With backup swing tackle Ty Nsekhe also unable to play after undergoing surgery on a core muscle, T.J. Clemmings will take over at left tackle for Williams in protecting quarterback Kirk Cousins’s blind side against the Cowboys. Clemmings, a third-year NFL player, had 30 starts at right and left tackle the last two seasons in Minnesota.
Right tackle Morgan Moses, who is listed as questionable, is expected to play despite two sprained ankles.
The decision to rest Williams, which was first reported by ESPN’s Dan Graziano, was made on the advice of doctors. Mike Jones of USA Today first reported that Scherff will join him.
All told, it amounts to a major challenge for Washington’s eighth-ranked offense in one of the season’s most anticipated games. Both the Redskins are Cowboys are 3-3, but Dallas holds a slight edge in the NFC East standings at 1-0 in division play, while the Redskins are 0-2 in the division after being swept by the Philadelphia Eagles.
Williams has played the last two weeks despite a painful knee injury that he has said will require surgery to repair, followed by a five- to six-month recovery process. He has been hoping to delay the procedure, which would stabilize the ligaments that hold his kneecap in place, until after the season.
Williams injured the knee further in last week’s loss at Philadelphia and was unable to finish the game, while Scherff suffered a back and knee injury.
Sunday’s all-important clash will be played on a rain-slick field, with further rain forecast throughout the game. Cousins has been sacked 12 times this season. Over the same span, the Cowboys defense has recorded 21 sacks.