Early in the Washington Redskins' matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday afternoon, a young rookie was thrown into the fire after a proven veteran was lost to an injury.
On a third-down play in the first quarter, Trent Williams was pass-blocking for his quarterback, and the next thing he knew he was on the ground.
"I think somebody fell into the back of my leg," Williams said of the play. "I'm not really sure. I didn't see the replay."
Head coach Jay Gruden confirmed Monday that Williams — a two-time Pro Bowler — suffered a sprained right MCL in his knee, as well as a sprained right ankle, after getting tangled up with Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy. At the time of his injury, however, Williams was concerned it was more serious.
"I wasn't sure of how bad it was," he said. "I know it felt bad. You get automatically scared that it could be something serious. I was a little worried."
Now preparing for the San Francisco 49ers, Gruden said that the decision about whether or not Williams will play will come later in the week, and with the opinion of team trainers taken into consideration.
If William's isn't available, Gruden said the team feels good about the next man up: Morgan Moses.
A University of Virginia product, Moses was selected 66th overall in the third round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Redskins. With the Cavaliers, he earned All-ACC honors while leading the way for the school's first 1,000-yard rusher in nine years as a senior.
In his first significant action since the preseason, he helped to pave the way for 155 total yards rushing on Sunday afternoon against Tampa Bay.
"I felt like I played well," Moses said. "You never know when you're going to be called up, so just being able to step right in and I feel like I played well. That definitely feels good."
While Gruden admitted Moses certainly wasn't perfect, the first-year head coach was overall impressed with the young offensive lineman.
"I thought he did pretty good," Gruden said. "He had one running play where he forgot to block the end, but overall he did some good things coming off the bench cold."
Here's an exclusive look from the Washington Redskins' sideline during their Week 11 game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Nov. 16, 2014, at FedExField in Landover, Md.
Alfred Morris — who turned in a team-high 96 rushing yards on 20 carries against the Buccaneers — said he was impressed with the ability of the greenhorn offensive lineman, adding that he had been well-prepared throughout the week.
"He did a good job," Morris said. "They always prepare us for this. They always tell you you're one play away from being a starter. He's prepared."
Likewise, the man Moses replaced was pleased with his performance, too. Williams said after the game that Moses "responded well" after being "thrown into the fire."
Drafted as a left tackle, Moses has had the opportunity to play on both the left and right sides of the line. While he's admittedly more comfortable on the left side, Moses believes the added work has made him an overall better player.
"It feels good to be a left tackle," he said. "Just to be the swing guy going back and forth and getting better at each technique on the left and the right has helped me grow as a player."
With Williams currently listed as day-to-day, according to Gruden, Moses said after the game Sunday that he'll prepare the same way he has every week.
"You just got to go in ever day this week coming up and prepare like you're the starter," Moses said. "That's the thing you got to do even if he's going to play this week or not."