Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan would not say who would start at left tackle Sunday against New England. Washington needs a replacement for starter Trent Williams, who was suspended for repeatedly violating the NFL’s drug policy. Maurice Hurt, an undrafted rookie from East Carolina, and veteran Sean Locklear split reps in practice during the week.
When Williams missed two games with an ankle injury earlier in the season, Locklear started in his place. Whoever gets the nod against the Patriots will be playing alongside rookie Maurice Hurt, who will make his fifth start of the season at left guard.
“There’s always concerns, any time you’re playing with players that haven't played in the NFL” Shanahan said. “I think Hurt’s improved every game. He’s had some injuries, some setbacks, but he’s worked through it [and it’s been] a positive experience for him. It’s been good to get both Willie and Sean some good looks at left tackle this week. … Hopefully, they take it to game day and play well.”
Smith was perhaps the most surprising player to make the 53-man roster for Week 1. He has not yet appeared in a game.
“You can always get better in practice,” Smith said. “You try to practice how you’re going to play. But game experience is the best teacher.”
Hurt, who is replacing starter Kory Lichtensteiger at left guard, got to work alongside both Locklear and Hurt in practice this week.
“We’ll work just as well together,” Hurt said. “Losing Trent — playing beside him has been very beneficial. But playing beside Sean or playing beside Willie, both will be good.”
Williams was suspended for the final four games of the season by the league Tuesday.