- The Washington Times
Sunday, October 25, 2020

LANDOVER | The Washington Football Team’s defense had its best performance of the season with a 25-3 win Sunday over the Dallas Cowboys, but will likely be without one of its highest-paid players for the rest of the season.

Safety Landon Collins is believed to have torn his Achilles, according to multiple reports. The three-time Pro Bowler exited the game in the second quarter on a non-contact injury. He was carted off to the locker room shortly after being ruled out.

Collins, who did not speak with reporters after the game, told NFL insider Josnia Anderson that he felt his Achilles “pop” on the play and indicated he’ll need surgery.

“I can’t feel my foot,” Collins texted Anderson. “I’m in God’s hands.”

The injury is a blow for Collins, who had a strong start to Sunday’s game. In the first quarter, Collins stripped Cowboys quarterback Andy Dalton to force a fumble that was recovered in the end zone for a safety. It was the type of play that Collins had needed after he had faced criticism from fans for his start to the year.

Collins had been scrutinized for his play through the first six games. The 26-year-old led Washington with nine missed tackles, according to Pro Football Reference.

Collins defended himself in an interview with reporters last week.

“Has my tackling been a problem? I think no,” Collins said. “I’ve been told I’ve missed nine tackles, so within the last … (six) games, nine tackles in the last six games and I’ve got (37) tackles, I don’t think it’s pretty bad.”

Collins was in his second season of the six-year, $84 million contract he signed with Washington in 2019. According to Over The Cap, Collins holds a $10 million base salary in 2020 and carries a $14 million cap hit, which includes his signing bonus. The reaction to the signing was mixed as Washington made Collins one of the highest-paid safeties in the game. Critics argued the deal was too expensive for a player who struggled in coverage and is primarily a box safety. Collins‘ defenders said the safety’s hard-hitting tackling was a boost for any defense.

Collins was thrilled with joining Washington, his childhood team. Though Collins grew up in Louisiana, the late Sean Taylor was his idol — with the safety even modeling his game after the former Redskins great. Upon his signing, Collins received a game-worn Taylor jersey at dinner with owner Dan Snyder and cried. He told reporters that he had hoped to eventually become the first player to don Taylor’s number — No. 21 — since Taylor’s death.

Despite his excitement, Collins‘ first season with Washington did not create the impact that he and others expected. While he led the team with 117 tackles, Collins had only one sack and did not grab an interception.

There was hope that Collins would see a boost under coach Ron Rivera and defensive Jack Del Rio, who planned to better utilize Collins‘ skill set by moving him closer to the line of scrimmage. Washington had blitzed Collins 11 times through six games, according to Pro Football Reference.

Rivera did not confirm CollinsAchilles tear, telling reporters he had yet to speak with team trainer Ryan Vermillion.

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