More shuffling along offensive line

More shuffling along offensive line
December 11, 2011, 11:21 pm
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Even by the Redskins standards during a season full of offensive line changes, a new one happened before facing New England: Right tackle Jammal Brown injured his groin in pre-game warm-ups.

Helped to the locker room and examined, Brown was not able to play in the Redskins 34-27 loss to New England. Tyler Polumbus was the replacement.

The Redskins started their sixth different line combo left tackle Sean Locklear (and later Willie Smith) replaced the suspended Trent Williams and Polumbus started his second game in relief of Brown.

The Redskins offense, though, had arguably their best game, gaining a season-high 463 yards and posting seven plays of at least 22 yards.

Some guys stepped up and really did a great job of finding a way to play at a high level even though they didnt get a lot of reps during the week, coach Mike Shanahan said.

Smith worked at left tackle in practice during the week and switched off possessions with Locklear, who started.

We wanted to take a little bit of pressure off Smith by not throwing him in right away at the start of the game, Shanahan said. When Willie started playing well, we kept him in there.

Smith was responsible for New Englands fumble recovery in the end zone but he did some decent things in the running game. It was the rookies first game action in the regular season.

I think I did a good job bouncing back, Smith said. I had better fundamentals and did my job.

Brown missed his second game of the season.

We were doing our pulling drills and I pushed off of my left foot, I slipped and did a little splits and thats when I pulled it, Brown said.

The field conditions could have played a part in Browns injury. The surface was chewed up from Saturdays Army-Navy game.

I would say that if I didnt pull it four weeks ago, he said when asked if the field was to blame. I felt bad because I knew we were already down numbers on the offensive line. I tried to come in to do some stuff to get going but if I would have went out there, I would have been no help to my team. I would have been out there limping around.

Another Big Day For Helu
Redskins running back Roy Helu keeps rolling along, rushing 27 times for 126 yards to become the first rookie in team history to rush for 100-plus yards in three consecutive games.

Its still early but were really pleased over the last three games and one of the reasons hes getting the load is the way hes played, Shanahan said. I thought today he really stepped up and played well.

Since taking over the heavy lifting, Helu has rushed 73 times for 334 yards the last three games.

The o-line played their butts off, Helu said. All credit to them.

Gomes Over Atogwe
The Redskins went with DeJon Gomes at one safety spot instead of veteran O.J. Atogwe. Reed Doughty replaced the injured LaRon Landry at the other spot.

Atogwe played a few snaps throughout the game, but Gomes saw the majority of duty.

To be honest, just health reasons, Shanahan said. O.J. keeps on trying to go out there and play at a very high level. Hes never been able to get back to full speed with the knee, ankle, hamstring. But its good to have him up because were a little short on depth.

Sellers Injures Elbow
Already thin at tight end, the Redskins lost Mike Sellers in the first half when he hyper-extended his right elbow while blocking on a kickoff return.

He came out of the locker room with his arm in a sling.

Hall Loses Poise
Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall contributed to the Patriots 80-yard touchdown to drive to open the second half. On one play, he was called for a 5-yard holding penalty and 15 more was tacked on when he picked up the officials flag and threw it.

You have to keep your composure, said Shanahan, who did not take Hall of the game. We all know that. You cant lose it. This is a tough business, there are going to be highs and lows and you cant make those mistakes.

Horrible Call
Redskins linebacker London Fletcher was flagged for unnecessary roughness penalty when he hit Patriots quarterback Tom Brady just as he began his slide. There was no helmet-to-helmet contact.

At least in my opinion, I thought it was horrible, Shanahan said. When I saw the replay, I thought it was a bad call but I would have to see it again to know for sure.

Another bad call happened in the previous series when a Redskins drive was extended because Andre Carter was tagged for hitting Rex Grossman below the knees.

There was no intention of going low, Carter said. I thought it was a good hit. The league has definitely been involved in protecting the quarterbacks, which I understand.

Contact OHalloran at rohalloran@comcastsportsnet.com