In his first start of the year in place of suspended Trent Williams, Ty Nsekhe held his own at left tackle against one of the league's top defensive lineman.*
During the Bye Week, the Redskins received crushing news that Pro Bowl left tackle Trent Williams was suspended four games for violating the NFL's Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse.
In came Ty Nsekhe, who was more than ready to answer the challenge of spending a lengthy stint in the starting lineup. The 31-year-old journeyman made his third career start on Sunday -- and first of the season -- and held his own against a strong Minnesota defensive line.
The offense did not see much of a drop-off despite the loss of Williams. Nsekhe helped pave the way for running back Robert Kelley to rush for just under 100 yards, as well as protecting Kirk Cousins' blind side en route to the quarterback's 262 passing yards and two touchdowns.
"I think we did well," Nsekhe said. "I don't know exactly how many yards passing Kirk [Cousins] had, but I think we gave him great time when he dropped back and once again, you said Robert [Kelley] had 100 yards rushing, so overall I think we did a good job."
Despite only starting two games before in his career, the 6-foot-8 lineman treated this game just like any other.
"This isn't the first time [I started], so I knew what to expect going into it," Nsekhe said. "I knew how to prepare for it, that's why I just tried to build off of what I did last year. You can't buy that experience. I just tried to use what I did last year, go from how I prepared last year and build upon it this time."
The Redskins ran into some trouble in the third quarter, when right tackle Morgan Moses re-aggravated an ankle injury that has been bothering him for the last couple weeks. With Nsekhe already starting in place of Williams, the Redskins turned to offensive lineman Vinston Painter to man the right side of the line for a pair of key plays.
"Well I just tried to tell him, when he came into the field I told him just calm down, do what we've been doing in practice and take it one play at a time," Nsekhe said on Painter. "He went in there when he was called upon and did a good job."
Not only did the Redskins finish with 388 total yards, the offensive line only allowed one sack. Credit is due to the players thrust into action.
"I just wanted to make sure when I went in there it wasn't much drop off from what they're normally doing," Painter said. "I'm more focused on winning as a total, as a team, so while [playing] was a personal milestone for myself, I still wanted the team win."