Redskins linebacker Brian Orakpo finally came to a realization this week. He’s not coming back. Despite tearing his left pectoral muscle – again – and being placed on injured reserve, it took Orakpo a while to accept this fact.

“I’m not a guy that misses games,” he said. “It’s something I have to deal with. I dealt with it, my teammates helped me cope with it and the coaches gave me support. [Now] I’m just here trying to support my guys.”

Orakpo stopped using a sling for his left arm sometime within the past week. He said Dr. James Andrews probably still wants him to wear the sling, but his arm feels good. The rehabilitation process likely will last between four to six months.

But he had surgery after last season and re-injured the muscle this summer, then tore it against St. Louis in Week 2.

“Injuries happen,” he said. “You have all kinds of guys tearing all kinds of ACLs. You can’t go in expecting you will reinjure it again. I’ll get healthy and I’ll be ready to rock and roll once it’s ready to go next year.”

Orakpo said his arm never really felt right this summer, something teammates noticed. Rob Jackson, for example, saw him hurting at times during camp.

“You could see as I was having my wraps and all kinds of different stuff to compensate for the pain I was going through,” he said. “It just wasn’t right. I was just trying to go out and do what I can and tore them. It’s a physical, violent game.”

Orakpo was at Sunday’s win over Minnesota, joking and smiling with teammates in the locker room afterward. He’ll rehab with other injured players, such as right tackle Jammal Brown and safety Brandon Meriweather. Orakpo said it’s important for him to be around.

“I feel I let guys down, but it’s something I can’t control,” Orakpo said. “I’m just here trying to support my teammates and trying to get the best rehab and best treatment I can and get ready for next year.”


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