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Report: C John Sullivan signs with Rams, leaving Redskins looking for a backup

Report: C John Sullivan signs with Rams, leaving Redskins looking for a backup

As the early part of the offseason got underway, the Redskins had two possible options for a player to back up starting center Spencer Long. One was Kory Lichtensteiger but in early February the veteran decided to retire. The other was John Sullivan, the longtime Vikings center who joined the Redskins as their backup last season after Lichtensteiger went on injured reserve in Week 4.

Now Sullivan is off the board. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Media, Sullivan will join former Redskins offensive coordinator Sean McVay with the Rams. Sullivan visited the Rams last month and this reported move seemed to be a matter of when it would happen and not if. 

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The Rams needed someone who could start at center for them. They cut Tim Barnes, who started for them last year. They wanted to replace him with restricted free agent Ryan Groy but the Bills matched the Los Angeles offer sheet.

The Sullivan signing works out well for both parties. Sullivan goes to a spot where the starts out on the top of the depth chart instead of waiting for an opportunity. And McVay gets someone who is familiar with his offense working in the middle of the O-line.

Meanwhile, the Redskins are in search of a backup center. In a pinch, they could move Shawn Lauvao to center and insert Arie Kouandjio at guard. But after watching converted guard Josh LeRibeus spray shotgun snaps all over the place when he filled in for an injured Lichtensteiger in 2015, Jay Gruden prefers to have an actual center as the backup.

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Right now, the pickings are slim. The top free agent center on the market is former Jets All-Pro Nick Mangold. But even though he is getting up there in years at age 33 he is looking for a starting job and he may well be able to get one.

That will leave the Redskins looking to the draft or possibly the free agent market that usually develops after the draft as teams shed veterans they replaced with picks in the draft.

It is a situation that could linger into training camp, another time that teams move on from big salaries. The Vikings didn’t cut Sullivan until August 30 last year so there is plenty of time to identify and sign a prospect.  

Stay up to date on the Redskins! Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Maybe the Redskins aren't as banged up on defense as we thought they were

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Associated Press

Maybe the Redskins aren't as banged up on defense as we thought they were

The Redskins’ defense may not be as banged up as we thought it was.

On Thursday, the first day of serious preparation for their Monday night game in Philadelphia, injured defenders CB Josh Norman (rib), CB Bashaud Breeland (knee), and S Deshazor Everett (hamstring) all practiced on a limited basis.

Norman was inactive against the 49ers after suffering a broken rib against the Chiefs on October 2. Breeland injured his knee against San Francisco. They are the starters, and if they both can play against the 5-1 Eagles it would be a huge boost to the defense.

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It should be noted that both cornerbacks only took part in individual drills, so it is no sure thing that either will be ready to play in Philadelphia. But having them at practice was a good start.

Everett is a reserve safety and a key special teams contributor. His presence in the latter area could be important as the Eagles’ performance on special teams is among the best in the league.

LB Ryan Anderson (back) and S Stefan McClure (knee) both practiced on a limited basis.

Also practicing was S DeAngelo Hall. He has been on the physically unable to perform list since the start of training camp rehabbing a torn ACL he suffered in 2016. The team now has a 21-day window during which they can activate him. However, he must sit out at least one more game.

On offense, Trent Williams (knee) did not practice. That is not ideal but he was able to play last Sunday after being out of practice all last week.

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Jay Gruden announced roster moves that had been reported previously, with K Dustin Hopkins (hip) and DE Jonathan Allen (foot) going on injured reserve. First-year player Nick Rose will handle the place kicking duties and A.J. Francis will take Allen’s roster spot.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.

 

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A.J. Francis promoted to Redskins' 53-man roster

A.J. Francis promoted to Redskins' 53-man roster

The Redskins put Jonathan Allen on injured reserve and brought in a familiar face to replace him on the roster.

Jay Gruden announced that the team has signed former practice squad member A.J. Francis to take the place of Allen, who suffered a Lisfranc injury last Sunday in the game against the 49ers. Francis spent part of last season on the Redskins practice squad and he was on the 53-man roster for a couple of weeks, although he did not appear in a game. Francis also was on the team this year before being released in the cut to 53 on September 2.  

The former Maryland standout has played in three NFL games, all in 2015, appearing in two for the Seahawks and one for the Dolphins.

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In all, Francis has been a part of 22 transactions, starting when he signed with the Dolphins as an undrafted free agent in 2013.

Allen has undergone surgery to repair the foot already. The normal schedule for a Lisfranc calls for a player to stay off of the foot for 6-8 weeks and then start rehabbing, which can take a month or possibly a lot longer.

He would be eligible to be activated off of injured reserve after missing eight games, which means he technically could play in Week 15 against the Cardinals. But that would be an extremely optimistic timetable for such an injury.

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Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.