The Washington Redskins re-signed left guard Kory Lichtensteiger to a five-year deal last month, and it seems like the Redskins organization is high on the health of his knee. Lichtensteiger was an effective starting guard for the Redskins before tearing his MCL and ACL in the 2011 season, and it was apparent that his ability suffered as a result of those injuries in the 2012 season. Usually a solid run blocker, Lichtensteiger’s run blocking was horrendous last season, and he was unable to get to the second level. However, Lichtensteiger was able to put forth some above-average pass protection for the Redskins, and he looks poised for a bounce-back season in 2013.
That’s because his health is better, and Lichtensteiger told CSN Washington, “It’s a much better offseason this year. Even though the knee didn’t feel 100-percent last year, I was able to do what I wanted to do. I just had to take a little longer to get warmed up and it would be a little more sore after the game. I don’t think that’s ever going to fully go away for the rest of my life. At some point these knee injuries catch up with you down the road. That’s something I’m realistic about. But as far as football goes for this year, it’s going to be a non-issue.”
Despite the pain he felt last offseason and the fact that he was not as effective during the regular season, Lichtensteiger still trudged through 16 starts last year. That’s quite impressive, and it is a testament to Lichtensteiger’s toughness. The 28-year-old guard’s teammates certainly noticed the determination he showed last season, as he was awarded the Ed Block Courage Award.
Lichtensteiger’s new contract was a gutsy move by the Redskins, but it will pay off if he is as healthy as he thinks he is. Although he did solemnly note that his knee would never be the same after the injury, Lichtensteiger is tough enough to not miss a significant amount of games and should continue to see progress with his knee and ankle (injured his ankle twice last year). Mike Shanahan and the Redskins organization love Lichtensteiger’s run blocking when healthy, and good health could justify the fact that they gave him five years. I am definitely rooting for the unheralded guard, but some believe Josh LeRibeus will give ‘Steiger a run for his money- I think the veteran will win out.
The fact that his knee isn’t even bothering him at all has to make the Redskins organization feel happy, and we’ll see if he can get things going in 2013 and make good on the long-term pact.
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