LOUDOUN COUNTY, Va. – With center Spencer Long expected to miss the remainder of the preseason after undergoing minor knee surgery, Wednesday the Redskins trade cornerback Dashaun Phillips to the Pittsburgh Steelers in exchange for center Lucas Crowley.
Crowley, an undrafted rookie out of North Carolina, began his NFL career with the Arizona Cardinals.
In four seasons with the Tar Heels, Crowley started 41 career games, including every game in each of his final two seasons. He earned All-ACC honors in both campaigns. Last year, he received second-team All-ACC honors after starting all 13 games and helping the Tar Heels to 293.2 passing yards per game, third-most in the conference. The Ponte Vedra, Florida native is a two-time Rimington Award nominee (best center in the country).
“You know what, he has been hobbling a little bit,” Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said of Long. “It has been bothering him. He’s been trying to fight through it. He does not like to miss a rep. He’s a very competitive guy and unfortunately you could see it starting to bother him. After the game, he tried to fight through the whole first half against Green Bay and he just said he couldn’t really go. We wanted to get it checked out and found out he had some meniscus issues and got it fixed up.”
Sixth round draft pick Chase Roullier was next in-line at center.
“He took [reps with the] ones today and did a good job,” Gruden said Wednesday. “Ronald Patrick’s getting more work also, so we have two centers. Probably would like to get another one eventually depending on how long Spencer [Long] is going to be out, but we’re hopeful that he’ll return Week 1. But, we’ll see.”
Phillips spent the last two seasons with the Redskins, appearing in 11 games with two starts – both last season.