Redskins offensive tackle T.J. Clemmings will be on the opposite sideline from the team that drafted him, the Minnesota Vikings, on Sunday for the first time since he was cut before the season. When asked what he’ll feel about that, Clemmings kept it simple.
“Nothing,” Clemmings said with a chuckle. “Nah, I ain’t going to make it more than what it is. It’s a game. I will just play and worry about what I got to worry about. But I ain’t going to get into all that, whether they drafted me. It’s the same as the week before, week after. It’s just a game.”
Clemmings, 25, was a fourth-round pick by the Vikings in 2015 and spent his first two seasons in the Twin Cities. He started every game as a rookie after right tackle Phil Loadholt tore his left Achilles’ tendon during the preseason. Clemmings made an additional 14 starts last season, but the Pittsburgh product struggled while being used at both tackle positions.
The Vikings waived Clemmings as one of their final roster cuts before the season, and he was claimed by the Redskins the following day to serve as the team’s fourth offensive tackle.
“I built some good friendships with some guys on the team, had some good times,” Clemmings said of his time in Minnesota. “I got my first-in-the-NFL start there. Other than that, I gained experience in live games. Other than that, it was my two years that I spent there. It’s over. It’s behind me, so I don’t really spend too much thinking about it.”
Clemmings started the past two games at left tackle following injuries to Trent Williams and Ty Nsekhe, and he has appeared in five games this season. It’s unclear whether Clemmings will start for a third straight game. Nsekhe, who hasn’t dressed since suffering a core muscle injury in Week 3 against the Oakland Raiders, has been a limited participant in practice this week. Williams hasn’t practiced, but he has been more active with his on-field workouts during practice while he deals with a right knee injury.
“I think he’s obviously in some discomfort and he’s trying to get some work in there with the trainers and see how he can do, see how he’s doing with the movement, change of direction and all that stuff and see how much pain tolerance he can take,” Coach Jay Gruden said of Williams. “We will probably find out if he can play probably [Friday] or Saturday.”
Sunday’s game will also be the first time Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater will be active since suffering a severe knee injury in August 2016 during a noncontact drill. Bridgewater will serve as the backup quarterback while Case Keenum starts.
Clemmings was in Minnesota at the time of the injury. While it was gruesome, he’s not surprised to see Bridgewater back on the field.
“It was not cool to see,” Clemmings said. “At first, everybody was wondering, ‘Did he get stepped on? Was it my guy?’ But it was just one of those freak accidents that you don’t want to see anybody have to deal with. I always knew he was going to come back, because that was his mind-set. Seeing him running around, we knew it was going to happen. So I’m happy to see him out there.”