Redskins' RT Brown, LG Lichtensteiger sidelined
ASHBURN, Va. (AP)
Just when the Washington Redskins believe they have finally solved their longstanding quarterback woes with rookie Robert Griffin III, those assigned to protect the Heisman Trophy winner are disappearing.
Right offensive tackle Jammal Brown went on the physically unable to perform list after re-injuring his chronically ailing left hip while running sprints the day before training camp opened on July 26. While Brown won't need a repeat of surgery that sidelined him for all of 2009, there's no timetable for his return.
Left guard Kory Lichtensteiger, who missed the final 11 games of last year after tearing his left ACL and MCL, began camp with the starters and without a knee brace. However, Lichtensteiger had surgery on Monday to remove loose particles in the knee and is likely out until the Sept. 9 regular season opener at New Orleans.
Maurice Hurt, a seventh-round choice in the 2011 draft who began his rookie year on the practice squad, is replacing Lichtensteiger as he did for eight games last season. Tyler Polumbus, who was cut by Denver in 2010 and by Seattle last October before signing with the Redskins on Nov. 9, is filling in for Brown as he did for three of the final four games of 2011.
''I'm glad that they feel I was capable enough to move me back over to guard,'' said the 6-foot-3, 329-pound Hurt, who began camp as a backup right tackle. ''I was just excited for the opportunity. I'm definitely much better this year even though I was playing tackle during OTAs and minicamp because we had the whole offseason.
''My knowledge of the offense has grown. I know what the tackle is supposed to do on every play and what the guard is supposed to do. I can understand different blocks, where before I was just trying to focus in on my position.''
Hurt doesn't expect he'll unseat Lichtensteiger, a starter for 19 games until the knee injury, as the left guard no matter how well he performs in practice or the four upcoming preseason games.
Polumbus knows that right tackle belongs to the 31-year-old Brown if the two-time Pro Bowl pick can prove he's healthy. That's such a big if, that coach Mike Shanahan has questioned it.
''I approach every day the way I would if nothing had ever changed,'' said the 6-8, 305-pound Polumbus, who's the tallest Redskin. ''My only goal is to come out every day and become a better player. Hopefully the results on the field will show that.
''I was fortunate enough to have a head-start on the offense because I was with Shanahan back in Denver (as a rookie in 2008). I've been around here long enough to know what I'm doing. Any chance you get to get on the field is a huge opportunity, make sure there's no loss in production.''
Left tackle Trent Williams, who was suspended for the final four games of 2011 after multiple failed drug tests and is one more mistake from a yearlong suspension, believes that Hurt and Polumbus will produce.
''Yeah we got a couple injuries, but . we can't let that distract us,'' Williams said. ''We still got to handle our business. Kory'll be back in no time. Jammal's situation still a little unknown. Mo stepped in and played a lot last year. Tyler played a lot last year. They're not drop offs at all.''
Shanahan, whose first two Washington offenses didn't come close to the explosive attacks he enjoyed during his 14 years in Denver, is also unfazed.
''I've got a lot of confidence in a number of these players that they'll step up and do what needs to be done,'' he said.
As for Griffin, the new face of the franchise refuses to worry about who's in front of him.
''If you think you have a banged-up line or a bad line, then you'll play scared,'' Griffin said. ''The one thing I don't want those guys to think is that I don't trust them. So I definitely trust . whoever's out there with me.''
Note: There's still no word on defensive end Kentwan Balmer, who had unexcused absences from Wednesday's practice and Thursday's walk-through.