- The Washington Times
Tuesday, November 21, 2017

ASHBURN — With a sling around his arm, rookie center Chase Roullier gave instructions to Demetrius Rhaney on where he needed to go in the Redskins’ facility. Rhaney was new in Ashburn. He signed Tuesday to help fill another spot on the Redskins’ depleted offensive line.

Roullier, the Redskins’ starting center for the last four games, is the latest offensive lineman to go down with an injury. He fractured his hand during Sunday’s loss to the New Orleans Saints.


Roullier revealed he had surgery Monday, adding he’ll “hopefully be back in a couple of weeks.”

In another move, the Redskins also placed center Spencer Long on injured reserve Tuesday. That means third-string center Tony Bergstrom will likely start Thursday against the New York Giants.

“I’ll be good to go soon, I just need to let this heal up,” Roullier said.

Roullier said he fractured his middle finger on a “bang-bang” play on a bull rush in the first quarter. He played the rest of the game in pain. Roullier, who was drafted in the sixth round, has started Washington’s last four games while Long dealt with quad tendonitis.

Long, however, needs surgery to repair his quad tendon and was shut down for the year. He aggravated his injury in Week 7 against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Roullier filled in and did a solid job, particularly in pass protection. Roullier said he’s never broken his hand before, but the injury occurred to his snapping hand.

Roullier, though, is optimistic he’ll be able to return this season. Defensive end Matt Ioannidis also fractured his hand and ended up missing two weeks, but Roullier added he wasn’t sure if his timetable will be similar.

“Any time you get an injury and have to sit out, it sucks,” Roullier said. “It’s obviously a tough thing to do, but fortunately, it isn’t a major injury for me or anything. I’ll hopefully be out there in a week or two and keep on going right where I left off.”

Roullier is the ninth Redskins’ offensive lineman to land on the injury report this season — and all five of their regular starters popped up on the team’s projected list Monday. Seven of the Redskins’ offensive linemen have missed a game because of injury. Roullier will likely become the eighth.

Redskins coach Jay Gruden said Bergstrom will start in Roullier’s place, pointing to his previous experience at playing the position. Bergstrom, though, was signed Oct. 25 and has played just eight snaps with the Redskins in two games.

Bergstrom, drafted in 2012 by the Oakland Raiders, was released earlier in the season by the Baltimore Ravens. Bergstrom has started just four times in 47 career games.

Center isn’t the only spot on the offensive line to be dealing with injuries, either. Left tackle Trent Williams is a questionable for Thursday’s game. He said last week that he didn’t know if he’d be too sore to play on short rest.

Williams, who needs surgery at some point, has dealt with a bone bruise and a torn ligament in his knee since Week 4 against the Kansas City Chiefs. He has played in two consecutive games after taking two weeks off.

The Redskins also placed left guard Shawn Lauvao on injured reserve Tuesday, ending his season after he exited Sunday’s game with a stinger. In Lauvao’s place, Ty Nsekhe could be an option to start, as are backups Arie Kouandjio and Tyler Catalina.

“It’s still pretty banged up, quite honestly,” Gruden said. “But we will get the guys ready. We have some guys in here that can play, you know. … I think one thing (offensive line coach) Bill [Callahan] has done is he’s developed — if you’re in the building you are going to know what to do. So he will get them ready to go.”

 


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