Tyler Polumbus returned to Ashburn last week expecting to challenge for a backup job on the Redskins offensive line.Nine days into training camp, though, Polumbus has taken every snap with the first team because of the uncertainty surrounding Jammal Brown, and appears to be the frontrunner to start at right tackle when the team opens the preseason Thursday in Buffalo.Brown is sidelined indefinitely with a lingering hip ailment.I have no idea whats going on with Jammal, said Polumbus, who started four games for the Redskins last season. But as of right now, Im just going out here and doing the best I can and making sure theres no lost production.Coach Mike Shanahan added: Hes very sharp. Hes a good athlete and I thought, when he did play last year, he played well.Polumbus competition for the starting job, however, has gotten a bit stiffer.On Monday, the Redskins signed tackle Jordan Black, who had been out of the NFL for a year. Willie Smith, who replaced Trent Williams at left tackle when he was suspended last season, returned from a knee injury this week and could also in the mix.A week into camp, Polumbus hasnt been a dominant presence like Williams. Hes be an adequate pass and run blocker who has limited his mistakes which is precisely whats expected of him.Hes done a good job, Shanahan said of Polumbus performance.At the moment, Polumbus has a key advantage over Black: Hes familiar with Shanahans blocking schemes from last season. The 27-year-old also played for Shanahan as a rookie in Denver in 2008 and is comfortable with his players lining up on either side of him.But the fact that the Redskins signed Black this week suggests they want options.Polumbus has never started more than eight games in a season. But this year hes hoping for more. If Brown misses significant time during the regular season, Polumbus could get that opportunity.Any time you get a chance to get on the field, thats a good opportunity for you, he said. Thats why you play the game you want to be a starter.
By Jason Dobkin (@jasondobkin)
Stephen A. Smith mocked the Redskins on ESPN First Take on Monday after their loss to the Lions Sunday, continuing the back-and-forth between the team and the television personality.
He told the Redskins "bravo again" for losing the close game that apparently was enough to prove the point he made last week on the show that the Redskins had a loser's mentality and were "inept" and "nonexistent." Smith loudly took issue with Chris Baker's and Ricky-Jean Francois' declaration that the Redskins "run the East," saying they need to be focusing on the big picture.
Baker tweeted at him the next day, demanding respect, and Smith stuck to his guns the next day on First Take.
On Monday, Smith mocked Jay Gruden for defending his team at a press conference, where he said Smith was "out of line" for his comments and that he didn't know anything about who the Redskins were or the work they put in.
"And of course there’s the great Jay Gruden, because we know he’s great just by his name alone," Smith said. "Let’s be clear about that. We know that he’s great, [because he] takes time out of his busy schedule to comment about me."
"Who gives a damn about hard work?" he went on to say. "It's about results."
Baker held back from engaging with Smith on Twitter this time.
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While the Redskins are not yet out of the woods regarding Trent Williams’ knee injury, the news sounds better than Williams looked after the game on Sunday.
Jay Gruden confirmed an earlier report that an MRI revealed no structural damage to the left knee of the Pro Bowl left tackle. He went down near the end of the Redskins’ 20-17 loss to the Lions and he needed assistance to get back to the locker room. After talking to the press, he had a decided limp as he walked to the team bus.
“That’s [the MRI results] good news, but we have to still monitor him during the week and see how he does,” said Gruden.
Guard Brandon Scherff left the game briefly after suffering a sprained AC joint in his shoulder. “He’s sore,” said Gruden. “He’s a tough sucker, but he’s sore.”
Scherff will be monitored in practice as well.
Gruden also said that cornerback Bashaud Breeland is sore after suffering a sprained ankle. He missed two games with a right ankle injury earlier this season but Gruden said that his injury is to his left ankle.