Arie Kouandjio To Start At Left Guard For The Washington Redskins
Arie Kouandjio is going to be making his first NFL start on Sunday in place of Shawn Lauvao. It will be an important game for the young Redskins offensive lineman.
The Washington Redskins are going to be without some of their key offensive linemen this week. In Sunday’s win against the New York Giants, center Kory Lichtensteiger and left guard Shawn Lauvao both went down with injuries. Lichtensteiger ended up landing on IR while Lauvao is going to officially miss Week 4. That means that two younger linemen are going to get the start for the team.
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As of right now, it appears that Spencer Long would occupy the center position. The team did sign veteran John Sullivan, but he will not be quite ready to be the starter. He has had enough time to fully learn the playbook. At left guard, the young Arie Kouandjio will be making his first career starter the replacement for Lauvao. The report came in from the Redskins official twitter account.
Kouandjio has not seen much action during his two seasons with the Redskins. He has often been on the inactive list, and the young player needs to show improvement before he can be a contributor for the team. In a piece on Kouandjio, CSN’s Rich Tandler offered this analysis of the pro:
"The Alabama product has the mental toughness and nasty attitude that the coaching staff loves. But he has issues with his technique and his ability to block at the second level or pull effectively is very questionable. There was a competition for the starting left guard position this offseason but Kouandjio was never a serious contender for the job. Some were speculating that Kouandjio could be a surprise roster cut at the end of training camp but apparently the coaching staff thought that it was worthwhile to keep him around and continue his development."
That is not exactly a ringing endorsement. Obviously, Kouandjio is still a major work in progress and he appears to be limited to just playing the guard position. This game will be a good test for the young player, and it will allow the Redskins to get a look at what he could possibly achieve as a starter.
Of course, Kouandjio is going to get a chance to go against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday. If he starts against them, then he could have some success. The Browns have a weak defensive line, so Kouandjio will really not really be tested. If he has a strong showing, then that could encourage the team’s coaching staff and give them a reason to hang on to him.
This game is going to be a test for Kouandjio. He is getting a chance to prove he belongs on the squad. If he proves to be ineffective, then he may not have a future with the Redskins team. Sunday is an important day for his future. If he plays well, then he could end up being a primary backup at the guard position in the near future.