Coach Mike Shanahan said that right tackle Tyler Polumbus, who sustained a concussion in the first half of Sunday’s 38-21 victory over the Browns, will continue to be monitored throughout the week.
The coach declined to provide an update on the health of center Will Montgomery, who has a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee. Montgomery sustained the injury late in Sunday’s game and did not return after he was checked on the sideline by medical staff.
Shortly after Shanahan’s Monday afternoon news conference, the team issued a statement from the NFL that Black, who played the entire second half Sunday in place of Polumbus, has been suspended for four games.
Taken together, the news put one of the team’s most stable units in a suddenly precarious situation as the Redskins try to win their final two games and capture the NFC East title for the first time since 1999.
The Redskins closed out the game with Kory Lichtensteiger (usually the starting left guard) at center and backup Maurice Hurt at left guard. Shanahan said, “We’ll talk about Will more on Wednesday,” but added that the team is well prepared at center with Lichtensteiger, right guard Chris Chester and rookies Josh LeRibeus and Adam Gettis both able to play that position if Montgomery can’t.
The options at right tackle aren’t so plentiful.
Polumbus had started all 14 games after Jammal Brown was lost for the season with recurring hip injuries.
Polumbus could play Sunday if he shows no lingering symptoms and passes tests throughout the week. (Teammates Robert Griffin III, Aldrick Robinson and Josh Wilson all suffered concussions during games earlier this year but recovered in time to play the following week.)
If Polumbus is unable to play, the Redskins must decide whether to go with Hurt, a second-year pro who started eight games at left guard last season and has seen time at tackle in practices, or rookie Tom Compton, who spent the first 13 weeks of the season on the practice squad before he was promoted to the 53-man roster two weeks ago.
Asked about his level of concern regarding the line, Shanahan expressed confidence in the healthy players on the roster.
“We’ve got a little more depth,” Shanahan said, referring to improvements over last season, when injuries along the line helped trigger a six-game losing streak that followed a promising 3-1 start. “We’ve got a few guys that are draft choices that have been working extremely hard and understand our offense, and if put in — if they need to play — I think they’ll do an excellent job.”