The loss deals a serious blow to Washington, which has lost four consecutive games and entered its bye week with a 2-6 record. It’s the same record it had a year ago after eight games en route to a 5-3 finish and NFC East title. Repeating that won-loss success will be difficult minus Sweat, whose injury was first reported by Grant Paulsen of 106.7 The Fan.
He hurt his jaw late in Sunday’s 17-10 loss, with his final snap of the game occurring at the 6:54 mark of the fourth quarter. Sweat could be seen grabbing the side of his face after the play had concluded. It wasn’t until he got an X-Ray that the fracture was discovered. He can’t have any physical contact for a month. That means he’ll miss upcoming games vs. Tampa Bay, Carolina and Seattle.
Washington had high hopes for Sweat and fellow end Chase Young this season. But, so far, the two have combined for 5.5 sacks, with four by Sweat. Both have forced two fumbles this season. They had a combined 16.5 sacks a year ago in Young’s rookie season and said they had discussed trying to break sack records by a tandem pass rush. The record is 39 by Minnesota’s Chris Doleman and Keith Millard in 1989.
Sweat had started 40 consecutive games since entering the NFL in 2019. His size, length and athleticism made him difficult for offenses to always handle one-on-one in the run or pass game.
Washington also was thin at backup defensive end, having allowed veteran Ryan Kerrigan to leave via free agency in the offseason. Their backups are Casey Toohill and James Smith-Williams, who has played nearly three times as many snaps as Toohill. Rookie Shaka Toney also can help as a situational pass rusher.
Washington’s offense has been hit hard by injuries this season; at the end of Sunday’s game of the original 11 expected starters only three were on the field. But, defensively, they’ve been healthier with only linebacker Jon Bostic lost for the season after four games. Corner William Jackson III has missed two games.