Redskins need left guard Shawn Lauvao and he's getting close, but how close?

Shawn Lauvao is making his way back and the Redskins need him, but starting at left guard might not happen just yet.

Although training camp has concluded, the Washington Redskins still have a few position battles that have yet to be settled. The left guard is one of the more interesting and important ones. It's also one that could take time to unfold. 

Shawn Lauvao is making strides after his long absence, as in he was placed on injured reserve last September after injuring his left ankle against the New York Giants in Week 3. Five procedures later, including some on his other leg, he's back. 

“I think Shawn is doing well," said coach Jay Gruden following Wednesday's practice. "He’s working himself back into shape. When you miss that much time with an injury, especially to your feet or ankles, it’s going to take some time physically to get yourself back into shape. And I think you’ll see more and more of him in the next couple of weeks and we’ll see how he does. That’s good competition between him and Spencer [Long].”

All that said, Lauvao only did some spot work with the starters and nothing when the team jumped into 11-on-11 work. Third-year vet Spencer Long took over when Lauvao went out and remains the starter for now. Long likely starts in Friday's preseason meeting with the New York Jets

It will be interesting to see who ends up winning the job. The running game went away last season after Lauvao went away. If he stays healthy and keeps receiving praise from the head coach, my sense is the job is his. He just needs to get back working with the starters before we can say or sure.

You can find Emmanual on Twitter @manny_benton.

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