Washington’s NFL team surprised many fans when it announced that starting quarterback Kirk Cousins would be a healthy scratch from its second preseason game against the New York Jets on Aug. 19 at FedEx Field.
Wide receivers DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon, linebackers Will Compton and Ryan Kerrigan, cornerbacks Josh Norman and Bashaud Breeland, left tackle Trent Williams and tight end Jordan Reed didn’t play in Washington’s 22-18 victory either.
Washington Redskins running back Matt Jones (31) is tackled by New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis (24) during the first half of an NFL preseason football game Friday, Aug. 19, 2016, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Overshadowing Washington’s win, however, was the sight of top running back Matt Jones leaving for the locker room in the first quarter. Jones was diagnosed with a left shoulder sprain, and his recovery time is unknown. Before his injury, the fumble-prone Jones—who earlier in the game mishandled a handoff from Colt McCoy—looked decent, amassing 31 yards on seven carries.
Despite the lack of starters on the field, McCoy made the most of his opportunity, completing 13 of 16 passes for 159 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. McCoy completed his first seven passes of the opening drive, but his eighth was intercepted by New York cornerback Darrelle Revis in the end zone. Both touchdowns went to wide receiver Rashad Ross in the second quarter.
Washington Redskins wide receiver Kendal Thompson makes a one-handed catch for the game-winning touchdown in front of New York Jets cornerback Juston Burris (38) during the second half of an NFL preseason football game Friday, Aug. 19, 2016, in Landover, Md. The Redskins won 22-18. (AP Photo/Mark Tenally)
The Washington defense held New York to just to 110 yards in the first half, forcing two turnovers. One highlight was safety Will Blackmon’s interception of Jets quarterback Geno Smith’s pass intended for Charone Peake toward the end of the first half. The turnover set up Ross’ second touchdown catch for 39 yards on the following play.
Washington led New York at halftime, 14-2.
The second half didn’t look as good for Washington. Jets backup quarterback Bryce Petty torched the defense for 242 yards and two touchdowns, completing 16 of 26 passes. He connected with tight end Zach Sudfeld on a 19-yard touchdown in the third quarter, and with less than four minutes remaining, hit wide receiver Robby Anderson for a 42-yard touchdown to take an 18-14 lead.
Washington’s third-string quarterback Nate Sudfeld struggled in the second half, completing just 10 of 20 for 77 yards. However, he came through in the final minutes, leading an 11-play, 84-yard drive that ended with a one-handed touchdown catch by wide receiver Kendal Thompson to win the game, 22-18.
Washington will host the Buffalo Bills in their third preseason game on Aug. 26. Cousins is expected to play the first half.