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Decimated Redskins Roster to Face Surging Rival Cowboys

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When a coach has to change a Wednesday practice to a walk through in an already short week, you know that the injuries have officially piled to the ceiling. That’s exactly what Jay Gruden did yesterday, on the heels of seven MORE Redskins being hurt in the 34-24 loss to the Eagles on Monday night. The multitude of injuries have obviously caused a change in the betting odds for the Redskins games, and they pose a challenge that will frankly be hard to account for this week against Dallas.

As if losing convincingly to Philadelphia and losing most hope of winning the NFC East division this year wasn’t enough, Washington was once again devastated by injuries over the course of the game for the third game in a row. This week, it was the offensive line that took it on the chin.

Trent Williams has been playing on a bad knee for the whole season. It’s only his toughness that had him out there in the first place, but even he took himself from the game ultimately, and was replaced by TJ Clemmings. It’s obvious from his comments this week that he’d like to shut it down for a bit and rest, but it doesn’t appear that the Redskins want to do that this week against Dallas. They run the risk of him injuring himself even more significantly every time he steps on the field, but the rash of injuries to the line may mandate that they do just that.

The other tackle Morgan Moses hurt both knees on Monday. In fact, he basically injured the other knee as soon as he came back in from hurting the first knee. Is a week really enough to heal up both knees, let alone six days?

The fact that both tackles are hurt is only compounded by the fact that the Redskins best option for a backup tackle is also on the shelf. Ty Nsekhe has been out with a “core injury” since coming in for one play in the Raiders game to spell Shawn Lauvao when he had a helmet malfunction. He has already been ruled out for the Cowboys game.

And that’s just the tackles, the news isn’t much better inside.

Pro Bowl guard Brandon Scherff left the Eagles game with what turned out to be an MCL sprain. He may be available for the Cowboys game, but looked pretty banged up when it happened. He hasn’t missed a start since the Redskins drafted him, and is road grade tough, but were it not for all of the other injuries along the line, it’s doubtful that they would even entertain the thought of running the risk of him injuring himself even further.

So why even take that chance?

Because Scherff would be replaced by Ty Catalina, who is not only a rookie, but has been sidelined by a concussion and hasn’t even been practicing. The only other option for the Redskins would be Chase Roullier who is not only also a rookie, but more of a natural center.

Washington might be best suited using Catalina though because the Redskins starting center Spencer long also left the game against the Eagles. He has been battling tendinitis in his knee, and may actually be the least likely of all of the aforementioned linemen to be able to play against Dallas. So Roullier may very well get his first NFL start.

It’s up in the air because yesterday the Redskins signed center Tony Bergstrom, who was released by the Baltimore Ravens earlier this week. Tall order for a guy to learn a playbook in four days, but given the Redskins malaise along the line, it’s not at all out of the realm of possibility. Bergstrom has played both center and guard in the NFL and played right tackle in college. That kind of versatility could prove very useful on Sunday against the Cowboys.

What a mess.

The decimated offensive line will face a Cowboys defense that boasts the 6th most sacks in the NFL (21), as well as the league’s number two sack man in DeMarcus Lawrence (9.5).

That’s a daunting task.

More By Mark Solway

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