“ . . . I don’t want to go into the season 80 percent. I want to be 100, so I can be the best Hatch for this football team, for this defense, so I can help our team get better.”
— Redskins defensive end Jason Hatcher, June 17, 2014
One of the biggest (and earliest) 2014 free agent acquisitions for the Redskins was Jason Hatcher, formerly of the Dallas Cowboys. Hatcher was a key pick-up for a pass-rush-challenged Washington team that tied for 21st last season with a modest total of 36 sacks. Hatcher had the best season of his career in 2013, making the Pro Bowl after recording 11 sacks.
Now, concerns have cropped up over Hatcher’s left knee. He had arthroscopic surgery on Thursday, courtesy of respected surgeon-to-the-stars Dr. James Andrews.
The surgery is said to be a routine “clean-up”-type procedure. “It’s old stuff, man,” Hatcher said of his ailing knee, the result of standard wear-and-tear that accumulates over the career of virtually any long-tenured NFL player.
Hatcher is expected to miss four-to-six weeks. If he does miss something close to the full month-and-a-half, that would mean Hatcher would be unavailable for the first week or two of training camp, which begins in Richmond on July 24th.
Still, having the procedure done at this juncture makes sense. The Redskins have completed OTAs, and this was the longest window of non-activity left. Even missing six weeks, if his recovery goes as it should, Hatcher will be ready and at full speed for the start of the regular season.
If Washington is going to have a turnaround season, Jason Hatcher will be an integral part of that. From the team’s perspective, having him be “the best Hatch” possible is of critical importance.
Hatcher seems optimistic that this is the right move, and the timing appears right as well. Fans will be keeping a close eye on this situation as the start of the regular season approaches.