Washington has made a roster change on its offensive line, announcing today in a press release that the team has signed veteran center Brian De La Puente, placing center Kory Lichtensteiger on injured reserve with the designation to return.
Lichtensteiger, Washington’s regular starting center since 2014, has missed the team’s past three games due to a neck injury, and the club apparently felt he wasn’t close to returning. Josh LeRibeus has started the last three games for Washington, so we’ll have to see whether he continues to hold that role, or whether De La Puente gets a shot at the job. De La Puente, 30, hasn’t played at all in 2015, but started a total of 50 regular season games for the Saints and Bears between 2011 to 2014.
As for Lichtensteiger, the team’s decision to use its IR-DTR slot on him looks a little odd on the surface — because the short-term IR forces players to sit out eight weeks, the 30-year-old wouldn’t be eligible to return to action until after Week 17, meaning Washington would have to make the postseason for him to play again in 2015. While that doesn’t appear unlikely, the team is only a game and a half back of the Giants in the NFC East, and there’s no harm in using the IR-DTR spot, just in case.
There are now just seven NFL teams that have failed to use their IR-DTR designation this season, as our tracker shows.