ASHBURN -- Bryan Stork will not be with the Washington Redskins this season after failing his physical. While "disappointing," coach Jay Gruden said Monday he felt good to go at center even before last week's trade with New England.
For what it's worth, I did not and therefore do not. That's especially true since Spencer Long, perhaps the most interesting option of the bunch, could miss Week 1 with an ankle sprain suffered in Friday's preseason game. The center spot was the weakest along the line last year, whether Kory Lichtensteiger was in there or not. Now, it appears he remains with the starting five, perhaps, by default, though the coach stayed positive as he discussed the failed trade.
“Well, before we got (Stork), I thought we were doing pretty well at center. You know, I think like I said, Kory’s done well. Spencer has done a great job of adjusting to the center position to give us depth. Josh LeRibeus played a lot of center for us last year, and then Austin [Reiter] has had a very good camp. So I think we’ve got four centers in-house that are pretty darn good, so I feel good about the ones that we have.”
Stork was getting cut by New England before Washington jumped in with the trade for a conditional seventh-round pick. The third-year lineman has dealt with several concussions and had anger issues at times with the Patriots. If the Redskins made this move in March or June or even at the start of the training camp, adding depth or kicking tires become worthy narratives.
In late August, just as cuts are coming, this move was something else. Same for the addition of defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins on Monday. Neither Stork nor Jenkins is a game-changer you rush to add in the way Washington did with cornerback Josh Norman. They are last-second seat fillers with the curtain set to go up Sept. 12 against Pittsburgh.
That Long may miss the opener could alter the 53-man roster. He and Lichtensteiger were the only centers on my latest projection. Now Austin Reiter or perhaps LeRibeus sticks at the expense of offensive lineman Takoby Cofield or a fourth running back or seventh defensive lineman or ninth linebacker.
Here's another thought: The Redskins aren't done looking. With the final preseason game moved up to Wednesday, Washington will have nearly two full weeks to practice for the Steelers and bond with any new personnel. Actions speak louder than words. They're looking for more seat fillers.
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