With less than a week until the team's Week 1 matchup with the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday Night Football at FedExField, the Washington Redskins on Tuesday unveiled the first unofficial depth chart of the 2016 regular season.
After battling throughout training camp and the preseason, alternating reps with the first-team offense, Shawn Lauvao is listed as the No. 1 left guard on the first unofficial depth chart of the regular season.
Lauvao returned to practice in early August after starting training camp on the Physically Unable to Perform list as he continued to recover from multiple ankle and foot procedures following a season-ending injury suffered last September.
He would appear on 65 offensive plays in three preseason games.
While Lauvao is listed with the starters, Redskins head coach Jay Gruden believes Spencer Long will also help Washington quite a bit this year.
In fact, the third-year Nebraska product is also listed as the No. 2 center behind Kory Lichtensteiger along with being the No. 2 left guard.
"Unfortunately, one of them is going to have to be a backup, one of them is going to be a starter, but both of them are going to be valuable assets to our football team, no matter how you cut it," Gruden said in August of Lauvao and Long.
Rest of the depth chart
Here are some additional notes from the first unofficial Redskins depth chart this season.
--Because he was on the Physically Unable to Perform list throughout the preseason, rookie wide receiver Josh Doctson wasn't listed on the depth chart. Now off PUP, healthy and practicing, Doctson is listed as a second-team wide receiver behind DeSean Jackson. The coaching staff received their first look of Doctson in shoulder pads during Monday's practice and will soon make a determination on his playing status for the opener. Pierre Garçon and Jamison Crowder are also once again listed as wide receivers on the first-team, with Rashad Ross and Ryan Grant backing them up respectively.
--While Matt Jones and Chris Thompson are listed as the top two running backs, just as they have been, Robert Kelley was able to climb to the No. 3 running back spot after being listed as No. 5 on the initial preseason depth chart. The undrafted rookie out of Tulane showed an overall solid skillset in the preseason and will serve as a change of pace back for Jones.
--Ty Nsekhe is listed as the No. 2 tackle at both left tackle and right tackle. The 30-year-old received action at both spots during the preseason, starting in place of a banged up Trent Williams at left tackle and came in for relief of an injured Morgan Moses during Washington's victory over the Buffalo Bills. Despite being one of the oldest rookies Gruden has ever worked with last season, the head coach has seen quite a bit of growth from the Texas State product this year and is the only backup tackle on the roster after Washington had two (Nsekhe and Tom Compton) last season.
--Austin Reiter checks in as the No. 3 center on the depth chart after earning a spot on the 53-man roster. The 2015 seventh-round pick "just continued to get better and better" during the preseason. "Having three centers is important, we learned that last year," Gruden said. "We were really short last year throughout the season. We brought in a couple guys toward the end of the year. I'd love to just work in-house with the center position instead of having to go on the waiver wire Week 8 and find a new center. That's hard to do. Hopefully our guy stays healthy – Kory [Lichtensteiger] – and Spencer continues to develop and we'll have Austin here."
--Ziggy Hood and Ricky Jean Francois are listed as co-starters at left defensive end, with Chris Baker the starting right defensive end. Hood really stood out during training camp, especially proving strong during 1-on-1 drills against the offensive linemen. After an injury-filled 2015 season in which he was released by two different teams, Hood hopes to rebound this season starting with a matchup against the team that drafted him in the first round of the 2009 NFL Draft. Jean Francois appeared in all 16 games for the Redskins last season, tallying 25 tackles.
Check out the entire Washington Redskins' 2016 roster in photos.
--Kedric Golston is the No. 1 nose tackle yet again, but the 11-year veteran is backed up at the position by Hood, although the Missouri product wasn't initially listed at the position on the preseason unofficial depth chart. Still, part of what drew the Redskins to Hood to begin with was his ability to play all across the defensive line.
--Will Compton (Mike) and Mason Foster (Mo) are the starting inside linebackers, with Martrell Spaight and Su'a Cravens backing up the pair. Terence Garvin is listed as the No. 3 Mo linebacker. While Cravens continues to get quite a bit of run at inside backer, Gruden noted on Monday that the rookie may start to branch out to other areas during the regular season.
--Houston Bates is now listed as the No. 2 weakside linebacker behind Ryan Kerrigan with Trent Murphy behind Preston Smith at the strongside linebacker position. Bates will likely be a key cog on special teams, but the second-year Louisiana Tech product would surely like to contribute on defense if given the opportunity.
--No need to sound the alarm on Kendall Fuller and Dashaun Phillips being listed as the third-team cornerbacks on the depth chart. A nickel cornerback position is not listed, but both players have gotten extensive work with the first-team at the spot.
--No changes here from previous installments of the depth chart, as Dustin Hopkins, Tress Way and Nick Sundberg didn't face any competition during the offseason and the returners remain the same.