Shawn Lauvao is now on Injured Reserve. The starting left guard is the fourth Redskin to hit the IR this week.
What a day for the Washington Redskins. Just a couple of days after a brutal loss to the New Orleans Saints in Week 11 of the 2017 season, the team has made a flurry of roster moves that seems to indicate that the season is close to over. With the team standing at 4-6, they elected to place four offensive players on the Injured Reserve in the past two days. The latest of the players to be hurt was Shawn Lauvao.
Lauvao, the team’s starting left guard, had been battling a stinger that had made his availability in the past few weeks spotty at best. He also happened to be the weak link on the Redskins starting front, though that didn’t matter all too much given the sheer amount of injuries the offensive line has dealt with this year. But as the team’s official Twitter confirmed, he will now be out for the season because of the injury.
This injury is painful to the Redskins mainly because of the depth they lose due to his injury. With Spencer Long already hitting the IR earlier in the day, the team is now without two starters on the interior of the line. Additionally, backup center Chase Roullier is dealing with a broken bone in his hand and he will miss some time as a result. Because of this, the Redskins are down three of their top four interior linemen.
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In all likelihood, Ty Nsekhe will take the place of Lauvao in the lineup. Nsekhe is the top offensive line backup when healthy and he just returned from a core muscle injury. Nsekhe is a natural tackle, but he can play inside if the team needs him to.
The other option would be to play Arie Kouandjio as the starter to let Nsekhe continue to serve as the top backup. Kouandjio had been cut by the Redskins prior to the 2017 season but re-signed when the team was dealing with offensive line difficulties. He actually had a good performance in his one start, so maybe the team will give him a chance to prove that is more than just a fluke.
So, with Lauvao out, it looks like the Redskins offensive line will be, from left to right, Trent Williams, Nsekhe, Tony Bergstrom, Brandon Scherff, and Morgan Moses. That is still a fairly solid unit with the one weakness being Bergstrom, who is a mediocre backup at best. Hopefully he will be able to hold down the fort until Roullier returns to play center.
Lauvao’s absence will be felt in conjunction with Long’s. The team is out of depth on the offensive line, and they now will have to rely on some inexperienced players to provide depth, like newly signed backup center Demetrius Rhaney. Hopefully, the injury bug stops biting the Redskins line. Otherwise, Kirk Cousins is going to be under a lot of pressure to close the season.