agent options for Washington. The most notable would be Earl Thomas, who remains a free agent after failing to land an offer from the Houston Texans recently, or any club up to this point, following his controversial release from the Baltimore Ravens early in the season.
Thomas has been labeled a locker room cancer and that's something Rivera would take into account before bringing him in for a workout, or Washington could make a play to trade for help before the Nov. 3 deadline. Now at 3-5 and atop the NFC East, it's unlikely the team stands pat on what they have without Collins, who must now get to work rehabbing his injury.