It was bound to happen sooner or later.
It happened sooner.
The aging and injury-prone Redskins offensive line suffered a blow in week two when right guard Randy Thomas was lost for the season with a right triceps tear. Now the question of how to replace him is left to be determined by head coach Jim Zorn and line coach Joe Bugel.
The Redskins do have some promising young talent that could possibly fill in this year. Guard Chad Rinehart was drafted for this very reason two years ago. However, the coaching staff seems to have questions as to whether he is ready. He has yet to make the active roster this season.
Will Montgomery has a little more experience. He can play guard and center and performed fill-in duties for Carolina two years ago. He has four starts to his name, but did not see action last year.
If the Redskins want to give their young talent game experience, this is the perfect opportunity. If they aren’t convinced that it would be in the team's best interest, there is one possible alternative.
Pete Kendall, the Redskins’ starting left guard last year, is currently a free agent. He played the last two seasons in Washington and performed fairly well (minus one very costly mistake against the Rams last year, but that was a bizarre play any way you slice it).
At 35 and with very creaky knees, Kendall might not be the Redskins' ideal replacement. However, given the lack of depth and the apparent reticence of the coaching staff to start the young guys, he is sure to get heavy consideration.
He knows the team and has played in the system. And he is a proven commodity.
The Redskins may be better served to let the young guys play and gain experience. It obviously would be much better to find a capable starter that will be around for years to come.
I think the 'Skins can only benefit from bringing Kendall back. The ideal situation would be to sign Kendall and have an open competition for the job. Even if Kendall doesn’t end up playing, he could be a mentor to Rinehart and Montgomery. He would also provide insurance in the event of poor play or another injury.
The Redskins should hope that this setback can be the springboard to launching the career of a young, talented guard. But they should also pursue signing Kendall as an insurance policy.
A good plan of action is to always hope for the best but prepare for the worst.
As long as Kendall doesn’t try to catch any deflected passes (again) he should be a prime candidate in the decision making process.