Washington Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan believes G Kory Lichtensteiger will return to the line-up by training camp set to open July 26.
Lichtensteiger tore both his ACL and MCL in the Week 6 home game against Philadelphia. LT Trent Williams went down in the same game. Say what you want about a "quarterback-driven league," but offensive line is still the deal. The Redskins entered the Eagles game 3-1. They lost that game without Williams and Lichtensteiger, and then lost nine of the next 11 while suffering a rash of injuries on the O-line and the rest of the team.
It's football. Injuries happen. The Redskins got better rushing with Roy Helu and Evan Royster after Tim Hightower's injury. Fred Davis was more than adequate replacing Chris Cooley. Jabar Gaffney was a steady influence, but the team could not overcome Santana Moss' injuries and the loss of Leonard Hankerson. No part of the offense was more devastated than the offensive line that took its biggest hit with Trent Williams' self-inflicted suspension.
You might say it's a depth-driven league. Washington was surprisingly competitive with starters in place. They were out of their depth without them. We sense that the front office has done a better job of rebuilding depth with young talent.
But, no one buys that Washington has reached the point where they "reload" after injury. Most of the sports sites Hog Heaven follows see the 'Skins firmly in division fourth-place for the fifth straight season. They see division rivals improving from a higher starting point than Washington does.
Hog Heaven will not make its season prediction until after the third exhibition game, but we will start with the seven wins per season Washington has averaged since 1992, then assess how much better (or worse) they've become from there.
Kyle Shanahan wants rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III to work on his technique in the lull before camp. That only comes with repetition, followed by more reps during camp and preseason games.
One decision for the Shanahans is how to balance RG3's reps in preseason games against exposure to injury. I expect Griffin will play all of six quarters of preseason action, first halves of the first three games and a token appearance in the fourth.
Speaking of the fourth, Happy 4th of July!