Nick Wass/Associated Press
One of the many weaknesses on an already shoddy defense last season, Washington's defensive line is supposed to be a strength in 2014 with the signing of Jason Hatcher.
Stephen Bowen went as far as to declare to ESPN 980's Chris Russell, (h/t ESPN.com's John Keim), that the Redskins could have "the most dominant D-Line in the NFL."
While padless practices aren't the ideal place to gauge such assertions, it would've been nice to see how defensive coordinator Jim Haslett planned on deploying his line.
Unfortunately, health issues arose.
Barry Cofield is recovering from hernia surgery and is eyeing a training camp return, per Mark Maske of The Washington Post.
Then there's Hatcher and Bowen.
Bowen is still recovering from the microfracture knee surgery that prematurely ended his 2013 season. As for Washington's marquee free-agent acquisition, Hatcher will miss four-to-six weeks after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his left knee, according to NFL.com's Gregg Rosenthal.
With a recovery timeline that puts his availability at the start of training camp into question, the 32-year-old squelched any concern that this injury would impact his inaugural season in Washington, tweeting:
With the age of the Redskins' defensive front a talking point among analysts like Jason Reid of The Washington Post, these are injuries to watch in the buildup to the 2014 campaign.
Seeing as their defense is reliant on the performance of their front seven, the Redskins can expect a repeat performance on defense in 2013 if such injuries linger through the regular season.