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Line Dance: Adjusting to Samuels' Injury

Pro Bowl left tackle Chris Samuels has been ruled out of this week's game against the Kansas City Chiefs at FedEx Field because of a neck injury he suffered in the 20-17 loss to the Carolina Panthers, Coach Jim Zorn said today.

Samuels suffered the injury on Washington's second play from scrimmage and sat out the remainder of the game.

"The guy that I'm concerned about is Chris Samuels," Zorn said. "He got an MRI. He's been playing with a Stenosis, which is a narrowing [of the spine]. ... He got popped and he got some tingling and we're just checking this out. Right now, he will not be available to play this week just to quiet this thing down."

Zorn said he could not address a question about Samuels's long-term progress.

"We're still working through that," Zorn said.

The plan is for right tackle Stephon Heyer to take Samuels's spot and for Mike Williams, who started at right guard against the Panthers, to move to right tackle, Zorn said. Offensive line coach Joe Bugel and Zorn have not determined how to fill the vacancy at right guard, but guard-center Will Montgomery and second-year guard Chad Rinehart are the top candidates for that job.


This is the worst-case scenario for the Redskins, who improved the defensive line but not the offensive one in the offseason. Rinehart, a third-round pick in the 2008 draft, took over at right guard when longtime starter Randy Thomas suffered a triceps injury in the Week 2 victory over the St. Louis Rams.

But he struggled in pass protection and the running game, prompting offensive line coach Joe Bugel and Coach Jim Zorn to promote Williams to the first-team at guard although Williams had played guard in a regular-season game just twice previously in his career. Williams took the first-team reps in practice last week and started in Sunday's 20-17 loss to the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium. Rinehart was inactive.
Heyer has performed poorly overall since the opening loss to the New York Giants. On the Redskins' first four pass attempts, Jason Campbell was sacked three times. Overall, the Panthers had five sacks, including two by Pro Bowl defensive end Julius Peppers, who, as expected, broke out of his early-season slump. Peppers also was credited with three quarterback hits.

The Panthers cut the Redskins' lead to 7-2 in the second quarter when Portis was tackled in the end zone for a safety after Peppers pushed Heyer back into the end zone on a sweep play to the right. D'Anthony Batiste, Samuels's replacement on Sunday, was overmatched in pass protection from the outset. Williams, whose last appearance in the regular season occurred in 2005 with the Buffalo Bills, was elevated above Rinehart because the Redskins wanted a bigger body at the position for the running game. Williams definitely qualifies, but his pass protection was no better than anyone else's.

"You can only do what you have right now," Zorn said. "Even during the game, we could do what we could do. My responsibility, and it really is my responsibility, is to even have that work."

By Jason Reid  |  October 12, 2009; 2:11 PM ET
Categories:  Jason Reid  
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Next: Wynn Returns to Roster

Comments

Can we just forfeit the season and fast forward to March? I'd rather avoid the injury, embarassment, and demoralization thats sure to follow.

Posted by: Rypien11 | October 12, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

The Washington Redskins are on the clock.

Posted by: Original_etrod | October 12, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Samuels knew of his condition before this game the bottom line is that after taking that hit he had a "stinger" Samuels had pain throught his back and numbness/tingling to his extremities. Based on the comdition he already has and the reaction to a normal football collision I would say this could be the end or Samuels...

Posted by: BenchCampbell | October 12, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse

I've got an idea: Let's put Vinny in at QB this Sunday for a few pass plays, behind the O-line he's responsible for. Then we'll see what he does on Monday (from the cell phone in his hospital room) to bolster the line.

Posted by: chasgiffen | October 12, 2009 2:24 PM | Report abuse

beep

Posted by: isnadd | October 12, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

beeps

Posted by: chasgiffen | October 12, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Wildcat. It's our only hope.

Posted by: LouLewis | October 12, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Goals for the year:

1) Keep Zorn on through the end of the season, to allow him to continue to tutor Campbell. As we have no o-line, thanks to Snyratto, Campbell will become well-versed in the one-step drop.

2) Lose lots of games, to gain good draft position. We can only hope against hope that Snyder finally gets sick of his racquetball buddy, brings in a real GM, and said new GM spends every single pick in the spring draft on o-linemen.

As you were...

Posted by: cali_snowboarder | October 12, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

I've got an idea: Let's put Vinny in at QB this Sunday for a few pass plays, behind the O-line he's responsible for. Then we'll see what he does on Monday (from the cell phone in his hospital room) to bolster the line.

Posted by: chasgiffen | October 12, 2009 2:24 PM | Report abuse
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Fantastic Idea. I second that.

Posted by: walkdwalk | October 12, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Except when he went undefeated at Auburn and won a national (co) championship.

Ownage.

Posted by: elfreako | October 12, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse


Only problem is, he didnt win a National Championship. It wasnt a Co-National Championship. USC won by defeating Oklahoma.


Ownage.

Posted by: gatorskinz2000 | October 12, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Samuels has spinal stenosis which is a very serious medical condition that could potentially result in paralysis if he continued playing. This is the same type of injury (although far less severe) that ended Michael Irvin's career 10 years ago. If Samuels is smart (which I think he is) and cares about his life after football, I think we've seen the last of him playing in the NFL...I wish him well for his consistent play and leadership.

As for Vinny and Danny, the O-Line going into the season with Samuels and Thomas as its two best lineman was a disaster waiting to happen. The Redskins knew prior to free agency and the draft what they had in reserve and did virtually nothing to fortify the line. It almost appears that the Redskins set up Zorn and Campbell to fail knowing the line was shaky at best.

Knowing Thomas and Samuels were coming off major offseason surgery, an offensive tackle should have been a given with the No. 1 pick. Michael Oher was available and is already starting for Baltimore. A legit Plan B such as re-signing Pete Kendall as a reserve to backup Thomas should also have been done given that no one in the Redskins organization though Rhinehart could ever start.

The only question at this point is whether JC makes it through the season in one piece. John Runyan who could start at RT for the Skins is still out there as a free agent, but Vinny will still try to trot out Mike Williams knowing the guy can't play. It's very sad to see such a poorly run franchise as the Redskins dragged down by ownership who refused accountability.

Posted by: wizfan89 | October 12, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

If I knew way back in January that it was likely that guys like Thomas and Samuels would miss significant time this season, how in the hell did the Skins miss it? They're shuffling guys now -- it seems like they'd have a plan in place long ago. It's not exactly unexpected for linemen in their 30s, coming off surgeries, to miss time.

The humiliating embarrassment of the Danny and Vinny show continues. My prediction: Vinny DOES finally get fired. But he's replaced by another yes-man and Danny continues his idiotic game.

Posted by: diesel_skins_ | October 12, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

I've got an idea: Let's put Vinny in at QB this Sunday for a few pass plays, behind the O-line he's responsible for. Then we'll see what he does on Monday (from the cell phone in his hospital room) to bolster the line.

Posted by: chasgiffen
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Hi-larous....and yet sadly a true statement of where this team is.......and as another posted states: if we knew the o-line was horrible and why skins got overpowered by good teams last year, why the heck did anyone think we'd get through this year---and not be worse off?

we are worse off.....I see 2--14 now...

I rue the day in 1999 when synder took this team over..thought we had it bad w John Cook but how wrong was I....synder will not defer to an old-school football type GM\president.....and let them build the scouting department and eschew flashy FA signings but instead build the team from the inside out......

like I did in late 90s w the Orioles and their pathetic excuse of a owner--divesting myself of any interest--I must try to do same w the deadskins as it will not get better.....very sad day to have to turn away.......

Posted by: tabtool | October 12, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure glad they addressed the O-line this off season.
Good job.

Posted by: jmy999 | October 12, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

They are going to start Heyer at Left Tackle!!! Are they nuts! Well, this will present an opportunity for JC to get injured (some of actually want to see this) and then maybe then Collins refused to go in... El would be next in-line and probably no worst then how JC is playing right now. And don't talk QB stats to me, JC is supposed to be the Leader of this team and he's not showing it. Maybe he should start talking to his players, like Portis does.

Posted by: TKing1 | October 12, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

just wow...Chris Samuels could be done forever. Thank you Chris for providing protection to the 10 some quarterbacks you projected in this organization. Glad to see you made 6 Pro Bowls. Sorry that our idiotic owner and his pet couldnt help you and your teammates get close to being a contender. Perhaps you could replace Bugels as the Skins O-Line coach.

Posted by: dank32 | October 12, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

If Samuels is out then I guess idiot Vinny will sigh another rb.

Posted by: skinhead62 | October 12, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Bring back Charley Casserly!!!!!!

Posted by: bbrown4 | October 12, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Amazing, just amazing how Joe the Fan can see what the team needed 2 years ago...offensive and defensive line help...but they drafted receivers...and those receivers have not caught a touchdown pass...

I see at best a 5-11 season and that is if they win this coming Sunday...

Posted by: pentagon40 | October 12, 2009 4:58 PM | Report abuse

wizfan89: "Samuels has spinal stenosis which is a very serious medical condition that could potentially result in paralysis if he continued playing. This is the same type of injury (although far less severe) that ended Michael Irvin's career 10 years ago. If Samuels is smart (which I think he is) and cares about his life after football, I think we've seen the last of him playing in the NFL..."

Wait a minute -- he'll never play again? The article suggests he's got lumbar spinal stenosis. Many of us will get the degenerative form as a consequence of aging once we pass 60. Given Samuels' age, it's reasonable to guess that his is the more rare congenital form -- and that means a prognosis is more difficult.

Basically, lumbar stenosis involves narrowing of the spinal cord that leads to pinched nerves -- resulting in lower back pain, limping, numbness, etc. I'd be surprised if some of the folks reading this haven't experienced those same symptoms. They're generally treatable, and the treatment often includes surgery.

Michael Irvin's career-ending injury arose from a severe neck injury that was complicated by his stenosis.

Will Samuels' career end? We probably should have a lot more information before arriving at that conclusion.

Posted by: Samson151 | October 12, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

"You can only do what you have right now," Zorn said. "Even during the game, we could do what we could do. My responsibility, and it really is my responsibility, is to even have that work."

Don't feel too bad Zorny, you were given nothing to work with on the offensive side of the ball. Bill "Class" Belichick couldn't score 20 points with this team.

Posted by: Moose33 | October 12, 2009 5:11 PM | Report abuse

I bet Jim Henson is rolling over in his grave.
Wishes he never made Vinny Cerrato.

Posted by: kreator6996 | October 12, 2009 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Why not start Vinny C at right guard? A few smashes to the chin strap might just be the right recipe for improvement with that motor mouth.

Posted by: Vic1 | October 12, 2009 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Skins bring back R. Wynn? Hey Vinny the village idiot; can Wynn play ol?

Posted by: skinhead62 | October 12, 2009 7:12 PM | Report abuse

I've got an idea: Let's put Vinny in at QB this Sunday for a few pass plays, behind the O-line he's responsible for. Then we'll see what he does on Monday (from the cell phone in his hospital room) to bolster the line.

Posted by: chasgiffen | October 12, 2009 2:24 PM | Report abuse
-------------

Fantastic Idea. I second that.

Posted by: walkdwalk | October 12, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

*******************************************

I GOT A BETTER IDEA, TRANSFER VINNY TO "SIX FLAGS", HMFWIC OF CLOWN RECRUITMENT!

Posted by: Spanglerg | October 12, 2009 8:20 PM | Report abuse

Ugh this season is a disaster but really the off-season looks pretty scary too.

Look at our draft needs already.

4-5 O-Line starters!
A young RB capable of becoming a franchiser

We have what - 2 first day picks left....

This looks bad... like for a long time bad...

And yea how is it that every Joe in the DC Metro knew we needed to draft O-line but Snyderrato somehow missed that.

Posted by: mac2j | October 12, 2009 8:25 PM | Report abuse

It all come down to this, you ask a chef (Zorn) to make a five story wedding cake (Lombardi Trophy) but you only give him two eggs and a pound of sugar, hows that for a big cake huh?

Posted by: arbano1 | October 12, 2009 8:25 PM | Report abuse

@wizfan,

You're expressing my extreme conspiracy theory: Snyderrato purposely not upgrading the o-line so as to 1) not give JC the bargaining power during his contract year, and 2) setting up Zorn for failure so as to get a 'big-time' coach.
I sincerely hope JC next year hooks up with a team as a back-up, say Carolina or even Tennessee, and earns a starting spot that leads to a productive career with some playoff appearances and Pro-Bowls.
I was castigated for flirting with my 'protest' allegiance with the Ravens; I'd rather advocate a quality organization than this travesty that's dishonoring the history and accomplishment of the Burgundy and Gold.

Posted by: pdfordiii | October 12, 2009 11:28 PM | Report abuse

here is A better idea instead of putting cerrato behind center and having him find out how it feels to get hit by 300 plus pound Dlineman Dan snyder needs to be in there that way both of them can addeess the o line you see if they want to coach the team and if they think they can be successful all of the coaches including assistants who are ready to be coaches needs to let them so they can find out theat winning in the NFL is not easy on consistant bases especally snyder.

Posted by: rmnkevorkian | October 13, 2009 8:03 AM | Report abuse

Samuels was on the decline starting 3 seasons ago ( Pro-Bowl and all )

Posted by: rlomax67 | October 13, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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