In the coming weeks, Redskins Insider Tarik El-Bashir will take a close look at Redskins who struggled to carve out a steady role, underperformed or landed on injured reserve in 2015 and, as a result, need a strong offseason to lock down a job in 2016. Up today …
Player: Shawn Lauvao
2016 cap hit: $5 million
Stats: 3 games, 1 sack allowed, 2 penalties
Comment: After an unremarkable first season in Washington, Lauvao had begun to hit his stride as the team’s starting left guard in 2015. The 6-foot-3, 315-pounder had become a particularly effective run blocker under Bill Callahan, and the Redskins’ ground attack thrived in Weeks 1 and 2.
Then he suffered a significant left ankle injury on the second series against the Giants in Week 3.The injury ended Lauvao’s season and it dealt the run game a serious blow.
Spencer Long stepped in for Lauvao and ended up starting the final 13 regular season games and the playoff loss to the Packers. A third round draft pick in 2014, Long got off to a sluggish start but had made significant strides by season’s end. Long allowed only one sack all season and was the only Redskins’ O-lineman to not take a penalty.
Lauvao, meantime, spent the latter part of the season recovering from multiple surgeries. On Jan. 11, in fact, he revealed that he decided to have an old injury to his right foot cleaned up while he recovered from the procedure on his left ankle. In all, Lauvao, who got around with the assistance of a scooter, said he underwent five procedures, including two major surgeries.
Lauvao said he hopes to be ready by the OTAs but acknowledged that his recovery could realistically take as long as six months. He’s still the Redskins’ most experienced guard and he was having a solid season prior to getting hurt. But he’s not healthy and it’s unclear when he’ll return to full strength. Which could make him vulnerable if he’s unable to prove in the coming months that he’s able to his previous form. He’s due to count $5 million against the cap, and the team could save $3 million if he’s cut.
Could there be a scenario where Long slides over to center and Lauvao returns to left guard? Perhaps. But a few things would need to fall into place…including Lauvao returning to 100-percent and showing that he’s able to play at a high level.
Other Redskins who are under pressure in 2016