ASHBURN, Va. -- Just when the Washington Redskins believe they have finally solved their longstanding quarterback woes with rookie Robert Griffin III, those assigned to protect the Heisman Trophy winner are sidelined.
Right tackle Jammal Brown went on the physically unable to perform list after re-injuring his chronically ailing left hip while running sprints the day before training camp opened on July 26. While Brown won't need a repeat of surgery that sidelined him for all of 2009, there's no timetable for his return.
Left guard Kory Lichtensteiger, who missed the final 11 games of last year after tearing his left anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments, began camp with the starters and without a knee brace. However, Lichtensteiger had surgery on Monday to remove loose particles in the knee and is likely out until the Sept. 9 regular season opener at New Orleans.
Griffin, the new face of the franchise, isn't worried about who's in front of him.
"If you think you have a banged-up line or a bad line, then you'll play scared," Griffin said. "The one thing I don't want those guys to think is that I don't trust them. So I definitely trust whoever's out there with me."
Maurice Hurt, a seventh-round choice in the 2011 draft who began his rookie year on the practice squad, is replacing Lichtensteiger as he did for eight games last season. Tyler Polumbus, who was cut by Denver in 2010 and by Seattle last October before signing with the Redskins on Nov. 9, is filling in for Brown as he did for three of the final four games of 2011.
"I'm glad that they feel I was capable enough to move me back over to guard," said the 6-foot-3, 329-pound Hurt, who began camp as a backup right tackle. "I was just excited for the opportunity. I'm definitely much better this year even though I was playing tackle during OTAs and minicamp because we had the whole offseason.
"My knowledge of the offense has grown. I know what the tackle is supposed to do on every play and what the guard is supposed to do. I can understand different blocks, where before I was just trying to focus in on my position."
Left tackle Trent Williams, who was suspended for the final four games of 2011 after multiple failed drug tests and is one more mistake from a yearlong suspension, believes that Hurt and Polumbus will produce.
"Yeah we got a couple injuries, but we can't let that distract us," Williams said. "We still got to handle our business. Kory'll be back in no time. Jammal's situation still a little unknown. Mo stepped in and played a lot last year. Tyler played a lot last year. They're not drop offs at all."
Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press