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Injuries Present a Golden Opportunity for Washington WR DeAndre Carter

With injuries come opportunities - something Washington knows all too well.

Injuries are an unpleasant part of NFL football, and there may be no franchise more familiar with this fact than the Washington Football Team. 

Even opponents of the team have bad luck when playing in the WFT home stadium. Most recently, New York Giants offensive lineman Nick Gates was the latest to fall victim to what might be called an "injury curse'' floating around the franchise. 

Of course, injuries sometimes also uncover the rise of a previously unknown talent. Taylor Heinicke's story has been one worth watching, even if Washington's play hasn't always. 

READ MORE: How to Watch WFT vs NO

There could be another story rising from a rash of injuries. This time, within the Washington Football Team wide receiver group. 

Back in August, Washington wide receiver DeAndre Carter made his impact on special teams, leading to a roster spot. 

"He did some good things as a receiver in practices and in the preseason games," head coach Ron Rivera said of Carter near the end of the preseason. "But his return ability is really one of the things that caught our attention...The receiver position was one that we went with the idea of trying to improve with speed and we felt really good about what we did..."

We haven't seen as much of the wide receiver as we have the return man with Carter. But there was a growing feeling he was going to do something big eventually. And it came in Week 4, against the Atlanta Falcons. 

"That's kind of been building," WFT special-teams coordinator Nat Kaczor said when asked about the touchdown return.

The team effort that got Carter his first NFL touchdown is exactly the kind of thing Washington is going to lean on as they deal with a rash of injuries, continue trying to figure out how to play better on defense, and find consistency on offense.

His versatility and health could be leading to another new opportunity for Carter, though ... one that might see him contributing on this offense now led by a slept-on quarterback who has grabbed his opportunity following injury ahead of him as well. 

After playing just 13 offensive snaps in the 2021 NFL season prior to Week 4, Carter got 11 against the Falcons last weekend. 

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Washington was unstoppable in November, finishing 3-0. The question is if the "ghost of injury present and future" will haunt the WFT in December and on.

Not a lot. Especially when you consider wide receiver Curtis Samuel got 25 in his first game action after missing the start of the year with a groin injury. 

READ MORE: Can WFT Stop Alvin Kamara?

Carter got those 11 snaps in large part due to the fact Samuel is still coming back, and because of injuries suffered in-game by fellow receivers Dyami Brown and Cam Sims.

Following his Week 4 debut, Samuel is questionable to play against the New Orleans Saints in Week 5. Meanwhile, both Sims (Hamstring) and Brown (Knee), are out. 

Star receiver Terry McLaurin is healthy. So is veteran Adam Humphries, and rookie Dax Milne. 

That's about it. 

Carter got his first career touchdown last weekend. He also got his first target and reception of the year, 24-yard catch that moved the ball to midfield on the drive which would provide the game-winning 30-yard score from running back J.D. McKissic.

Even with the time missed last week, Brown has played on 71 percent of Washington's offensive snaps up to this point. Normally, we'd assume Sims and Humphries would get the lion's share of work increase. 

It looks now the WFT will have to rely on Humphries, and Carter, with some Milne sprinkled in as well. 

Like all teams though, the Washington Football Team's coaches will be looking for which guys step up, and earn some more playing time. 

It could be a big opportunity for guys like Carter. He's been capitalizing on those this year, already. Why stop now?