Ricky Stromberg - Commanders OL
The Washington Commanders' struggles in pass protection this season have been well-documented. Their offensive line has given up an astonishing 40 sacks through the first seven games, on pace to shatter both franchise and league records for sacks taken in a single season.
Some of the blame falls squarely on offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, who seems unable to scheme up play calls and concepts to help mitigate the team's glaring issues across the protection.
Some of the blame surely lies with the Commanders' young quarterback Sam Howell, who is clearly having a problem holding onto the ball too long and struggling to find open receivers before pressure inevitably arrives.
Most of the blame, however, can be chalked up to the consistently subpar performance of Washington's offensive line.
Howell has been under constant duress in every game this season. Washington's porous offensive line regularly fails to hold up long enough for the young signal-caller to even get rid of the ball.
After seven weeks, fans have more than seen enough of the Commanders current collection up front.
Though the same five have started in all but one game this season, their suboptimal play has Howell getting hit or sacked almost every time he drops back to pass.
Ironically, the very players Washington signed to bolster the unit this offseason are the ones struggling the most. Two of the Commanders' biggest free-agent additions this summer were center Nick Gates and right tackle Andrew Wylie - both have been particularly weak links.
Washington spent a third-round pick on Arkansas center Ricky Stromberg in this year's draft. The promising rookie finally got some extended game action this past Sunday while filling in at left guard for an injured Saahdiq Charles.
Stromberg ended up playing 22 offensive snaps against the New York Giants. He allowed just one pressure while looking generally competent in his limited duty.
The rookie should no doubt receive more opportunities for playing time. Especially if Charles misses any extended time with yet another health issue.
Regardless of Charles' status, Stromberg - along with second-year-pro Chris Paul and veteran Cornelius Lucas - should receive the majority of the reps moving forward at center, left guard, and right tackle respectively.
Wylie and Gates would be assigned to backup duty as depth options in case injuries strike. But their unceremonious time as starters for the Commanders should no doubt be finished.