Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said the team could have Brandon Scherff for the team's Week 8 game against the Cowboys, as the guard will test an MCL sprain this week.
Perhaps no position group is having its depth tested more right now than the Washington Redskins' offensive line.
During Washington's Week 7 game against the Philadelphia Eagles, swing tackle Ty Nsekhe (core muscle) and backup guard Tyler Catalina (concussion) were inactive.
Pro Bowl left tackle Trent Williams, meanwhile, continued to ignore the pain his kneecap to play 53 of the Redskins' 64 offensive snaps against the Eagles in a 34-24 loss at Lincoln Financial Field.
But Washington also had Pro Bowl guard Brandon Scherff and starting right tackle Morgan Moses go down with injuries. Center Spencer Long is also dealing with knee/quad tendinitis.
An MRI on Tuesday revealed that Scherff has a lower back/MCL sprain, according to Redskins head coach Jay Gruden via conference call Tuesday afternoon. Gruden added that he could play this week.
Scherff played 43 offensive snaps before being removed from the game.
Since being selected with the No. 5-overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, the University of Iowa product has started every regular season game for Washington over the last two-plus years. By starting all 32 games in his first two seasons, Scherff joined Chris Samuels (2000-01) and Jon Jansen (1999-2000) as the only Redskins offensive linemen to open their careers by starting 16 games in each of their first two NFL seasons
During the 2016 season, Scherff was named to his first career Pro Bowl.
If Scherff misses any time, the Redskins will either have to look at either Catalina or rookie Chase Roullier to take his place.
Signed as a college free agent out of Georgia, Catalina was the only undrafted rookie to crack Washington's initial 53-man roster.
On Saturday, April 29, 2017, the Washington Redskins selected center Chase Roullier with the 199th overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.
While he has yet to appear in regular season action this season, the coaching staff likes the fact he can play numerous positions along the line.
As for Roullier, the rookie out of Wyoming recorded 26 snaps at guard and center in place of Scherff and Spencer Long, who missed five offensive plays against the Eagles.
While Roullier is listed as a center on Washington's roster, assistant head coach/offensive line coach Bill Callahan cross trains the offensive linemen during practices to prepare them for the possibility of playing multiple positions.
That was the case last year when Trent Williams had to take reps at guard for the first time in his career against the New York Giants in a Week 3 victory.
If either Williams – who Gruden said on Tuesday could be rested for a week or two at some point -- or Moses is limited, the Redskins could return Nsekhe to active status soon. The Texas State product has missed Washington's last two games after suffering a core muscle injury in Week 4.
He underwent surgery for the injury earlier this month, but, for now, is considered a "long shot" to play this Sunday according to Gruden.
Washington also has T.J. Clemmings on the active roster. Claimed off waivers last month, Clemmings played a season-high 15 plays on Monday night.
"Injuries are a concern. You want your best players out on the field. That being said, it's an expectation throughout the season that you're going to be having to reach into your depth – maybe not as much as we have had to at tackle and some of the positions – but you do expect it to happen at some point, and a lot of teams will deal with that," said Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins. "I was proud of the way our offensive line continued to battle. Several of them came back out and kept playing and showed a lot of toughness and grit against a very good defensive line that was rotating in a lot of players and keeping guys very fresh and that certainly made it tough on our guys."
With the injuries, particularly to the offensive line, Gruden said the team could modify the practice schedule this week to feature more 7-on-7 and individual drills.