The Washington Commanders have ruled that starting guard Saahdiq Charles and Cody Barton have been ruled out for Sunday's game against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Charles (calf) and Barton (ankle) injured themselves last week during the Commanders' 14-7 loss to the New York Giants. Head coach Ron Rivera said on Monday that it's believed Barton suffered a high ankle sprain, while Charles re-aggravated the calf strain that he dealt with in training camp. The team is still waiting to make a long-term decision on their future availability, but it is possible that both players will miss multiple games.
The losses create holes for the Commanders on both sides of the ball. As the starting left guard, Charles has played well at times after dealing with multiple injuries at the start of his career. Barton, meanwhile, led the team in tackles and is tied for 14th in stops among all defenders.
The Commanders do have options to replace both players. At guard, they will likely go with either veteran Chris Paul or third-round pick Ricky Stromberg. Paul competed for the starting left guard spot with Charles during training camp but has yet to be active in a game this season. Stromberg has appeared in relief for Charles and Sam Cosmi, and Eric Bieniemy said that Stromberg did "a heck of a job" against the Giants.
The Commanders likely won't reveal who will be the starter until Sunday.
At linebacker, it's likely that Khaleke Hudson will get more snaps, which has been a growing trend for the last two weeks. Hudson has had six tackles since Week 6 to go with a sack and a quarterback hit.
However, the Commanders have made it clear that David Mayo will be the starter with Barton out.
"I mean you know what we have to do," said defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio. "What do we say? Next man up? That's what it has to be, right? For us [LB David] Dave [Mayo] is the guy. He stepped in last week, played pretty solid for us. They're a little different in what they bring, but Dave is the guy that'll play a little bit more."
The Commanders have two players listed as questionable for Week 8: wide receiver Curtis Samuel and defensive tackle Phidarian Mathis, who was placed in the 21-day window earlier this week. The Commanders have been pleased with what they have seen from Mathis in practice since, and he was a full participant throughout the week.
"We'll see how it works with the rest of the roster and those decisions that have to be made," Del Rio said. "We're excited to have him back at practice, back working. He's a big strong man and we'd love to be able to use him."
The rest of the players on the Commanders' injury report -- Benjamin St-Juste, Jonathan Allen, Sam Cosmi, Montez Sweat and Cole Turner – were all full participants on Friday and are cleared to play.