There is a legitimate worry here in Camp 2-0, home of the Washington Redskins. The once deep and durable offensive line is turning from a corps into a corpse.
On Monday, guard Ron Saul will have an arthroscope done on his injured knee, guard Jerry Scanlon will have bone chips removed from his knee and center Bob Kuziel will keep his bad back in traction. All will be treated in Washington's Sibley Memorial Hospital.
Tackle Joe Jacoby will be in Arlington Hospital, where he will have more tests taken to determine why there was blood in his urine late last week.
It is not known when any will return.
Now there are only two healthy guards -- rookies Russ Grimm and Darryl Grant -- and three healthy tackles -- George Starke and rookies Mark May and Allan Kennedy.
The Redskin offensive line now seems more ready for a game of two-handed touch than for an exhibition game Saturday night in Baltimore against the Colts.
"We are concerned," is how Coach Joe Gibbs puts it. Gibbs said Jeff Bostic, who has been receiving four-star reviews for his play at center, might switch to guard this week and Dan Peiffer would start at center.
Amid this heaping of bad news, however, one bit of good news did slip in. Even though his strained Achilles tendon left him limping throughout today's light-contact one-hour practice, starting guard Melvin Jones said, "I am sore, but I will definitely play Saturday."
Joe Bugel, the offensive coordinator and the man who handles the line, said, "We thought we were deep on the offensive line when we came into camp. But any time you only have two men at any one position it's a fidgety situation."
Gibbs said that the Redskins will not seriously peruse the NFL waiver lists Tuesday, when teams are required to cut their rosters to 60 players. The Redskins currently have 83 men on the roster.
"I don't think we will find an offensive lineman who can start for us on the waiver list. If an offensive lineman is that good then he wouldn't be released," said Gibbs, with impeccable logic.
"Offensive lineman is a premium position and teams just don't let good ones go," Bugel said. "We could only get someone in a trade. It would be a difficult thing to do."
The Redskins did not make any early cuts today . . . Fred Dean, another injured member of the offensive line, went through some sit-ups and leg exercises today for the first time since his arm was put in a cast several weeks ago. His torn right tricep muscle, injured during several scrimmages, will keep him from playing at least until October.