The Redskins are hopeful that left guard Kory Lichtensteiger’s ankle sprain isn’t serious enough to keep him out of next Sunday’s game against Seattle, coach Mike Shanahan said, but if the veteran happens to suffer a setback, the Redskins have confidence in rookie Josh LeRibeus.
A third-round pick out of Southern Methodist University, LeRibeus saw his most extensive action of the season when he replaced the injured Lichtensteiger early in the second half. The 6-foot-2, 315-pound LeRibeus played 21 of the team’s 62 offensive snaps, and the Redskins didn’t appear to miss a beat with him in the game.
“It just shows the depth we have across the offensive line for someone to come in the heat of the game, when we need a few crucial drives, to come in and execute like he did,” left tackle Trent Williams said of LeRibeus.
Said Shanahan: “I think Josh has done a very good job. He’s been practicing extremely well. He’s a guy who I had no reservations putting in. Once Kory looked a little hobbled and was trying to play with that sprained ankle, you could see that he could not get it done, we did put him in. I had no reservations and rightfully so. He played well.”
LeRibeus’s play demonstrated the progress he has made as a rookie. He had the size and athleticism needed to fit into Washington’s zone-blocking scheme, which requires linemen to run laterally as they hit their blocking assignments as they stretch the defense out and create cutback lanes for the running back. But LeRibeus had a good deal of learning to do to acclimate himself to the system, Shanahan said. He struggled with consistency during the preseason and has dressed for only five games. But his play Sunday earned a passing grade.
“Well, he came from a system that was quite different than the system that we’re running, so it takes some time and I just think he’s adapted pretty quickly. He’s extremely bright and he’s very powerful. He’s at a 315-320 range so I’ve liked the way he’s handled himself. You can see he brings a dimension of that quickness and toughness and hopefully he can keep on getting better.”