By Kevin Ross
In the National Football League, the argument can always be made that no matter what physical skills a quarterback may possess, he is only as good as his protection.
The Hogs, the dirt bags, or whatever you want to call them, play the most underrated position in all of sports. Left tackles may never sign endorsement deals, but football minds understand that a quarterback’s success is handcuffed to the ability of his offensive lineman. And to break things down further, a signal caller is only as good as his blind side protection.
The one “must have” intangible needed to play quarterback on the professional level, deals with confidence in the pocket. A quarterback must have unwavering faith that his left tackle will protect his blindside and keep that 260-pound defensive end from destroying his spine. And if a quarterback loses faith in his offensive line, the results can be downright ugly; if you are searching for an example see every Redskins quarterback for the last 10 seasons.
This is all to help explain the notion that a left tackle in the NFL is the second most important player on an entire football team. And that guy for the Washington Redskins is Trent Williams whose name stuck out on the team’s injury report.
Williams suffered a bone bruise in his right knee during last week’s loss to the Bengals. Trent returned to the game against Cincinnati but he didn’t have the necessary agility and movement needed to play at a high level. Williams only participated in one of Washington’s practice sessions this week, and was limited when he did suit up.
Coach Shanahan has been known to implement rules for injured players, making it clear that if they don’t practice they will not play. Will this rule be in effect for Trent Williams who barely saw the practice field at all this week?
Coach Mike Shanahan addressed those rumors this week at Redskins’ park, “I don’t have any rules specifically. With all the different things I’ve done through the years, a lot depends on the experience of the guy, if I know the guy, how he has played in the past, the way he has handled different situations, veterans, rookies, their experience. Each one is a little bit different. I don’t have one set rule for Wednesday, Thursday or Friday, but at least in my experience, if you don’t get some practice in during the week, it’s hard to play well,” said Coach Shanahan.
We know that Trent Williams did get some practice in this week, so according to Coach Shanahan he may be able to go on Sunday. And for Redskins nation the status of Trent Williams could very well determine the outcome of the game. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers nearly decapitated Dallas quarterback Tony Romo last week. And if the Redskins are forced to start backup left tackle Jordan Black; Robert Griffin’s health will be at stake.
Other notable players listed on the Washington Redskins official injury report include: (WR) Pierre Garcon, (WR) Brandon Banks, (WR) Leonard Hankerson, (S) Brandon Meriweather, and (RB) Evan Royster.
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Kevin Ross is a freelance writer covering all things Washington Redskins. His work can be found on Examiner.com.