One season after not appearing in a single game for the Washington Redskins, offensive lineman Josh LeRibeus is facing the possibility of making his first-career start in a pivotal Week 4 matchup against the New York Giants on Thursday Night Football.
Regardless of whether or not he's called on to start, LeRibeus said the added action in practice this week with starting left guard Shawn Lauvao limited by a knee injury -- and some game action against in the second half of the game action the Philadelphia Eagles -- has helped get his mind right for a possible increase in workload.
"I just take all the reps [and] watch a little extra film," LeRibeus said. "I'm in there most of the time with him anyway, so I don't want to play it too much differently, but getting extra reps definitely helps."
One concern for LeRibeus last season was his conditioning level, but after mixing in a healthier diet with an improved training regimen, the former third-round pick's form is much better this season.
It's shown already in his three appearances this season.
"I found myself a trainer in Dallas and just went every day and stayed focused," LeRibeus said earlier this year. "I finally started to enjoy it just the consistency of staying in shape and being fit and ready to get back. I did a lot of ladder drills. They're really fond of the ladder drills and foot work.
"I (also) stayed away from the pizza and the late-night Mexican food and all that."
LeRibeus played the entire second half against the Eagles and said it felt "really good" to be trusted in a closely-fought game in which the offensive line didn't allow a sack on quarterback Kirk Cousins.
"I got like four plays at the end of the Jaguars game, but the last time I got some real action was rookie year against Seattle," he said. "So it's been a long time. ... From a physical standpoint, it was good just to get a few plays here and there, clean things up and get ready for New York."
Offensive coordinator Sean McVay said he's certainly noticed a change in LeRibeus from last season.
"He came in in shape and has a little bit more focus," Mcvay told the media Tuesday. "So when he is able to go in there, he understands what's going on within the game plan and it able to make the right adjustments in the protection or the run game accordingly."
If needed in the starting lineup on Thursday, head coach Jay Gruden believes LeRibeus will be ready to go.
"He has been ready," Gruden said. "Josh came in, he was in great shape. We got Shawn in the free agency, gave him an opportunity, and it was a very close battle.
"LeRibeus did a great job in training camp, kept his weight down and played well, so he's ready to go. I'm not concerned about Josh and his being ready to go."