Offensive line faces questions, injuries and uncertainty as Washington Redskins prepare for St. Louis

The Washington Post's Barry Svrluga previews the Redskins' upcoming game with the St. Louis Rams.
By Rick Maese
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, September 22, 2010; 11:49 PM

As Trent Williams walked toward the locker room, the weight on his giant frame shifted unevenly from side to side as he favored a sore left knee. The rookie left tackle wasn't in a talking mood.

"Nah, not today," Williams said, swatting away questions with a just a couple of words.

But the questions don't go away. For the Redskins' offensive line, there are suddenly more heading into the third game of the season than they've faced since early in the offseason.

Williams's status for Sunday's game at the St. Louis Rams is up in the air. He suffered a knee contusion and sprained a toe in last Sunday's loss to the Houston Texans and was not able to participate in practice Wednesday.

"We'll evaluate him every day," Coach Mike Shanahan said. "Hopefully, he'll be ready to go."

If Williams isn't, it seems increasingly likely that Stephon Heyer - not Jammal Brown - would replace him at left tackle. Shanahan would offer no clues Wednesday, but Brown, who appeared in two Pro Bowls as a left tackle, said he hasn't taken any reps on the left side since joining the Redskins in June.

"Trent's a good player, but Stephon is over there, too," Brown said.

With a rushing attack ranked last in the NFL, regardless of Williams's status on Sunday, there are question marks at two other positions on the line as well.

At left guard, coaches have been alternating Derrick Dockery and Kory Lichtensteiger. Two games into the season, it doesn't appear they have settled on one over the other.

"It's been very close and a very tight race," Shanahan said Wednesday. "We want to give both guys a chance to win that position."

The players said they haven't been told who will start Sunday at St. Louis. Both said they are surprised that Lichtensteiger has seen so much playing time. There are some at Redskins Park who believe Dockery is a bad fit for Shanahan's zone blocking scheme, which is why Lichtensteiger, who didn't play a single down of football in 2009, has been given so much game time.

"What are you going to do about it? You going to cry about it?" said Dockery, who has started 111 straight NFL games. "Pout about it? . . . Kory deserves a shot. I thought he played a really good preseason, had a really good offseason. Coach said he wanted to give him a shot."

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