- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 16, 2011

Perched awkwardly on a folding chair, Kory Lichtensteiger tugged a black sock onto his right foot.

His face was red. A pair of crutches leaned on his locker at FedEx Field. His right leg, bent at the knee, was frozen in place. The simple act of pulling on a sock looked agonizing for the Washington Redskins‘ left guard.

A hit away from the football on the Redskins‘ fourth offensive play against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday likely ended Lichtensteiger’s season, infuriated teammates and pushed the team’s offensive line into disarray. That the Eagles won only accentuated the discomfort.

“This is definitely the worst moment in my football career to date,” Lichtensteiger said, his voice thick with pain and emotion. “I felt the whole thing go. … It was instantaneous.”

Fellow lineman Will Montgomery confirmed Lichtensteiger tore the anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in his right knee. Lichtensteiger will miss the remainder of the season, a source said.

Nearby, second-year left tackle Trent Williams hobbled with a high right ankle sprain that knocked him out of the game. The injuries pushed Erik Cook and Sean Locklear into action, moved Montgomery from center to left guard and used up what little offensive line depth the Redskins owned.

Williams — who mumbled off his own injury with a half-hearted “I’m fine” — blamed Eagles’ defensive end Daryl Tapp for Lichtensteiger’s damaged knee. After the play, Williams drew a personal foul for his involvement in an altercation. Two plays earlier he was called for holding, too.

“[Tapp] just kind of grabbed him and threw him down,” Williams said. “The ref looked right at it. He failed to make the call. It was a dirty play to begin with. It was like 30 yards away.”

Montgomery and Cook didn’t see the play. Lichtensteiger, in obvious discomfort, spoke briefly before a member of the Redskins public relations staff helped him out of the locker room.

“He’s doing as good as you can after something like this,” said Montgomery, who regularly golfed and worked out with Lichtensteiger during the offseason. “But he’s pretty bummed.”

Even Cook wasn’t healthy, after he strained his calf during pregame warm-ups and wasn’t supposed to play. But the seventh-round pick by the Redskins in 2010 took pulled in a deep breath, then jogged into his first regular-season game.

When John Beck replaced Rex Grossman at quarterback, Cook had the familiarity of working with him on the scout team. Aside from one false start, Cook appeared calm.

“I was excited, nervous, every emotion possible,” Cook said.

Locklear, the tackle who started 15 of 16 games last season for the Seattle Seahawks, completed the patchwork line. And there was no alternative to Cook gutting out the game, no matter the condition of his calf. The only other offensive lineman on the 53-man roster is Willie Smith, a rookie from East Carolina who was inactive on Sunday.

The line’s sudden turnover could have been blamed, in part, for a running game that managed 42 yards on 14 carries.

“It seemed like we just couldn’t get into that rhythm for one reason or another. I don’t know why,” Montgomery said. “It’s a little bit off. Guys are dropping like flies. I’m not going to use that as an excuse. It sucks today, right now.

Lichtensteiger understands. Face still red, the lineman heaved himself up from the chair, wedged crutches under his arms and scooted away.

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