5 primary factors behind the Commanders offensive line's demise in 2023

The downward trend has some mitigating factors attached.

Nick Gates
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Commanders have endured bad luck

Though it may not have seemed it at the time, Chase Roullier’s fractured fibula in the middle of the 2021 season seems to be the major catalyst to the Washington Commanders' offensive line tailspin. They've never been the same since.

Roullier was playing very well. The entire offensive line was functioning with a smart young veteran at center directing traffic. And though it may only be a symbolic statement, he was the last vestige of a homegrown talent.

The former sixth-rounder was that diamond-in-the-rough that is so important to so many lines. You need five guys (minimum) and getting five high-level draft picks is pretty tough. So almost every great line has at least one guy who came out of nowhere.

The Philadelphia Eagles currently have Jordan Mailata playing the crucial left tackle spot. Wyatt Teller is manning the right guard spot for the Cleveland Browns. Both were day three draft picks. But I don’t need to tell you this, do I?

In addition to the highly drafted Mark May and Russ Grimm, Washington had Joe Jacoby. They also had another undrafted free agent back then but they thought he was too fat to play. So they cut Nate Newton.

The Commanders had recently rewarded Roullier with a long-term contract. He was going to be the foundation on which the new offensive line would be built. Then, just like that, he was gone.

Because the franchise had such a poor record of drafting and developing other young talent, they were helpless to respond.