The offensive line does not have the most dazzling players on the field, but they play the most vital role in keeping a quarterback on his toes, literally. The Washington Redskins displayed against the Cincinnati Bengals exactly how important it is to make sure your starting quarterback stays upright in the backfield.
The game can hinge on how lethal the QB or the running backs are throughout a game. The offensive line takes care of that.
The following are men who you may not have ever heard of but due to some unforeseen events (injury, trade, etc) they have to step up to the plate and compensate for the gap.
It is not always going to be pretty but they will find a way to do their jobs.
Jordan Black, Washington Redskins (NFC)
Losing a player like Trent Williams is going to hurt both the pass protection game and run-blocking. Jordan Black is not an exact replica, but after consuming 7,000 calories per day to bulk up, his athleticism and leverage are going to have to pay dividends.
Nothing was widely inspiring about the offensive line’s performance as a whole against the Cincinnati Bengals, but Black has a lot of work to cover with Williams gone. With a lot of questions surrounding Black, because of his size and his time out of the league, he understands that the leverage he can get against defenders is more important than anything.
Black is athletic enough to become a good filler while Williams is out and Robert Griffin III needs all the protection he can get. He is one of the most talented rookies in the NFL but he needs to stay on his feet to be as lethal as possible.
Black has no choice but to step up to the plate.
Wayne Hunter, St. Louis Rams (NFC)
St. Louis Rams LT Rodger Saffold is out – again.
The season has just started and he has suffered a neck strain and a knee injury that will keep him out for at least four weeks from Sunday, September 16 against the Washington Redskins, at least that is what the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
That means replacement Wayne Hunter is responsible for making up ground where Saffold left off. The key to staying affluent throughout games for Hunter is that he has got to stay healthy. The Rams lost him in the fourth quarter, temporarily, to a knee injury before he was injected back into the game.
The Redskins’ O-line is already a bit jumbled with starting center Scott Wells, who has a fractured foot and is out for about half the season, and Rokevious Watkins.
Hunter is filling in well as Saffold’s replacement but needs to be focused on remaining healthy to continue to be productive.
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