- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Will Montgomery practiced Wednesday through a sprained right knee. But that didn’t mean the Washington Redskins‘ starting center’s knee injury was minor.

“He’s a pretty tough kid,” coach Mike Shanahan said, before revealing Montgomery suffered a Grade 2 sprain of his medial collateral ligament. “He’s a warrior. He’s a fighter.”

The Redskins are banged-up, but Montgomery and several other injured players expressed confidence in being able to play Sunday at the Philadelphia Eagles.

“I feel good. I practiced the whole practice, and I feel great,” said Montgomery, who has “no doubt” about facing the Eagles.

Right tackle Tyler Polumbus also said he was planning to play after suffering a concussion in the Redskins‘ victory over the Cleveland Browns. Polumbus took part in Wednesday’s walk-through but was limited in practice.

After Jordan Black’s suspension for violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing drug policy, the Redskins are thinner on the offensive line. It’s even harder if Polumbus cannot play.

“We have a couple different directions we could go,” Shanahan said. “Obviously, we have [Tom] Compton, we have [Maurice] Hurt, but we aren’t going to get into detail there for obvious reasons.”

If Montgomery cannot play, guards Kory Lichtensteiger, Chris Chester and Josh LeRibeus are the options at center.

It would be a challenge if there are any changes along the offensive line, which has remained in tact for a vast majority of the season.

“I don’t see a new group of guys going out there competing together,” Lichtensteiger said. “I think we’ll have all our guys in, and I think we’ll be consistent as we have been.”

Defensive end Stephen Bowen was limited in practice with a torn left upper biceps tendon. But Shanahan did not express concern about the injury keeping Bowen out.

“He’s got upper part of the biceps tendon, and you can play with that. Pretty painful right now, but people have played with that,” Shanahan said. “Now, if it was the lower part of the biceps, he would be out and he’d have surgery. But the upper part of the biceps you can play with, and hopefully he’ll be able to do that.”

Linebacker Lorenzo Alexander (shoulder) wore a no-contact jersey and was limited in practice. The Redskins signed linebacker Vic So’oto off the Green Bay Packers’ practice squad Wednesday, but Alexander expects to play.

“[My shoulder is] doing well. I had a stinger out there, so just trying to make sure the nerves and stuff kind of come back,” Alexander said. “And a lot of that will start happening once the swelling goes down, getting the strength back.”

Veteran linebacker London Fletcher (left ankle) did not practice, but that has been typical in recent weeks. His streak of games played stands at 238.

Reaction to Black’s suspension

Teammates came to Black’s aid in the days after his four-game suspension was announced, and that did not stop Wednesday. Black said the league was aware of medication he was prescribed.

“I don’t know the whole situation. But from the way he talks about it, it seems like he got a raw deal,” Montgomery said. “So I don’t know all the facts, so I can’t say exactly what happened. But it sounds like from his angle that he got a raw deal.”

Left tackle Trent Williams said: “He’d been in the league for 10 years now. It’s nothing that they don’t know. I don’t know. I just thought it was a pretty bad deal.”

Shanahan didn’t comment on the suspension as much as he did his players’ reaction.

“When players take up for a guy like they did, players do it when they know,” he said. “And for whatever reason, I can’t talk about it in detail because it is a part of the guidelines of the NFL, but I think our players said it all.”

Extra points

• Quarterback Robert Griffin III was fined $10,000 for wearing Adidas gear to the news conference after Washington’s win over Baltimore on Dec. 9. The NFL considered it a uniform violation because Nike supplies the league’s apparel. It was first reported by CSN Washington.

• Linebacker Rob Jackson did not practice Wednesday because he was at the hospital for the birth of a child.



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