Lost in the news of the losses of Jonathan Goff for the season and Kory Lichtensteiger until the start of the regular season was the news that they signed an offensive tackle.Jordan Black has been out of football for a year. The seven-year NFL veteran with 80 NFL games under his belt, including 40 starts at tackle, was about to give up his life as a full-time dad and go back to work in the real world. He had an appointment Monday with a commercial real estate broker to discuss opening up some units of a fitness business franchise.I was all but retired, he said.A phone call Sunday afternoon changed that. The Redskins had gotten the news about Goff and they had a roster spot available. Did he want to come play in Washington?Black needs to pack on some poundsBlack had a career decision to make. It took him about 30 seconds to make it. He arrived in Ashburn on Monday and was on the field for the walkthrough practice on Tuesday morning.Since he was not in camp with another team, CBA rules will keep him out of practicing fully until Friday.The Redskins are Blacks fifth NFL team since the Chiefs drafted him in the fifth round in 2004. He started 29 games in Kansas City in three seasons before moving on to stops with the Texans and Jaguars. The Saints had him in during training camp last year but released him during the final cuts.During his stint in Houston, the quarterbacks coach was Kyle Shanahan. It seems like that is the link that got Black that surprise phone call on Sunday.The question is, can he help on an offensive line that now has two starters on the sideline? Black said that he can play either right or left tackle but he is likely going to be put to work on the right side, where starter Jammal Brown is on the sideline with a hip injury.For right now, Tyler Polumbus has taken virtually all of the first-team snaps at right tackle. Mike Shanahan mentioned Maurice Hurt, who is now filling in at left guard with Lichtensteiger out, and Willie Smith as possible replacements for Brown, if needed.But it appears that Black will get a look. It is hard to imagine him starting but if Browns injury is serious they might want to hold on to him for veteran depth.Or, Black could end up meeting with that commercial real estate agent after all.
Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, October 19, four days before the Washington Redskins visit the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday night football.
Today’s schedule: Practice 1 p.m.; Jay Gruden and Kirk Cousins news conferences, open locker room, after practice approx. 3 p.m.
—Cowboys @ Redskins (10/29) 10
—Redskins @ Seahawks (11/5) 17
—Giants @ Redskins Thanksgiving (11/23) 35
Jonathan Allen’s absence
The Redskins defensive line has been one of the most improved positions on the team. Now they have a large hole to fill in that unit.
Jonathan Allen’s Lisfranc injury will require surgery and that means he will be sidelined for the rest of the season. He likely will go on injured reserve sometime this week.
The team’s first-round draft pick had been playing very well. He has helped to provide the Redskins with pass rush up the middle, an important element that has been missing from the defense. The 17th overall pick had a sack, three QB hits and 10 hurries.
What will the Redskins do in Allen’s absence? The first thing they’ll do is take consolation in the fact that they still have Matt Ioannidis to give them some inside pass rush. The second-year player rebounded from a 2016 season where he played sparingly and is providing consistent pass rush pressure between the tackles. He has 3.5 sacks and 16 pressures.
But Ioannidis can’t do it alone. He and Allen each benefitted from the presence of the other one. And edge rushers Preston Smith and Ryan Kerrigan have both been helped by the attention the other teams had to pay to the pass pressure threat from the interior.
With Allen gone, who will take his place?
That question has a few different answers. When Allen goes on injured reserve, a lineman will be signed to take his place. That could be rookie Brandon Banks, who has been on the practice squad all year. They could bring up A.J. Francis, who has been around on the practice squad for a couple of years but he has not been with a team since he was release in Redskins’ cut to 53 on September 2.
They also could find a veteran who is not currently working or sign a player off of another team’s practice squad. The Redskins tried out 16 players on Tuesday and the only defensive lineman among them was Owa Odighizuwa, who played in 18 games for the Giants in 2015-2016.
But whoever takes the roster spot likely will be inactive most of the time. Anthony Lanier, the second-year defensive end who has been on the team this year but has not been active for a game, will be active on Monday night. He is a pass-rush specialist and it seems likely that he will get most of Allen’s snaps in nickel situations.
In base defense, Stacy McGee and Terrell McClain will rotate in more frequently. It’s not as though they have been sitting on the bench this season. While the rotation has favored Allen and Ioannidis, McClain and McGee have played 131 snaps this year. Ziggy Hood has 155, Ioannidis 170 and Allen 159.
McClain and McGee are OK defending the run so there won’t be a huge drop off there. The spotlight will be on Lanier, who played in just four games last year before an injury ended his season, to continue to get push up the middle with Ioannidis.
He will get his chance on Monday as the Redskins take on the Eagles. In the season opener, the Redskins were able to get pressure on quarterback Carson Wentz (22 pressures on 41 pass dropbacks) but they weren’t often able to bring him down. We will see if Lanier can get to him a time or two and finish the job.
Tandler on Twitter
Last three games Kerrigan vs. Philly, 5 sacks, a pick six, and a game-saving forced fumble. https://t.co/VGpjoR7JQK— Rich Tandler (@TandlerNBCS) October 18, 2017
In case you missed it
- It's the Redskins vs. the MVP favorite on Monday night
- Week 7 stats, trends, and storylines
- Bad News For Jonathan Allen
- 3 plays that show why Redskins' screen game is so good
- What is a Lisfranc injury? All about Allen's new issue
By Ryan Wormeli
The Redskins eked out a close win at home on Sunday, coming away with a 26-24 final over the 49ers. One of the keys to the team's success on offense was their effective screen game.
Doc Walker says running back Chris Thompson is the best in the NFL at catching screens and turning them into big plays. Still, he knows it takes more than just one great player to find success in the screen game.
On Redskins Gameplan, he turned to the film to break down three big plays from Sunday's victory, highlighting the offensive line in giving Thompson the room he needed to make something happen.
Play 1: Recievers getting in on the "Block Party"
Nearly half of the Redskins on the field for this play found themselves with someone to block. Walker points out how active the big guys are, shouting out Brandon Scherff and Shawn Lauvao in particular. The receivers get some shine too, with Doc even pointing out, "You know you gotta give 11 some credit on that."
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Play 2: Trent Williams just keeps looking for guys to block
With the Redskins deep in their own territory, they once again call for a screen pass, and you know Doc gets really excited to see the big fellas move.
"Now watch the big uglies, downfield. Agile! Hostile! Getting after it! Staying on their feet, no belly floppers," exclaimed Walker. "That's the key to it."
Play 3: Brandon Scherff redeems himself later in the drive
Brandon Scherff started off this important drive with a holding penalty, costing his team valuable yards. He then saw the screen pass as an opportunity to make it up to his teammates, and he takes full advantage.
Doc has just one thing to say for players staring down an angry Brandon Scherff.
"You, my friend, are in trouble."
RELATED: WEEK 7 STATE OF THE 'SKINS
The Redskins probably hoped their game against the winless 49ers would be a bit more comfortable than a 26-24 victory. Still, when they found themselves in a dogfight, they were able to rely on their quality screen game to get them big yardage when needed, and it helped them come out with a big Week 6 win.
For more segments like this, tune in to Redskins Gameplan at 6 p.m. on Thursday.