Redskins bring back starting left guard Shawn Lauvao

The Washington Redskins turned to a familiar face to address the hole at left guard. Shawn Lauvao will return to the team after testing free agency, his agent announced on Twitter on Friday afternoon.

The eight-year veteran was the starting left guard for the past four seasons, but injuries have been a consistent issue.

Contract details were not immediately available.

The team had seemed likely to part ways with Lauvao in free agency; Coach Jay Gruden and Senior Vice President of Player Personnel Doug Williams have touted Arie Kouandjio as capable of filling the role. But the organization never signed another guard in free agency and didn’t select one in the draft last week. Williams said the Redskins had guards on the draft board, but they were gone by the time the team was ready to select one.

The Redskins took tackle Geron Christian out of Louisville in the third round of the draft and intend to keep him at that position.

The biggest issue with Lauvao has been his lack of availability. He has yet to play an entire 16-game schedule in Washington and played just three games in 2015 and nine in 2017. Lauvao went on injured reserve last season because of a stinger, and an ankle injury ended his 2015 campaign.

[Redskins look to future and add depth with third-round pick Christian]

The offensive line as a whole was plagued by injuries last season. Tackle Trent Williams (knee surgery), guard Brandon Scherff (knee injury) and center Spencer Long (quadriceps surgery) all missed chunks of time. That helped plunge the running game to 28th in the NFL at 90.5 yards per game. Washington selected LSU running back Derrius Guice in the second round of the draft to address problems in the backfield. Reserve tackle Ty Nsekhe is also back after signing a one-year extension.

Long signed with the New York Jets as an unrestricted free agent, and second-year center Chase Roullier is expected to start in 2018. Tackle Morgan Moses started all 16 games a year ago despite various ailments.

“I still feel good about our offensive line,” Williams said after the draft. “The guard that we targeted wasn’t there. So you don’t do a reach. You don’t go down to get a guy because you need that guy, you know, so you’ve got to go on and pass on.”

The Redskins have begun voluntary offseason workouts, and the rookie minicamp starts Friday with a three-day session. Organized team activities are scheduled for May 22-24, May 29-31 and June 4-7. Veteran minicamp runs June 12-14. The dates for training camp in Richmond have yet to be announced.

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