ASHBURN, Va. (AP) — Changes could be coming to the Washington Commanders offensive line for their game Sunday against the NFC East-leading Philadelphia Eagles.
Rivera wouldn't go into detail about what he and his staff are planning other than to confirm the starting five along the line may not be the same as it has been through the first seven games of the season.
"We’re looking at a lot of things right now and things that we want to do as far as going forward with the offensive line," Rivera said. “I don’t think I’m going to take anything off the table.”
Already there was the expectation of a new starting left guard after Saahdiq Charles aggravated a calf injury that dogged him in training camp and he missed the first practice preparing for Philadelphia. Veteran interior offensive lineman Tyler Larsen could have a bigger role moving forward.
“There is a lot of things that we’re discussing and talking about and things that we feel can help us,” Rivera said.
The play of the offensive line was supposed to be improved after Rivera and the front office remade it during the offseason, signing tackle Andrew Wylie from the Super Bowl-champion Kansas City Chiefs and center Nick Gates from the division-rival New York Giants. Sam Cosmi, a college tackle Washington drafted in the second round in 2021, shifting inside to right guard was also supposed to help.
Left tackle Charles Leno said the sack problem — perhaps the biggest one facing the Commanders (3-4) — is the result of many factors but comes down to individual responsibility.
“When you have a 1-on-1 matchup, 1 on 1 with someone in the National Football League, you’ve got to win that,” Leno said. “And that’s 1 on 1 with us as an offensive line, running backs, tight ends and quarterback. When you’ve got a hot route, you’ve got to get the ball out. That’s everyone. Everyone’s included.”
Howell, a second-year pro with just one NFL start coming into the season, has criticized himself and accepted blame for holding on to the ball too long at times. But the 14-7 loss at the Giants also exposed the line's inability to pick up blitzes.
It doesn't get any easier with the Eagles coming in with the second-most sacks in the league.
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