The Washington Redskins were dealt a bad hand when it came to injuries last season.
It started in the offseason for the Washington Redskins, when Phil Taylor and Trent Murphy were both lost for the entirety of the 2018 campaign to non-contact injuries in training camp. As the season progressed, more and more players accumulated wear and tear. By the end of 2017, the roster was decimated.
The Washington Redskins hope that 2018 will be different. But reports coming out say they aren’t off to a good start. Per J.P. Finlay of NBC Sports Washington, Arie Koaundjio, who was expected to be a candidate for the starting left guard slot, has suffered a quad injury that could see him miss the entire 2018 campaign.
In the article linked in Finlay’s twitter post, it is stated that “it is unknown if [Arie] Kouandjio’s injury happened before or after [Shawn Lauvao]’s signing”. It would make sense that the signing of Shawn Lauvao occurred after the apparent injury. The Washington Redskins didn’t add a guard in the first wave of free agency or in the NFL Draft, suggesting that they were confident of the progress of Kouandjio, or possibly other candidates. The injury necessitated the return of Lauvao, whom they are familiar with, if nothing else. Lauvao has starting experience with the Washington Redskins, and although he’s been less than stellar over the past few seasons, he provides continuity, which is valuable.
The loss of Kouandjio is more notable than it may seem. Kouandjio showed some promise last year in relief of Shawn Lauvao, and there was belief within the organization that he could be developed into a starter. Coming into 2018, he was the guard candidate on the team with the most experience, and likely the easiest path to the starting role. With Koaundjio gone, not only does the team lose a player that was likely working toward an increased role, but the depth of the offensive interior also suffers.
With so many unproven options behind Lauvao at guard, stemming from Tyler Catalina to Kyle Kalis to Sean Welsh, don’t be surprised if the Washington Redskins delve back into the free agency market in an attempt to shore up the position. There aren’t many enticing names left available, but the Washington Redskins found Tony Bergstrom when they needed help last season. With any luck, they can find a player of similar value if they truly need it.