Football Team

Most spots on Washington are coming into focus, but left guard isn’t

Football Team

The Washington Football Team's training camp is in its final stages, and some of the larger position questions they faced before their season opener against the Eagles seem to have been answered in Ashburn.

Landon Collins' other half at safety appears like it's going to be Troy Apke. At running back, meanwhile, Antonio Gibson looks like he's going to be the second option behind Adrian Peterson, with JD McKissic right behind him. And expect Dontrelle Inman to take up the other outside receiver spot across from Terry McLaurin, at least early on.

Left guard was another place that was trending toward a simple solution, as Wes Martin held it down there through the initial and middle stages of camp. Now, however, things are getting blurrier instead of clearer. 

On Friday, ex-49er and former 2016 first-round pick Joshua Garnett rotated in quite a bit with the starters. Then, on Saturday, Chase Roullier bumped over and saw action there, with rookie Keith Ismael assuming center duties. Wes Schweitzer, a free agent signing who had been injured for a decent stretch, is re-entering the group as well.

So, yeah, there's a lot going on at left guard. After Saturday's practice, Ron Rivera was asked if he's still evaluating what he has in that section of his offensive line. He didn't hesitate.

"Most certainly," Rivera answered. "You don't want to do like people say, 'Ready, fire, aim.' You want to make sure you get a chance to really think about the decision you make before you really decide."

 

At this point, it feels like every scenario is still in play, despite Week 1 being two weeks away. 

Maybe after trying out all of these other options, Rivera will realize that Martin is his best pick.

Or perhaps Garnett, who clearly was once well-regarded and is someone who "fits the style of blocking we have as opposed to some of the other offenses he’s been in" as the coach explained, emerges. 

Or there's the chance that Rivera and his staff saw something out of the shuffled unit they used on Saturday, and they'll opt to slide Roullier out of the middle and backfill it with Ismael.

All of that goes to say that the competition at left guard remains very much alive. To some, considering where the NFL calendar is, that doesn't sound ideal. Rivera, though, is not flustered at all.

"We've really kind of thought about it, worked through it and kind of said: 'You know what, let's continue to work through these combinations of guys and really find the best combination and we'll go from there."