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Josh Norman: Redskins' injuries 'the darndest thing'

Josh Norman can't help but wonder what this Washington Redskins season could have been without the swarm of injuries that blasted through the team throughout the past few weeks.

On a roster full of 53 players, 16 have been ruled either out -- including star tight end Jordan Reed (hamstring), center Spencer Long (knee) and receiver Terrelle Pryor (ankle) -- or questionable for the Redskins' tilt with the New Orleans Saints on Sunday. Washington also has 11 players on injured reserve, including running back Rob Kelley (ankle, knee) and first-round pick Jonathan Allen (shoulder). And last year's surprise rookie safety, Su'a Cravens, is on the non-football/exempt list as he reportedly ponders retirement because of, you guessed it, injuries.

"It's a bug," Norman said on NFL Total Access on Friday. "I don't know what it is. It's the darndest thing I've ever seen. Literally, the darndest thing I've ever seen. In my whole 29 years of life and playing football, I've never seen anything like it before. One thing happened after another. A player would go down -- we can't go through one game without somebody going down. It's just the bug, I guess."

This year hasn't been a kind one when it comes to injuries around the league. The Green Bay Packers, Indianapolis Colts, Arizona Cardinals and Oakland Raiders have spent time, or are currently spending time, without their starting Pro Bowl quarterbacks. Superstars like the Texans' J.J. Watt, the Seahawks' Richard Sherman, the Browns' Joe Thomas, the Giants' Odell Beckham and the Cardinals' David Johnson have all been put on IR at some point this season. Even in Norman's own division, the Dallas Cowboys are expected to take on the Philadelphia Eagles without their Pro Bowl left tackle Tyron Smith, Pro Bowl middle linebacker Sean Lee and Pro Bowl kicker Dan Bailey.

But Norman, who has also missed time this year because of a rib ailment, believes his squad might be feeling the effects of injuries more so than anybody this year.

"Been happening around the league but it seems like our team is definitely circling those wagons off for sure with the injury bug that we have," Norman said. "And we got a hard schedule. We mentioned it earlier, with that hard schedule and those injuries, man, it's crazy to see where we are right now hovering around .500 with that. If we didn't have those injuries, man, where would I like to be seen. But at the end of the day, you got do what you've got to do and play the cards that you've been dealt. And that's what we're doing now."

The Redskins' playoff hopes are currently on life support as they stare up at a bevy of teams ahead of them in both the NFC East hunt and the wild card chase. Things do get easier for the 'Skins as they head down the final stretch of the season. After Sunday's game against the Saints, Washington plays just one team with a current winning record (the Cowboys). But if they can't get healthy, all of that might be moot in Washington.

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