Jon Jansen leaves void filled by Wide Receiver

The big news from Sunday's game is, of course, the Jansen injury. Per the Official Site the word is grim:

First, though, he has a long rehab--potentially 3-4 months--ahead of him.

Jansen suffered a fractured dislocation of his right ankle in Sunday's season opener against Miami at FedExField.

"Certainly it's a big loss for us," head coach Joe Gibbs said. "I felt like Jon made unusually good preparation this year. He hadn't missed a snap in practice. He hadn't missed a snap in games. It's just one of those things that can happen. We hate it."

And that's exactly what happened: Jansen is on IR per Redskins Insider. [Jansen is on IR per RI.] The question then turns to who replaces Jansen on the line, where we have a number of options, apparently, though Todd Wade wasn't one of them on Sunday. As of this moment he has zero starts this season. His fall from grace includes being the favorite at the vacated guard position, since filled by Pete Kendall, to being the backup at tackle (presumably) to not even being that on gameday, as Stephon Heyer saw action. And earlier today he was competing with Jason Fabini, of all people, per the Official Site:
Gibbs left open the possibility that undrafted rookie Stephon Heyer, who replaced Jansen on Sunday, could take over at right tackle for the remainder of the season.

The Redskins could also turn to veteran Jason Fabini at right tackle, but he has lined up mostly at guard in his brief time with the Redskins.

Then my colleague Ben demanded that Todd Wade get the start and, remarkably, and perhaps because the team has finally realized that this guy Folsom knows a thing or two, they relented:
Todd Wade will take over at right tackle for Jon Jansen.
Head coach Joe Gibbs made the announcement during the "Joe Gibbs Show" on Redskins Radio with Larry Michael and Bram Weinstein.

The team considered starting undrafted rookie Stephon Heyer after he impressed as a replacement for Jansen in Sunday's game against Miami.

"We've talked that over and we'll put Todd in and we'll let Stephon go back and forth between both tackles," Gibbs said.

The most compelling case I read for this came, again, from Ben:
3. Playing Stephon at that unfamiliar position forces the team to use a tight end in blocking more often than they would like. Chris Cooley was forced to hang back and block and only caught one pass and we saw more of Todd Yoder in the second half that we want. Forcing a tight end to block takes away a valuable target Jason Campbell needs to stay confident. If the Redskins can use the experience and size of Todd Wade to block the left side of the Eagles defensive line one on one then the tight ends are free to catch passes. Remember this is Al Saunders' offense where the tight end is a receiver and not Joe Gibbs' offense where the tight end is basically another lineman, with one eye and steel teeth (hello Don Warren).
Speaking to that point, I wasn't terribly impressed with Cooley's blocking on Sunday. Nor has he blown me away with his blocking prior, although I do think he's better than the player I saw barely slowing Dolphins down last weekend.

The good news is that we have this rookie undrafted free agent challenging for a starting position on this offensive line. Had you asked me many moons ago whether Stephon Heyer would get a shot at starting for this football team, I would've blown milk out my nose. Enormous credit is due him and to the coaching staff for finding a diamond in the rough that will hopefully assist the youthing process of our O-Line for many years to come. In the interim, go Todd Wade.

Question becomes what will be done with this extra roster spot now that Jansen is officially done for the year: Answered at Redskins Insider, who reported from start to finish the wooing, dating, and signing of receiver Reche Caldwell. (He lists at 6 feet tall, 210 pounds.) Jason had this to add on the signing:

You have to think this guy will be the No. 3 WR at the least fairly soon. I have thought for a long time this will be the last year in Washington for a certain other receiver, and the presence of this guy suddenly gives them a solid starting option beyond Moss and Randle El.
The unnamed co-conspirator here is Brandon Lloyd, who will do more through his own lackluster play on the field to earn Reche a 3rd receiver spot than Caldwell will. Or comparable contributions.

I'll have more thoughts on Caldwell after/if we see him on the field though encourage much speculation in the comments below. Later on today or this week you might find someone else gloating in this space about some kind of victory over yours truly in a pick'em contest whereas I failed miserably with the crashing and the burning and the yowza and they performed admirably enough to charge people for their picks. Whatever.

Fine, congratulations to Post Game Heroes. Whatever times two.

AOL Fanhouse, Redskins Sign Reche Caldwell; Promote Todd Wade to Starting RT

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