Friday, December 16, 2011
Redskins' offensive line still banged up
By Dan Graziano
It didn't slow their offense down last week against the Patriots, but the Washington Redskins will once again be without both of their starting offensive tackles when they take on the New York Giants on Sunday. Left tackle Trent Williams is serving the second game of a four-game drug suspension, and right tackle Jammal Brown, who injured his groin warming up before the New England game, still isn't ready to go.
According to Redskins.com, that means Tyler Polumbus draws a second straight start at right tackle while Sean Locklear and rookie Willie Smith will split reps at left tackle. The Redskins rotated Locklear and Smith throughout the game last week in an effort to find out what they have in Smith for the future while not over-taxing him by giving him a starter's workload this late in his rookie season. Smith was an undrafted free agent last offseason, and it's possible the Redskins would like to know if he factors into their plans beyond this season and, if so, to what extent.
Under normal circumstances, an offensive line playing without its starting tackles would be the equivalent of fresh meat for a Giants' defense that relies on its front four to pressure the quarterback. But as brilliant as defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul has been, Osi Umenyiora is out with an injury and Justin Tuck is dealing with a toe injury that could limit him or even keep him out of Sunday's game. So the Redskins might be getting a break by facing the Giants when the Giants are at less than full strength on their defensive front.