Commanders rookie DT Johnny Newton needs second surgery for similar injury,

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The Washington Commanders appeared to get a steal in the second round of the 2024 NFL Draft, selecting former Illinois defensive tackle Johnny Newton at No. 36 overall. CBS Sports graded the pick an “A+,” as Newton was the third defensive tackle taken after potentially falling due to a foot injury in college that required surgery. However, Newton now needs another surgery — this time on the left foot.

Commanders head coach Dan Quinn told reporters Saturday (via NBC4 Sports) that Newton suffered the same injury — a Jones fracture — to his other foot, and will undergo a procedure next week. Newton was seen with a boot on his left foot Friday.

“The foot that he had the procedure done is actually doing really well,” Quinn said, via The Athletic. “So, he has an issue with the other foot. He’ll get a procedure done in the next week and then get back started and get going with the process again. But, man, do we have high hopes for him. Like he is such a kick-ass competitor. So, in some ways when you have to get a procedure done, better to do it early, that this didn’t happen in the end of August or in September where it sets you back. So, the fact that it’s happening now, much better to get that organized first.

“I’m not giving any timelines for that. We’ll get right into him getting the procedure and get started. Knowing him, this is one tough customer, so like it’ll be likely slow down, than hurry up.”

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It’s an unfortunate development for the 2023 Consensus All-American defensive lineman — to have to deal with the same injury to the other foot. Newton was named the 2023 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year after recording 52 total tackles and 7.5 sacks. His 18 career sacks were tied with Moe Gardner for the most recorded by a defensive tackle in Illinois history. Newton also recorded the seventh-most pressures in the FBS over the past two seasons with 102, and had the second-most pressures among FBS defensive tackles last season with 43.

As coach Quinn mentioned, it’s only May, so there’s no reason to be alarmed when it comes to Newton’s outlook just yet. But it is tough that he won’t be out on the practice field with his fellow rookies.

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