The Redskins placed four players who were Week 1 starters on offense on injured reserve on Tuesday. Not only is the 2017 season over for RB Chris Thompson, WR Terrelle Pryor, C Spencer Long, and G Shawn Lauvao, three of them may never play for the Redskins again.
Here is a look at the situation of each player, presented in order of the likelihood that he will be back with the Redskins in 2018.
—There is not any doubt that Thompson will be back. His two-year, $7 million extension kicks in next year. He turned 27 last month and assuming there are no issues in rehabbing his broken fibula he will be back in his familiar role as the third-down back and the player Jay Gruden turns to when the team needs an offensive spark.
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—The other three players are all in the last year of their contracts. Of those, Long is the most likely to be back. They like his ability to play multiple positions. A third-round pick in 2014, he has started 13 games at left guard and 18 at center. There was talk earlier this year that the team might make a push to extend his contract. But now, they could be ready to move to Chase Roullier at center. The Redskins will see how Long’s health is as the free agency period approaches and decide what to do from there.
—Lauvao is on the last season of a four-year free agent contract. This will be the second season in that deal significantly shortened by injury. He missed 13 games with a broken ankle in 2015. He just turned 30 and the Redskins might want to go with someone younger and cheaper at left guard. But Jay Gruden likes veterans and perhaps if Lauvao is willing to return on a relatively cheap deal, he could return for some depth.
—There is very little chance that Pryor will be around in 2018. Both sides tried to make something happen but it just didn’t work. He was smart about the situation and always handled himself with class through the frustration. Some team likely will give him a shot next year but it likely won’t be the Redskins and it definitely won’t be the kind of long-term, big-money deal he was hoping to get when this season started.
These are not the only free-agency decisions involving injured players that the Redskins will have to make in 2018. Other pending free agents on injured reserve are NT Phil Taylor, LB Mason Foster, K Dustin Hopkins, LB Will Compton, and LB Trent Murphy.
Former Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis has been named a semifinalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame 2018 class.
Lewis, who is in his first year of eligibility, made the first set of cuts from 108 candidates to 27.
First-year eligible players included on the semifinals list with Lewis are defensive back Ronde Barber, guard Steve Hutchinson, linebacker Brian Urlacher, wide receiver Randy Moss and defensive lineman Richard Seymour.
12 offensive players, 13 defensive players and two coaches made the cut. However, there are no quarterbacks on the list.
All ties for the 25th spot also advance.
In January, members of the Hall of Fame committee will then narrow the modern-era list down to 15. Nominees must receive 80 percent "yes" votes to make the cut.
The selection committee will then meet for a final time on February 3, the day before Super Bowl LII, to select the 2018 class.
Lewis and Moss are considered shoo-ins.
Lewis played his entire 17-year career with the team after the Ravens drafted him 26th in the 1996 draft. During his 17 years, he won two Super Bowls, won Super Bowl XXXV MVP, was named to 13 Pro Bowls, a seven-time First-Team All-Pro, was a two-time Defensive Player of the year winner, won eight Defensive Player of the Week awards, played in 228 career games, made 1,336 tackles, had 41.5 sacks and 31 interceptions.
Players must be retired from the league for five years to be eligible for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.