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Iron man Ryan Kerrigan misses practice with calf injury

ASHBURN, Virginia -- The odd sight occurred during one of the Washington Redskins' final practices this season: Ryan Kerrigan on the sidelines, going through agility drills while teammates practiced. To see Kerrigan anywhere but on the field practicing will always be unusual.

There's a reason, too: He's never missed a game in his seven seasons. But, Thursday, Kerrigan had to miss practice because of a sore calf muscle. Redskins coach Jay Gruden said he rested Kerrigan just to make sure he doesn't aggravate his calf.

But it also highlighted what Kerrigan has meant to Washington.

"It's very nice," Gruden said. "Let's not jinx anybody up here. He's just been very durable, reliable and productive. Those three adjectives are hard to come by nowadays and we are fortunate to have him."

Kerrigan's consistency has been on display this season, too, which is why he earned a trip to the Pro Bowl last week. He's recorded 11 sacks, the third time he's finished in double-digits. And he's the third Redskin to record double-digit sacks in consecutive seasons since Charles Mann and Dexter Manley in 1985-86.

He's stayed fresh this season because the Redskins have rotated their outside linebackers, with Junior Galette and Ryan Anderson behind Kerrigan and Preston Smith. As the Redskins move forward, Kerrigan will be a big part of the future. But they also want to make sure he stays productive and consistent -- as he's been since being a first-round pick in 2011.

Kerrigan has played hurt in the past, notably with an elbow injury last season. But he's always in the lineup.

"You need those guys and to trust on Ryan that he's going to play, he's going to do everything he can," Redskins defensive coordinator Greg Manusky said. "Overall, for what he's done from playing for such a long time, even last year with his elbow, it's just great to have those guys and you know you can always rely on them."