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Washington TE Niles Paul will miss season with ankle injury

Washington tight end Niles Paul sustained a left ankle injury against the Cleveland Browns and had to be carted off the field. He'll miss the 2015 season.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Washington tight end Niles Paul will miss the entire 2015-16 season with a fractured ankle, head coach Jay Gruden announced following the team's preseason game against the Cleveland Browns on Thursday. Paul went down with an injury in that game, and the trainers quickly put an air cast on his left leg. The cart was called to take him back to the locker room.

"A huge loss for us," Gruden said in postgame presser. "He’s a great player and a great leader."

Missing the season is also a big blow for Paul, who had established himself as the team's starter after showcasing an ability to both catch and block throughout training camp.

Washington already has serious issues at the tight end position. Logan Paulsen is dealing with a toe injury and could also miss the season as he weighs the possibility of surgery. Then there's Jordan Reed, Washington's potential starter, who is dealing with a hamstring injury. Both players sat out Thursday against the Browns, while Je'Ron Hamm also left the game with an eye injury, according to Mike Jones of the Washington Post.

Backups like Chase Dixon and Hamm could get some playing time going forward, provided Hamm's injury isn't serious. The two spent time on Washington's practice squad last season. Reed's hamstring injury isn't considered very serious, and when he's healthy it's likely he'll wind up being the team's starter.