The 2018 Redskins season was one that will be remembered for injuries. No position group was hit harder than injuries than the offensive line.
This season, nine different Redskins’ offensive lineman played more than just 200 snaps, and barely any of the linemen could catch a break. When asked about all the injuries to the Redskins linemen and other positions, head coach Jay Gruden said that it was hard to evaluate the season.
"It's impossible, really,” Gruden said. “It's hard because you're talking about really, really good players that didn't play, especially at the quarterback position...Offensive line-wise it is hard to say what we would have been with Brandon Scherff at right guard and Shawn Lauvao or Jonathan Cooper or Arie Kouandjio or Tyler Catalina, whoever, all of these guys that went down...We just never got everybody together all at once, so it's hard to really say, 'This is where we are.' Because we don't really know how good we can be with everybody in the lineup at the same time."
Here's a look at the unit's season:
The offensive line was spearheaded by long-time Redskin Trent Williams.The 2010 first-round draft pick had made six consecutive Pro Bowls entering the season, and he extended the streak to seven this year. Williams joined outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan as the two Redskins to make the Pro Bowl this year. When asked about making another Pro Bowl, Williams was very honored to receive the award.
“Oh yeah of course,” Williams said. “Every year, every year has its own story every year plays out different and every year you can top it off with an accolade as such, it's a blessing you're thankful for."
Williams started 13 games for the Redskins this year, missing three games in the middle of the season due to a thumb injury. Williams was also asked on how the team adjusted to all of the ups and downs of the season.
“It’s not my first one, so I’m used to it,” Williams said. “But, we fought through it. This team has been through a lot, but it's bittersweet. Obviously, no one likes losing but when you look at a team who finished their season with 50 percent of the players on the roster they started with, and you look at a team with about 20% of the roster in the stadium for the first time. Not to make excuses but you got to know that you’re behind the 8-ball. Injuries happen to everybody, but it just happened to us a little more often this year. But it gives you the confidence to know that at full strength we can compete with anybody.”
The other starting tackle, Morgan Moses, was healthy all season and able to play and start in all 16 games. This was Moses’ fifth season in the NFL, all of which have been with the Redskins. This season was Moses’ fourth consecutive year starting all 16 games, pushing him to a 64-game streak of starting every game.
Backup tackle Ty Nsekhe was one of the helpful role players for the Redskins offensive line this season. FIlling in for when Trent Williams went down injured, Nsekhe stepped up and played well in those three games. Nsekhe also started two other games, filling in for the various guards who had gone down with injuries.
Tackles Timon Parris and Geron Christian Sr. both had limited playing time this year, playing in one and two games respectively.
The center spot was one that was held down all year by Chase Roullier. After starting in seven games as a rookie last year, the former sixth-round pick stepped into a bigger role this year, starting every game.
Shawn Lauvao started at elft guard this year for the Redskins, but his season was cut short by injuries. After starting the first two games, Lauvao missed a few weeks due to a calf injury, before returning to start in three more games. Unfortunately, Lauvao suffered a knee injury and missed the remainder of the season.
Brandon Scherff started at the other guard, playing in the first nine games of the season, on his way to possibly making another Pro Bowl appearance. In the ninth game of the season against the Atlanta Falcons, Scherff suffered a pectoral injury that would cost him the rest of the season.
Tony Bergstrom was the main guard to fill in for the injuries to Scherff and Lauvao. Bergstrom played in 13 games this past season, missing three due to an ankle injury near the end of the year.
Due to all the injuries to the offensive line, the Redskins had to make a lot of mid-season signings to fill in the holes.
Jonathan Cooper was signed midway through the season and started four games. However, a bicep injury would cause him to only play in four games, and miss the rest of his season.
Luke Bowanko and Austin Howard were also mid-season additions, playing in seven games and five games respectively. Bowanko also started three games, and Howard started one.
Zac Kerin and Kyle Fuller were added to the squad late in the season, playing in two of the last few games of the year. Kerin also started one game.
Both Arie Kouandijo and Tyler Catalina had their seasons end before they even got started. Both had season-ending injuries in the offseason, with Kouandijo having a quad injury and Catalina suffering a shoulder injury.
Seven Redskins’ offensive linemen are under team control for next year. Trent Williams, Brandon Scherff, Morgan Moses, Chase Roullier, Geron Christian, Kyle Fuller, and Tyler Catalina are all under contract for 2019. Zac Kerin is a restricted free agent, but all of the other Redskin offensive linemen are unrestricted free agents.
The Redskins could explore re-signing some of those offensive linemen, inclusing Ty Nsekhe, who has been extremely valuable the last cuple injury-filled years, or they could look to bring in new faces in the draft.