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With Uncertainty For Spencer Long, Chase Roullier And Tony Bergstrom Prepping For Action

Posted Oct 26, 2017

The Redskins could be without their starting center on Sunday, leaving open the possibility they'll need to work with a rookie and a new signing at the position.

The Redskins could be without their starting center on Sunday, leaving open the possibility they'll need to work with a rookie and a new signing at the position.

While the Washington Redskins’ offensive line is dealing with injuries up and down the depth chart, starting center Spencer Long may be the most unlikely player of the group to play Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys.

Despite tendinitis flaring up in his knees and quads during Monday evening’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Long overcame the pain to play 59-of-64 offensive snaps as Brandon Scherff, Morgan Moses and Trent Williams were all dealing with injuries of their own.

“He did an unbelievable job of finishing the game for us because we didn’t have anybody else to turn to,” said Redskins head coach Jay Gruden. “But I think right now he is in some pain.”

Long wasn’t a participant during Thursday’s practice session, as rookie center Chase Roullier guided a young offensive line for quarterback Kirk Cousins. If Long can’t play on Sunday, Roullier would be tapped for his first career NFL start.

“That’s kind of been my role here, just to fill in wherever I’m needed in those inside three positions,” Roullier said. “It’s what I’ve been preparing for in practice this entire season, so I felt pretty prepared to play whatever position I needed to. Obviously, it’s always tough whenever so many guys are going down and you’re flipping around all sorts of different positions. It’s something that I’ve been practicing for and it went pretty well.”

Roullier was selected in the sixth round of the 2017 NFL Draft out of Wyoming. During his collegiate career, he split reps between guard and center.

He’s only played 26 offensive snaps this season, all coming against the Eagles this past week.

“Obviously, I was very excited when I made the team and as soon as I had the opportunity to be out there and play, that’s very exciting as well. I’ve just got to relish the moment and continue to do my best out there and just continue to get better each and every week.

On Wednesday, the Redskins brought in veteran help for the offensive line with the signing of Tony Bergstrom. A 31-year-old out of the University of Utah, Bergstrom has appeared in 44 regular season games over the course of his six-year career with four starts.

After signing with the Arizona Cardinals in the offseason, Bergstrom was traded to the Baltimore Ravens. He would appear in four games with the Ravens before being released on Monday.

Two days later, he was signed by the Redskins after working out of the scouting staff and assistant head coach/offensive line coach Bill Callahan.

Bergstrom’s only exposure to Callahan before this week was the 2012 NFL Combine, but the offensive lineman understands how special of a coach he is.

“A guy like him, everybody kind of steals from everybody. By the time I got here, it’s like, ‘Oh yeah, we did that in Houston. Oh yeah, we did that in Arizona.’ Everybody steals from everybody and he’s one of the best, so everybody steals from him,” Bergstrom said. “There’s a bunch of things I knew and a bunch of things that were new to me.”

While Bergstrom is listed as an offensive lineman, he has the ability to play numerous spots on the offensive line. He’s played both center and guard in the NFL and was a right tackle during his college career.

“That’s kind of been my career. I’ve been versatile,” Bergstrom said. “That’s something that I’ve been able to do, I’ve been able to learn offense quickly and pretty much play any position that I need to. I’ve played every spot from left tight end to right tight end and everything in between. Whatever I need to do, it’s what I’m here to do.”

Just four days after signing, Bergstrom could be active for a crucial Week 8 game against the Dallas Cowboys. Learning the Redskins’ playbook on such a quick turnaround will be tough, but it’s something he’s done before.

“I’ve learned five [playbooks] now,” Bergstrom said. “I guess with every one you learn, it gets easier. Apparently if you learn a second language, it makes it easier to learn a third one.” 

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