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Trent Williams leaves Redskins-Texans game with knee injury

By Barry Svrluga
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, September 20, 2010; 12:12 AM

Washington Redskins tackle Trent Williams left Sunday's 30-27 overtime loss to the Houston Texans with a knee injury in the fourth quarter, leaving Washington with a makeshift offensive line for the final possession of regulation and its only set of downs in overtime.

Williams, the fourth overall pick in the April draft, was beaten by Houston Pro Bowler Mario Williams on a play with roughly 90 seconds remaining in regulation. He lay on the field in obvious pain and had to be helped off by two members of the Redskins' training staff.

Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan said Williams would have an MRI exam to determine the extent of the injury. Williams said he was tested for a tear of his left anterior cruciate ligament on the field and passed. He also left the stadium wearing a walking boot to protect his left toe.

"Just got banged-up, that's all," Williams said afterward, when he limped around the locker room, grabbing the sides of his locker stall to lift himself from his chair.

Williams said he did not know when he would find out whether he would miss any time. His mood afterward, though, was glum, and he spoke in short sentences.

"It's very frustrating," Williams said. "It is. To be injured and also let the game slip away like we did, it's frustrating."

Williams's injury left the Redskins with Stephon Heyer as the left tackle; Heyer had been rotating with Jammal Brown at right tackle.

"It's not easy, but you've just got to come to play," Heyer said. "You've got to be prepared for everything."

Brown has started both regular season games, with Heyer playing every third series at right tackle. Derrick Dockery and Kory Lichtensteiger continued to rotate at left guard against the Texans as well.

"It's tough getting a rhythm, getting the blood flowing or anything," Heyer said. "But that's what they're trying to do, trying to get a rotation going."

If Williams is out for next Sunday's game at St. Louis, it's unlikely Heyer will be part of any rotation. He could be starting at left tackle. Heyer started 28 games in his first three years in the NFL.

"Trent's a great young talent, and we know that he's going to be the best left tackle in the game in a couple years," right guard Artis Hicks said. "But if he's out for a while, and I don't know if he is, then hey, Stephon's a starter. Stephon Heyer, he's been out there before. He's been in the thick of things. He's proven he can be a starter in this league."

Haynesworth inactive

Defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth was the most prominent member of the roster to be declared inactive Sunday, a decision made by the coaching staff after Haynesworth tested his sprained ankle in pregame warmups.

"He tested it and wasn't able to go," Shanahan said.

Haynesworth originally suffered the ankle sprain during Wednesday's practice. His participation was limited late in the week. Defensive tackle Anthony Bryant, who was active in Haynesworth's place, said he was told late in the week "to be ready."

"When Albert's not in, we lose another guy with experience," Bryant said. "That's the big thing. He's played for a while. He's got more experience. His leadership role and him as a person, just being there, the fact that it's Albert Haynesworth, it makes the other team game plan with him in mind."

Haynesworth, though, has been a part-time player for Shanahan thus far. He did not start and was not on the field for several key plays of the season-opening 13-7 victory over Dallas. In 2009, his first season in Washington, he sat out four games with injuries, and the last time he played in all 16 games of a season was 2002 - his rookie year with Tennessee.

Haynesworth did not watch the game from the sideline, which team officials said was normal for inactive players. Offensive lineman Will Montgomery and safety Kareem Moore, however, both joined their teammates on the bench for the game.

The Texans gained only 58 yards rushing against the Redskins. Veteran Vonnie Holliday led Washington's interior linemen by being part of five tackles, including half a sack. Adam Carriker added four tackles, including half a sack.

The other inactive Redskins on Sunday were wide receiver Brandon Banks, linebacker Perry Riley, tight end Logan Paulsen, defensive end Jeremy Jarmon and John Beck, who served as the third quarterback.

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