REDSKINS CONTINUE TO LOSE KEY PIECES TO STARTING LINEUP, SEASON OVER FOR LAUVAO AND RODGERS
The Washington Redskins have placed guard Shawn Lauvao (ankle) and reserve cornerback Justin Rodgers (foot) on the season ending injured reserve list today. In corresponding moves, the Redskins have promoted converted receiver CB Quinton Dunbar and signed ILB Mason Foster to the 53 man roster. Foster was part of the group of linebackers Washington worked out yesterday. To replace Dunbar on the practice squad will be this year’s seventh round pick center Austin Reiter.
Lauvao seemed to have turned the corner as an offensive linemen, especially in the run game, this year after an abysmal season last year. It will be a big loss for Bill Callahan‘s unit that was a well oiled machine before Lauvao was carted to the locker room early in the game against the Giants. Spencer Long, who was penciled in to start at right guard before Brandon Scherff was kicked inside, and fourth round rookie Arie Kouandjio will battle for the right to replace Lauvao starting Sunday against the Eagles. It is quite possible that Long will start for the near future but be overtaken by Kouandjio further down the road once the Alabama product is better acquainted with the scheme.
Long said that he has been working on increasing his hand speed, engaging defenders, and watching extra film with Callahan since Scherff began working at guard. Regardless there will be a drop off from Lauvao who was playing at a high level, but luckily for the Redskins, Josh LeRibeus will not be the answer as he replaced Lauvao during the game last Thursday. The reason was simply that both Long and Kouandjio were inactive while LeRibeus, the only capable backup center on the roster, was Jay Gruden‘s lone interior option. It will be interesting to see if LeRibeus is even on the roster by year’s end with the Redskins giving him competition in Austin Reiter when they easily could have signed a different player to the practice squad.
Although Justin Rodgers was just a reserve cornerback, the Redskins have been fortunate to have him after having a lot of shuffling in the secondary. During Week 1 the team was without Bashaud Breeland, next week it was Chris Culliver, and now veteran DeAngelo Hall is out three to four weeks with a toe injury. Rodgers was dealing with a turf injury that obviously was so severe the team decided to pull the plug on his roster spot.
Quinton Dunbar was converted from wide receiver only on in training camp when Breeland and others resulted in a thin corner position. Dunbar was rewarded with a practice squad spot for enduring the hardship for the good of the team and now has ascended to the point where the team is confident in his ability. Behind Breeland and Culliver who will likely start against the Eagles, the Redskins will have just recently signed veteran corner Will Blackmon and Dunbar. Look for safety Kyshoen Jarrett to also log some time at corner as he did over the likes of David Amerson prior to his release.
Mason Foster is a former third round selection by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2011 and had four seasons in Florida. He used to wear #59, like Terrance Plummer who he will likely push for playing time (and also the great London Fletcher). Foster has 243 tackles and 100 assist in the past four seasons where he started 54 of the possible 64 games. Foster also has six sacks, five interceptions (two of which were returned for scores), and 13 pass deflections in his career; however, his biggest impact will likely come on special teams. Plummer struggled mightily on special teams last week, in the absence of Perry Riley, with a penalty and poor block resulting in a blocked punt.
The Redskins now have three starters and two special teams captains on injured reserve: OLB Junior Galette, SS Duke Ihenacho, TE Niles Paul, and TE Logan Paulsen to go along with Lauvao. We are not even a quarter through the regular season and the Redskins are already without a sizable amount of talent that could easily have translated to one or two more wins.