Redskins uncertain about RG3, on offensive line

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Sports,NFL,Redskins,John Keim

Black gets suspended for performance-enhancing drugs, two other linemen hurt

ASHBURN -- For a day, Robert Griffin III wasn't the main injury topic. Or at least his right knee shared the spotlight with Will Montgomery's left knee and Tyler Polumbus' head. Those ailments could lead the Redskins to make a few changes along the offensive line, though it's just as likely that nothing happens.

But there's still doubt as to whom the line will be blocking for: Griffin or Kirk Cousins. Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said Griffin is still getting treatment and he's uncertain as to what the quarterback will be able to do this week.

Griffin did not play in Sunday's 38-21 win over Cleveland. He did work out before the game.

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"He looks good, as I think a lot of people saw before the game," Shan?ahan said. "Hopefully it's not too long before doctors OK him and he's ready to practice at full speed."

The one thing Washington won't do is rest Griffin another week if doctors say he's ready. Just because fellow rookie Cousins played well in his first start (26-for-37, 329 yards, two touchdowns, one interception) does not mean the Redskins now have the luxury of sitting a healthy enough Griffin.

"If doctors give the OK, he is going to play," Shanahan said. "That's what we get paid for. That's what guys do when you have guys like London [Fletcher] and Trent [Williams] and a lot of guys hobbled now. We expect everyone to play if the doctors OK it."

There's no word on whether Montgomery and Polumbus will receive that OK. Polumbus did not play in the second half Sunday because of a concussion. Montgomery left the game late with a sprained MCL in his left knee. Left guard Kory Lichtensteiger finished at center, with Maurice Hurt taking over at guard.

But Lichtensteiger said Monday he thinks both injured players will be fine.

"I don't necessarily think that we're going to have to shuffle around," Lichtensteiger said. "I think Monty should be OK, but if not we'll have guys step up."

At least the Redskins are covered if Montgomery can't play -- Shanahan said he would not address his status until Wednesday. But Lichtensteiger is a former center and said Monday the position is "where I felt the most comfortable."

If Polumbus can't play, the Redskins would have shuffling to do. His backup, Jordan Black, was suspended Monday for four games for violation of the NFL's policy on performance enhancing drugs. Black, who played the second half Sunday, will miss the final two regular-season games as well as two playoff games or the first two games of 2013.

That means the Redskins would need to use rookie Tom Compton at right tackle or Hurt, who is in his second year. Compton was promoted from the practice squad Dec. 5, while Hurt has only played guard in the NFL. However, he has worked at right tackle in practice.

One reason the Redskins' running game has flourished, in addition to the talents of Griffin and running back Alfred Morris, is the continuity of the offensive line. The Redskins have started the same five players every game. The Redskins did not have that in Shanahan's first two seasons in Washington.

"It's very important," Lichtensteiger said. "It's nice to not have to adjust, not so much what you're doing but the timing of everything, the execution of everything just because you have new guys in there that aren't used to running the offense the way we're doing it right now."

jkeim@washingtonexaminer.com

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Author:

John Keim

Staff Reporter - Washington Redskins
The Washington Examiner