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Zorn Looks to Make Right Decision At Right Guard

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Jim Zorn could only confirm what everyone knew, or at least suspected. Right guard Randy Thomas, an 11-year veteran and vocal team leader, won't play again for the Redskins this year.

Thomas, 33, tore the triceps in his right arm in Sunday's 9-7 victory against the St. Louis Rams and faces surgery on Wednesday or Thursday.

"He felt it pop. So we're going to get it repaired. He'll be on injured reserve," Zorn said at his Monday news conference at Redskins Park.

Thomas told Redskins.com he felt "okay" but that he was disappointed because of "all the hard work" he put into returning from off-season neck and knee surgeries and the left triceps tear he had that shortened his 2007 season to three games.

"It is what it is," he said. "Just another route back."

Zorn said he planned to meet later on Monday with the coaching staff, especially offensive line coach Joe Bugel, to determine the best way to replace Thomas.

Will Montgomery, who backs up at center and guard, filled in on Sunday but that was in part because the Redskins only had seven offensive linemen active for the game. Chad Rinehart, the third-round pick in 2008 who has yet to suit up, could be named the starter.

"We have liked him in there with the starting group because they have helped him rise up," Zorn said.

Rinehart said his continuing stay on the game-day inactive list was "definitely frustrating" but he understood the numbers game. Teams can suit up 46 players, including a No. 3 quarterback. Others are ineligible.

"With me not being able to play center and them suiting up seven, well, it's been unfortunate not being one of the seven," Rinehart said.

Rinehart has worked at both guard positions and has a little experience at tackle. Montgomery started once at right guard for Carolina and three times at left guard. He also played left guard for the Jets but appeared in no games last season when he split time with the Jets and Redskins.

Zorn did not seem inclined to reach out to sign Pete Kendall, last year's starter at left guard. Kendall is 35 and has a pair of creaky knees and is a free agent.

"I don't know. I'm going to talk to Buges about that. I've already had a conversation about it in my mind," Zorn said.

Bringing in a player from the outside "is the harder choice," he continued. "We have to have someone in the program starting this week."

That would seem to narrow the choices to Montgomery, a three-year veteran with six career starts but none here (Carolina Panthers, New York Jets) and Rinehart, who hasn't played at all except in preseason games.

Either one would face a formidable task in taking Thomas' spot. In seven years with the Redskins, Thomas started every game he played in, just as he did with the Jets previously.

"Will he be the kind of player Randy is? We'll see. That person has will have to fill some big Randy Thomas shoes," Zorn said.

Another less-serious injury may not show its full impact until the team begins practicing Wednesday in preparation for the Week 3 meeting with the Detroit Lions. Quarterback Jason Campbell has a sprained foot that is swollen and could leave him "limited," Zorn said.


Larry Weisman covered professional football for USA TODAY for 25 years and now joins the Redskins Broadcast Network and Redskins.com to bring his unique viewpoint and experience to Redskins fans. Go to Redskins.com for the Redskins Blitz column and NFL Blitz on Friday. Larry also appears on The Jim Zorn Show on WRC-TV on Saturday night, on Redskins Nation, airing twice nightly on Comcast SportsNet, and on ESPN 980 AM radio, all in the Washington, D.C. area. Read his blog at redskinsrule.com and follow him on Twitter.com/LarryWeisman.

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