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Arie Kouandjio Returns During A Time Of Need For Redskins


Signed off the Baltimore Ravens' practice squad on Saturday, Arie Kouandjio appeared on more than 22 offensive plays on Sunday against the Cowboys.

When the Washington Redskins ended the preseason in Tampa two months ago, head coach Jay Gruden and the front office understood that there'd be tough decisions to make to get the roster down from 90 to 53 players.

Gruden reiterated on numerous occasions during training camp that it was the most talented roster he's had since first becoming Washington's head coach Jay Gruden. Senior Vice President of Player Personnel Doug Williams echoed that claim.

Among those that the Redskins decided to part ways with was 2015 fourth-round pick Arie Kouandjio.

Kouandjio appeared in eight games with two starts over his first two seasons with the Redskins, but the Redskins liked the versatility of Tyler Catalina a little bit more for the initial 53-man roster.

A college free agent signing out of Georgia, Catalina has the ability to play both tackle and guard.

But as the Redskins were faced with a growing number of injuries along the offensive line last week, Washington signed Kouandjio on Saturday afternoon off the Baltimore Ravens' practice squad. While he hadn't been with the Redskins since early September, Kouandjio was thrust into action just 24 hours after signing.

"I kind of already knew the plays, the Ravens have done a great job training me and doing all that stuff – a lot of guys did a lot of great things over there for me and I'd be [a]miss if I didn't thank those guys," Kouandjio said. "As far as coming in, it was good."

In total, Kouandjio appeared on 22 offensive plays after Shawn Lauvao was removed from the game with a stinger.

Despite playing in just his ninth regular season game ever, Kouandjio was the second most experienced Redskins lineman for much of the second half behind only Morgan Moses, who was the lone regular starter along the line to finish the game.

Kouandjio admitted he didn't like how the offensive performed at times, particularly the number of times quarterback Kirk Cousins was hit and sacked.

"It just makes me want to fight even harder. It makes me want to get everybody's heads up," Kouandjio said. "Sometimes, those kind of situations can kind of make everybody's head go down and stuff like that. I just try to do my best to pick everybody's head up and be like, 'Hey dude, we're out here fighting. We got hit, but we've got to keep going.'"

While Kouandjio's long-term status with the Redskins is uncertain once Trent Williams, Brandon Scherff, Spencer Long and Ty Nsekhe return to full-health, the University of Alabama product was happy to return to the team that drafted him.

In fact, even though Kouandjio had spent the season to date on the Ravens' practice squad, he remained in Ashburn, Va., and commuted to Baltimore's facility every day.

"These guys are like my brothers," Kouandjio said. "Being out there and knowing that I can help them, that's all I care about."

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