For players battling to make an NFL roster this summer, there’s one sure way they can increase their odds of making the cut: be able to help at more than one position.
For Redskins’ offensive lineman Josh LeRibeus, it might be his clearest path to the 53.
During this week’s OTA practices at Redskins Park, LeRibeus, a 2012 third rounder who has started only one game, alternated lining up at guard and center. In fact, LeRibeus got a handful of reps with the first team, snapping the ball to Robert Griffin III during 11-on-11 drills.
Kory Lichtensteiger is expected to start at center this season. But when the Redskins released starting right guard Chris Chester earlier this week, they also said goodbye to their emergency center.
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“It’s important,” Coach Jay Gruden said. “It really is, because that’s one thing that we’re missing with Chris. If something were to happen to Kory in a game, Chris was our backup center. So we have to train another guy to be a center, and Josh is taking the right steps to do that.”
If LeRibeus is able to prove he can be a reliable backup guard—Shawn Lauvao and Spencer Long were the starters during OTAs this week—and clinch the emergency center role, he won’t just make the team, he’ll also be active on the 46-man gameday roster.
“We’ll have some backup centers in-house if something were to happen long-term, but it’s important on gameday that we have a backup center,” Gruden added. “Right now, Josh is working hard at it. Spencer Long is also working at it. We have to have that covered.”