- The Washington Times - Monday, July 30, 2012

Already dealing with an uncertain situation at right tackle with Jammal Brown, the Washington Redskins became thinner along the offensive line, at least in the short term, after left guard Kory Lichtensteiger had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee Monday.

Lichtensteiger blew out that right knee in Week 6 last season, tearing his ACL, MCL and medial and lateral meniscus. This time, he had fragments in his cartilage and could miss the entire preseason. Coach Mike Shanahan said the ACL and MCL are fine and that the operation went well.

“I think under normal circumstances he might be able to come back third preseason game; my thoughts right now is hopefully he’ll be ready for the first [regular-season] game,” Shanahan said. “Get him back in football shape and hopefully there’ll be no setback.”

With Lichtensteiger on the shelf, veteran Maurice Hurt and third-round pick Josh LeRibeus are splitting time at left guard.

Shanahan said he wouldn’t hesitate to put Lichtensteiger into the lineup Week 1 against the New Orleans Saints even if he missed the preseason. But no matter what, the Redskins won’t rush the 27-year-old back.

“I think you have to be very patient with Kory just because you don’t want to lose a player for the season,” Shanahan said. “But when you do have a little cartilage like that at this time of year, I’ve waited too many times for a week to two weeks and then all of a sudden you go in there and you wait before the first game and the guy can’t play. So why not do it right now, make sure it’s OK. … Hopefully he’s ready to go full-speed.”

Goff out for season

Linebacker Jonathan Goff is about to go through another trying time after tearing the ACL in his right knee for the second straight year. Goff, who missed all last season with the New York Giants with the same injury, was set to bring some depth to the Redskins.

“It was really a shame because he’s come in here and worked so hard to make this football team, did everything you could possibly do through the offseason. I was really pulling for him,” Shanahan said. “He’s a class individual and just a guy’s guy. Very intelligent, a very hard worker, all the things you look for in a football player. It was just unfortunate.”

The Redskins released Goff with an injury settlement Monday afternoon.

Defensive tackle Barry Cofield, a teammate of Goff’s in New York, called it “the ugly part of the game.”

“Not much you can say. The only thing I said to him was let me know if he needs anything,” Cofield said. “I’m just here to help him. But as far as consoling him or telling him it’s all rainbows and sunshine, it’s just not true.”

This could be career-threatening for the 26-year-old, but Cofield and Shanahan believe he’ll bounce back.

“I don’t think you can keep a good man down,” Shanahan said. “He’ll come back and fight and hopefully next year he’ll be able to play.”

Cousins deals with mistakes

Rookie quarterback Kirk Cousins is working to mesh the physical and mental aspects of his game in the early stages of training camp. He threw two interceptions in a span of three passes Saturday. One was a mental mistake and the other was physical, he said.

Rookie inside linebacker Keenan Robinson intercepted a 15-yard throw to the right, and moments later rookie cornerback Richard Crawford stepped in front of the intended receiver on a throw to the left.

Cousins afterward explained what he learned from the mistakes.

“On the first one, the linebacker just got good depth and made a great play. I need to come down to a check down.

“The second one, the ball was tipped, but I made the right decision throwing to the right spot. The ball just needed to be a little bit more accurate on the receiver.”

Cousins was pleased that he at least made the right decision on the second throw.

“You learn from it and say I can’t let that happen again,” he said. “I’ve got to be more accurate. I’ve got to get back to fundamentals and the kinds of things we’re working on in the film room and out on the practice field every day.”

Cousins tossed two more interceptions Monday, including one that London Fletcher returned for a touchdown.

Injury report

Fullback Darrel Young suffered a hamstring injury. “I don’t know, but it doesn’t feel good,” he said while limping. Offensive tackle Willie Smith twisted his knee and was set to have an MRI.