Over the next few weeks, Insiders Tarik El-Bashir and Rich Tandler will take a position-by-position look at the Redskins’ depth chart.
Some battles are straightforward. Others could get complicated. This much, however, cannot be debated: A player is not on the 53-man roster until its finalized Aug 31.
So who’s in? And who’s in jeopardy? Up today …
Position: Left guard
On the roster: Kory Lichtensteiger, Josh LeRibeus, Maurice Hurt
Likely to make the 53: Lichtensteiger, LeRibeus
Comment: Some say that Lichtensteiger is the weak link on the line but Mike Shanahan is not in that group. He’s never going to go to a Pro Bowl but he seems to be entrenched as the starter at least for the next couple of years. His new five-year, $17.5 million contract pretty well insures that as long as he stays healthy.
But that has been an issue for Lichtensteiger. A knee injury cost him the last 11 games of the 2011 season and an ankle problem prevented him from finishing both the season finale against the Cowboys and the Seattle playoff game.
LeRibeus filled in for him in those two games and did a respectable job in pressure-packed situations. Some thought that they might let Lichtensteiger go in free agency and entrust the job to the 2012 third-round pick. But, as noted above, Lichtensteiger agreed to a multi-year deal and LeRibeus will have to wait his turn.
LeRibeus missed most of the on-field work during the offseason due to a hamstring pull.
Battling for a job: Hurt
Comment: It’s hard to get a good handle on the organization’s thoughts on Hurt. Since he was drafted as a tackle the Redskins have drafted another tackle and signed two veteran free agents. He played right guard as a rookie after Lichtensteiger went out in 2011 but the team drafted two guards a year ago. But he remains on the roster and when the team needed someone to step up and start at right tackle in a critical Week 17 game against the Eagles the called on Hurt.
Hurt missed a good chunk of OTAs and all of minicamp after having arthroscopic surgery on one of his knees. He could be safely on the 51 or he could be vulnerable. We will have to see how things shake out in training camp.