Obviously it hurts that a young guy who was showing such promise has been set back a year. At this point, however, it should only minorly affect the on-field quality of the Redskins defense. Adam Carriker and Stephen Bowen should be a very capable pair of starters. There are many other positions where an injury would set back the Redskins 2010 fortunes much more severely. Losing pretty much any starting offensive lineman, either safety (get well fast, LaRon), or Santana Moss would immediately make it harder to win games.
Jenkins' injury still creates a worrisome depth issue, however. With Jenkins the line was set to provide a formidable three man rotation at end, but as it is Carriker and Bowen are going to have to carry most of the load themselves. And if one of those two starters later goes down, however, then we have a real issue. This is where Vonnie Holliday would really come in handy. Without him, one more injury means a lot of snaps going either to Kedric Golston, who frankly failed at the position last year, or a young guy like Darrion Scott or someone else who we simply don't know much about. Don't get me wrong - if Hightower's performance carries over into the regular season then giving up Holliday will have been well worth it. But what had been a position of great depth when camp opened is suddenly very, very thin.