ASHBURN, Va. – While much of the focus in Baltimore this week has centered on the availability of Ravens outside linebacker Terrell Suggs (torn right biceps), it's been business as usual for the Washington Redskins. And one of the matters the offense has been spending time on is the challenge of containing the Ravens' other outside linebacker, Paul Kruger.
Kruger leads the defense in sacks with 6½, but there are other numbers to consider. According to Pro Football Focus, 21 of Kruger's 35 pressures this season have been registered in the last four weeks, and he has also posted 10 quarterback hits and 18 hurries this year.
While rattling off the playmakers on the Ravens defense, Washington left tackle Trent Williams called Kruger "the wildcard."
"He's just as good a pass rusher as anybody on that team," Williams said. "It's going to be a difficult front to handle. But if we're technically sound, we'll be able to compete at a high level."
If Suggs does play, he will likely line up against Williams, which would move Kruger to face off against right tackle Tyler Polumbus. Polumbus, who was added last year to bolster the offensive line's depth, was pressed into service in August when incumbent Jamaal Brown underwent surgery on his problematic right hip and has been unable to return.
Polumbus, an undrafted free agent who signed with the Denver Broncos in 2008, has understandably not fared as well as Williams, the organization's first pick in the 2010 NFL draft. According to Pro Football Focus, Polumbus has surrendered 43 total pressures, which is 25 more than Williams.
Still, Polumbus said he has spent a considerable amount of time studying Kruger.
"I think Kruger's an excellent rusher," Polumbus said. "I've been watching him on film, and he does a lot of really good things. So even if Suggs isn't out there, they've got Kruger and [rookie Courtney] Upshaw and whoever else they put in there. They've got a lot of good rushers."