After two weeks of injuries, Trent Williams and the rest of the Redskins' starting offensive line returned to FedExField to take on a stingy Vikings front seven.
For the first time since Week 7 in Philadelphia, the Redskins had their listed starting offensive linemen at their disposal for Sunday's game against the Minnesota Vikings. Trent Williams, Brandon Scherff, Shaun Lauvao and Spencer Long – all of whom were battling injuries these past few weeks – made their returns to the field against the Vikings, with all but Long getting the start.
The one surprise of the group was Williams, who told the media that he would be a "game-time decision" just days before Washington's Week 10 game. The Pro Bowler has been battling a lingering knee injury since the first month of the season, but felt ready to go against the Vikings after two weeks off. Williams ended up playing in all 75 of the Redskins' offensive snaps.
With Williams, Scherff and Lauvao back in the starting lineup, quarterback Kirk Cousins was sacked just one time in Sunday's 38-30 loss to the 7-2 Vikings. The running game was not able to capitalize much on the healthy offensive line, partially due to an injury to Rob Kelley, but Cousins was able to find the end zone on two separate occasions.
Morgan Moses, who is the lone Redskins offensive lineman to start all nine games this season, was understandably happy to have the rest of his position unit out there for a change.
"[It was] great, because it's been three or four weeks, right?" the fourth-year tackle out of Virginia said after the game.
Despite the offensive line's solid job of keeping Cousins off the ground on Sunday, Moses noted that the unit needs to do a better job in goal-line situations. At two different points in the game, the Redskins' offense was able to bring the ball within the Vikings' ten-yard line but had to settle for a field goal.
"For us, we just got to continue undressing the defense when they give us funky looks and making corrections and getting the ball in there," Moses said. "You know, you're at the four yard line and you don't get it in, it's a punch to the stomach. You take it to the four yard line, you got to get the ball in."
Rookie Chase Roullier got his third consecutive start at center on Sunday in place of Long, who shuffled in and out throughout the game. Roullier's versatility was put to the test, as he not only had to handle being swapped in and out for Long, but also saw some time at guard.
Check out the top images from the Washington Redskins' offense in their 2017 Week 10 matchup against the Minnesota Vikings Nov. 12, 2017, at FedExField.
"Over the last few games, I've just kind of been in and out of different positions. You just kind of have to roll with it," Roullier said. "In practice, I'm moving around to guard and to center and in and out. It's just something that we're used to doing, something that may have to happen again. You never know."
Redskins head coach Jay Gruden had a tough decision to make when dealing with the situation at the starting center spot, but it ultimately came down to easing Long back into the flow of things.
"I don't like to be flip-flopping centers all the time," Gruden said. "But, I wanted to give Chase an opportunity to start and bring Spencer in to get his feet wet and acclimated back."
The offensive line was able to stay off of the injury report this week, which means the same set of five or six could be ready to go for next week as well, barring any setbacks.