Even though Jammal Brown looked healthy during OTA’s and minicamp, it was not shocking when Mike Shanahan announced that he would be on the physically unable to perform list to start training camp. Shanahan said that the team’s starting right tackle’s hip “felt a little bit tight” after running some conditioning sprints on Wednesday and that the hip was “a little bit sore” on Thursday morning.
Even though it may be just a “little” problem with the hip, the fact that there is an issue at all is alarming. Issues with the hip, which appear to trace back to a sports hernia injury that cost him the entire 2009 season in New Orleans, have sidelined him four games in his two seasons with the Redskins and have limited his effectiveness in most other games.
Through the offseason, Shanahan and Brown talked about his rehab regime which including doing yoga. While there was some skepticism about whether this would be enough to cure what was becoming a chronic problem. While we don’t know for sure yet, this latest setback indicates that perhaps the yoga didn’t do the trick.
For right now, the Redskins will deal with Brown’s absence in house. Tyler Polumbus took most of the first-team snaps in practice yesterday. Shanahan said that Polumbus, Maurice Hurt, and Willie Smith will fill in for Brown for as long as he is out. The coach had no indication of how long Brown might be out.
If it turns out to be a long-term issue—and even if Brown gets back on the field there is no telling when the issue might pop up again—the team might not have many other options. There are a few free agent starting tackles with some starting experience out there like Kareem McKenzie and Marcus McNeill but neither is a good zone scheme fit.
The best option for the Redskins at right tackle this year is a healthy Jammal Brown. If Brown can’t go, it looks like the starter will be someone who is already on the roster.