The state of the Redskins offensive line, were it September, would not be in ideal shape. Starting tackles Trent Williams and Morgan Moses are both rehabbing from offseason surgeries, while backup tackles Ty Nsekhe and T.J. Clemmings are recovering from their own injuries suffered during last season. Backup guard Tyler Catalina "had a little tweak" during practice last week and is sitting out for the time being.
But it is the end of the May, in the middle of OTAs, which means head coach Jay Gruden is not concerned with the absences and limited participation from some of the starters that missed parts or most of last season with major injuries.
"The big thing is getting them healthy," Gruden said last week. "And there's nothing they can do about it. I mean, they're still rehabbing from surgeries. It's not like they're taking time off and fishing, you know? They're rehabbing and I have total faith in those guys and what they're doing – the guys that are here. And I have no problem with Trent. I saw Trent squatting five- or six-hundred pounds the other day, so I think Trent is well on his way to being in good shape. So I think once camp rolls around, I think they'll be ready to roll."
Most of the team's prominent figures on offense are likely to be back practicing in Richmond, where Gruden can start to really see what kind of team and depth he has. Until then, OTAs is a chance for teammates to get on a familiar rapport and take things easy.
That's especially the case for defensive lineman Jonathan Allen, who is still getting full strength back from the Lisfranc he injured in October.
"I'm out there running, getting off the ball, cutting back – and there's definitely a balance because you don't want to rush back so early, but I feel really good right now," Allen said back in March. "I'm excited about how much progress I made, and I'm looking forward to getting started."
Gruden says Allen is 100 percent but the team would rather not take any chances with him this early in the football calendar.
"We limited his reps today, and yesterday he got very little reps," Gruden said last Wednesday. "He's just slowly working back into it, but just watching him in Phase 2, watching him in individual, he looks good…but we're still going to try to take care of his reps and monitor how much he's doing to make sure he's full-go for training camp. But I'm very pleased and anxious to see him get more work."
Here's photos from the Washington Redskins OTAs practice that took place Wednesday, May 24, 2018, at the Inova Sports Performance Center at Redskins Park, presented by Loudoun Economic Development.
Another observer is running back Chris Thompson, who has also been working individually on his return to action after fracturing his right fibula in November. He hopes to do some drills on the side but will forego any team drills until training camp.
Despite not being able to work with new quarterback Alex Smith, Thompson is still providing good counsel for a large crop of young running backs.
"Certainly Chris is a special player," Smith said. "When he gets back, we'll have a chance to kind of dial that in. But conceptually for me, I'm just trying to go out there and execute regardless. The next-guy-in has to go win if coverage dictates that and the concept dictates that, then those guys have got to win and we have got to take advantage of that time right now."