Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Redskins RG Thomas to have surgery on torn left triceps
By Len Pasquarelli
The Washington Redskins have two victories in two games but lost two starting offensive linemen to injuries. They will be without standout right guard Randy Thomas for an indefinite period and possibly the rest of the season.
Thomas tore his left triceps during the first quarter of Monday night's victory over the Philadelphia Eagles, and will undergo Wednesday surgery to repair it. The ninth-year veteran left Lincoln Financial Field on Monday night with his arm in sling fearing the worst, and an MRI exam on Tuesday confirmed the damage.
How long the injury will sideline Thomas won't be resolved until during the operation, when surgeons get a closer look at the extent of the tear. If the tear is a significant one, Thomas could be out the rest of the year and could wind up on injured reserve.
No one, however, was prepared to make that determination yet.
The injury to Thomas, one of the NFL's best interior blockers, comes just a week after starting right tackle Jon Jansen suffered a broken right fibula and dislocated right ankle in the Redskins' season-opening game. Jansen underwent surgery last Thursday, was placed on injured reserve, and faces a long rehabilitation.
With the two injuries, Washington has seen the entire right side of its offensive line wiped out. Combined with the offseason defection of left guard Derrick Dockery to the Buffalo Bills as an unrestricted free agent, one of the NFL's top blocking units has been forced to dramatically reshuffle.
Todd Wade has moved into the lineup at right tackle. Veteran Jason Fabini, who has played tackle most of his career, filled in for Thomas over the final three quarters of the Monday night game.
Redskins officials, however, plan to visit with two or three veteran free agent interior linemen, and it will not be surprising if the club signs one of them. One candidate could be Keydrick Vincent, a former starter at right guard in Pittsburgh and Baltimore, but who was released by the Ravens in the roster cutdown to 53 players.
Thomas, 31, is in his fifth season with the Redskins, having signed as an unrestricted free agent in 2003 after spending his first four NFL seasons (1999-2002) with the New York Jets. He was chosen by the Jets in the second round of the 1999 draft, became a starter as a rookie, and quickly developed into a top-level in-line blocker.
The former Mississippi State star has appeared in 125 games, all but one as a starter.
Senior writer Len Pasquarelli covers the NFL for ESPN.com.