'Skins guard Mike Williams, a former first-round pick will miss the 2010 season as result of blood clots near his heart.
In a bizarre turn of events, the Redskins will now be without a key piece to their retooled offensive line. Williams was expected to compete for the starting right guard spot. He would have provided quality depth along the interior should he have lost the position battle for right guard to Artis Hicks.
Williams lost 100 pounds in time to win a spot on the Redskins roster in 2009. He sat out the 2008 season, but the Redskins gave him a chance to erase the "bust" status Williams had earned with lackluster efforts in Buffalo and Jacksonville.
Williams was taken with the fourth overall pick in the 2002 NFL draft. He struggled with weight issues and poor work ethic, but in Washington he was well on his way to shedding that image.
His mammoth frame was perfect for the guard position, and the 'Skins had high hopes that Williams would be a key contributor on the offensive line this year.
Now it will be crucial for to have either Chad Rinehart, Will Montgomery, or Edwin Williams emerge as an option should injuries beset the O-line.
The depth along the interior isn't top-notch, but the real concern will be at tackle. If either Jammal Brown or Trent Williams suffer an injury, the Redskins will be stretched thin as Hicks will likely have to move to one of the tackle positions.
That would mean the right guard position would be manned by Rinehart, Montgomery, or Edwin Williams in light of the loss of Mike Williams.
I would expect the Redskins to address the issue by trying to acquire another lineman in the free agent market.
Initial thoughts on the remaining O-linemen on the market:
1. Chester Pitts: Coming off a knee injury, but a solid vet who played under Kyle Shanahan in Houston.
2. Levi Jones: He played for the Redskins last season and started eight games in wake of all the injuries the 'Skins had on the O-line last year. He wasn't incredibly consistent, but proved he could work in a pinch.
3. Arron Sears: The youngster came into the league with the Bucs in 2007 with high hopes, but he missed all of last season with what is thought to be psychological issues and the Bucs released him a few months ago.
Sears may retire, but should he decide to come back and play, the 'Skins might want to give him a look.
4. Mike Gandy: He's no spring chicken at 31, and he's coming off an injury, but he might be the best tackle left on the free agent market.
He missed the play-offs and the last four games of the 2009 season with injuries.