December 11, 2018

Washington Redskins: Week 16 Injury Report

With the biggest game of the season approaching, a Saturday night matchup with the Philadelphia Eagles for the chance to represent the NFC East in the playoffs, the Washington Redskins are hoping for positive news on the injury front as the week progresses. Washington has shown that they are capable of playing competitive football, but Scot McCloughan has not had enough time to put together a team that can withstand so many injuries. With 14 players already on the season ending injured reserve list, the Redskins can ill afford losing any more bodies following the Bills game.

With the shortened week, Washington will hold walkthroughs on Tuesday and Friday that sandwich “two good days of practice” on Wednesday and Thursday.

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Washington Redskins: Injury Roundup after Week 15 beatdown of Buffalo

Yes the Washington Redskins are healthier relative to earlier in the season, but they came out of the Bills game with a few more question marks. In a shortened week with a Saturday night date with the Philadelphia Eagles, the Skins cannot afford any more hits to their impact players.

RT Morgan Moses (left ankle sprain), C Josh LeRibeus (ankle sprain), FS DaShon Goldson (rib fracture), MLB Will Compton (neck), RB Matt Jones (hip contusion), WR Ryan Grant (aggravated oblique) all seem to be day-to-day according to head coach Jay Gruden. Losing any of the aforementioned individuals would be a serious blow to the franchise this week.

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Washington Redskins: Week 7 Injury Report

The Washington Redskins had SIX starters missing during last Sunday’s game against the Jets and that certainly did not help in the third quarter meltdown. Those six do not even include the additional three who have landed themselves on injured reserve. It has been a body bag kind of year for the Redskins who are hoping they can get some reinforcements back before heading into the bye week.

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Washington Redskins: Week Six Monday Recap following another third quarter let down to Jets

Kirk Cousins takes over as Washington Redskins starting quarterback. (photo by Brian Murphy)

(Photo by Brian Murphy)

It turns out that the Washington Redskins comeback victory against the Philadelphia Eagles gave everyone a sense of false hope that they would not again be the cellar dweller of the NFC East. Now after yet another collapse after halftime against the New York Jets, we are all back to reality that the Redskins are still years away from contention. Hopefully Scot McCloughan can continue to work his magic in player assessments and that rebound will be coming within the next three seasons, not a decade. Today head coach Jay Gruden, you have to start to wonder maybe how much longer, reflected on yesterday afternoon’s loss.

As is expected with inconsistent quarterback play, many of the questions addressed concerned the state of Kirk Cousins as the starting quarterback for the Washington Redskins. As Gruden explained yesterday, he is behind the “young” Michigan State product because “he’s getting better and he will play better”. Coach Gruden honestly believes he is “not trying to make excuses for or baby anybody”, but he has yet to find the right balance of defending his players and holding them accountable for game-changing mistakes.

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Washington Redskins: Week 6 Friday Press Conference Wrap Up

On the last day of practice before the Washington Redskins travel to face the New York Jets, head coach Jay Gruden and offensive coordinator Sean McVay spoke to the media. The injury situation is starting to become quite concerning with five starters already having been ruled out with concentrations on the offensive line and secondary.

Gruden reiterated the idea that the Redskins have a “heck of a team not playing” due to injury but believes he still has a “heck of a team playing”. There are no excuses when it comes to injuries because everyone in the NFL deals with it but when you put together a list of every player that has missed time for the Redskins you get up to 14 impact players. Of these 14, 10 are starters and the other 4 of which are special team playmakers. Although Gruden said he does not anticipating making any roster moves before Sunday, the head coach said he cannot even “imagine having any more” injuries. Gruden painted a vivid picture of the Redskins misfortune because of all of the “fluke injuries” that are occurring. [Read more…]

Washington Redskins: Week 6 Thursday Press Conference Wrap Up

As injuries continue to mount, the Washington Redskins continue to do their best to prepare for the New York Jets. Today head coach Jay Gruden and defensive coordinator Joe Barry,  an underrated addition to the coaching staff, spoke to the media.

 The promising news with the recent offensive line injuries to the most veteran counterparts of Trent Williams and Kory Lichtensteiger is that Gruden knows that they could play without practicing, if physically capable, because they have gotten the “mental reps” of walkthroughs. If both are unable to go, the offensive line from left to right would be Ty NsekheSpencer LongJosh LeRibeusBrandon Scherff, and Morgan Moses who have a combined 13 starts of which only 1 (from Moses) came from before this year.

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Washington Redskins: Week 6 Injury Report

The Washington Redskins had their worst case of the injury bug last week against the Falcons when four starters on the 22 man roster, not including those who have already had their season ended on injured reserve, were unable to play. DC fans hope that last week’s injury casualties would be the worst of the season, because the Redskins are arguably able to defeat the current undefeated Atlanta franchise is they have impact players like Chris Culliver or DeSean Jackson at their disposal. This week when Washington travels to take on the New York Jets, they may be even more shorthanded relative to last week.

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Washington Redskins: Week 1 Friday Press Conference Wrap Up

For the last time before the Washington Redskins host the Miami Dolphins at FedEx Field, Jay Gruden spoke to the media and for the first time since early on in training camp second year offensive coordinator Sean McVay discussed expectations for the offense.

The breaking news came from team president Bruce Allen prior to Gruden’s media availability when he told WTOP radio that Robert Griffin III received written clearance from the league neurologist last night, three weeks removed from the concussion he suffered at the hands of the Detroit Lions pass rush. Gruden reiterated this news by telling the media that “Robert finally got cleared” and saying he will be listed as probable for Sunday’s game because he was still able to participate in non-contact practice, although not with the second unit. When asked about Colt McCoy‘s previous status as the backup quarterback, Gruden said that decision will be made when the team has to submit their 46-man active roster shortly before the game.

Although being demoted might bring on the worst feeling for a professional football player, Gruden has reiterated the feelings of others when saying Griffin has responded well to the situation and has not shown any frustration he may be feeling inside. McVay put it that Griffin “handled himself very maturely”, a credit to his character when faced with a “tough situation”. A full hour after practice concluded, Griffin was still putting in the work by running through drills with a team staffer.

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Washington Redskins: Updated Unofficial Depth Chart prior to Preseason Bout with Ravens

The Washington Redskins have made some changes to their unofficial depth chart heading into the “dress rehearsal” preseason game against the Baltimore Ravens on Saturday. You can see the full depth chart below as the cuts to the 53 man roster have to be finalized by September 5th. In bold we have denoted those who are locks to make the roster, while those names that are italicized are individuals who we expect to round out the 53 man roster.

With 46 locks, we predict that Rashad Ross (WR6), Ty Nsekhe (RT2), Je’Ron Hamm (TE3), Kedric Golston (DE4), Frank Kearse (DE5), Houston Bates (OLB5), Martrell Spaight (MLB4), and Justin Rodgers (CB5*) to be on the 53 man roster starting week 1. Although there are 8 players listed to possible make the team leading to 53 man players, CB Baushad Breeland will not count towards the Week 1 53 man roster while serving his one game suspension. It is possible that Justin Rodgers could be gone come Week 2 when Breeland returns unless he can convince the coaching staff to keep him on the roster at the expense of someone else.

Need to Know Changes from Previous Depth Chart:

  • With the season ending injuries to Niles Paul and Logan Paulsen, the Washington Redskins acquired TE Derek Carrier from the San Francisco 49ers for a 5th round draft pick in 2016. Je’Ron Hamm currently seems to be slightly ahead of Chase Dixon and Devin Mahina in the competition for the third tight end roster spot. Ernst Brun and D.J. Williams who were recently signed seem to be long shots to make the team.
  • After the Redskins lost another special teams standout in Adam Hayward, it was Terrance Plummer and not 5th round draft pick Martrell Spaight given the MLB4 spot on the depth chart. Though it is still expected for Spaight to make the team, fully expect that all borderline competitions to possible be determined by the impact said individuals can make on special teams.
  • Chris Thompson, who is expected to make the team as the third string running back, has now leapfrogged Andre Roberts into the starting kickoff return role. There have been only one chance for the Redskins to return a kickoff during the preseason due to touchbacks, so this position is not set in stone.

Surprising Non-Changes to Depth Chart:

  • After being absolutely destroyed on multiple occasions when starting at left tackle for an injured Trent Williams, inconsistent lineman Willie Smith is still listed as backing up the Silverback. Tom Compton has continued to be listed as the third string right tackle, but his newly found role as a blocking tight end makes us consider him a lock to make the roster.
  • Houston Bates has not made up any ground on Jackson Jeffcoat according to the new depth chart, but it is possible that the flashy pass rusher is making a case for a roster spot with three sacks in the first two preseason games. With the injury to Hayward, a linebacker spot opens up for the taking. Expect Bates to be required to also make a difference on special teams in order to make the team.
  • Similarly to Bates, talented OLB Junior Galette has still been listed as the third string WLB although he could possibly start Week 1 against the Dolphins barring a lack of chemistry with the team in his recent arrival and/or a possible suspension for off the field issues.

Do not take any of these rankings too seriously as much can still change up to and beyond the start of the regular season. District Sports Page will keep you updated on the latest changes in position battles that could come down to the wire.

Position First String Second String Third String Other
WR1 DeSean Jackson Ryan Grant Jamison Crowder Rashad Ross
LT Trent Williams Willie Smith Takoby Cofield
LG Shawn Lauvao Arie Kouandjio Bryce Quigley
C Kory Lichtensteiger Josh LeRibeus Austin Reiter
RG Brandon Scherff Spencer Long Tyler Larsen
RT Morgan Moses Ty Nsekhe Tom Compton
TE Jordan Reed Derek Carrier Je’Ron Hamm Chase Dixon, Devin Mahina
WR2 Pierre Garçon Andre Roberts Evan Spencer Colin Lockett, Tony Jones, Reggie Bell
QB Robert Griffin III Kirk Cousins Colt McCoy
FB Darrel Young Jordan Campbell
RB Alfred Morris Matt Jones Chris Thompson Trey Williams, Mack Brown
LDE Stephen Paea Kedric Golston Corey Crawford
NT Terrance Knighton Chris Baker Jerrell Powe Travian Robertson
RDE Jason Hatcher Ricky Jean Francois Frank Kearse Robert Thomas
SLB Trent Murphy Jackson Jeffcoat Houston Bates Dyshawn Davis
MLB Keenan Robinson Will Compton Martrell Spaight
MLB Perry Riley Jr. Terrance Plummer Alonzo Highsmith
WLB Ryan Kerrigan Preston Smith Junior Galette Sage Harold
CB DeAngelo Hall Bashaud Breeland Justin Rogers Trey Wolfe, Qunton Dunbar
CB Chris Culliver David Amerson Deshazor Everett Tajh Hasson, Bryan McCann, DreQuan Hoseky
SS Duke Ihenacho Jeron Johnson Akeem Davis DaMon Cromartie-Smith
FS Dashon Goldson Trenton Robinson Kyshoen Jarrett
P Tress Way
K Kai Forbath Ty Long
H Tress Way
LS Nick Sundberg
KR Chris Thompson Andre Roberts Jamison Crowder
PR Andre Roberts Jamison Crowder Rashad Ross

Washington Redskins: Analysis of Preseason Home Opener Win over Lions

GRIFFIN CONCUSSED AFTER HIT REPEATEDLY BEHIND WEAK LINE

Another costly preseason victory for the Washington Redskins, Robert Griffin III left the game on his fourth series with a concussion and right shoulder stinger, though head coach Jay Gruden said RG3’s shoulder is “okay”. Griffin had no time all night as he was hit on six of eight drop backs, the result of using inconsistent  Willie Smith at left tackle and Brandon Scherff still just being a rookie in this league. You can see all the vicious blows Griffin took last night as well as the play he got hurt on below.

Besides Robert Griffin III, who could be out for upwards of a week and possibly not ready for Week 1 of the regular season, the Redskins also lost another special teams stud. Adam Hayward went down on kickoff coverage with a knee injury that many are reporting is a torn ACL, which would place him on the IR for the second straight year (tibia fracture). Having already lost Niles Paul last week to a dislocated and fractured ankle, the Redskins will put a premium on special teams play to round out their 53 man roster.

The quarterback play was similar to last week against the Browns. There is simply too small of a sample size to evaluate Griffin, who now may be out for the foreseeable future. The small part did he did play looks awful much in part to the fact he was hit on six out of eight drop backs with only one, in which he got hurt, being his fault. For those who will bash Griffin, they will get their chance to see Kirk Cousins and Colt McCoy battle it out on the practice field while RG3 is out. Both backup quarterbacks played well last night; however it all must be taken with a grain of salt as they were playing against a backup secondary who were giving up open soft spots left and right.

The running backs were one of the lone bright spot for the Washington Redskins. After only providing 24 yards of support on seven carries for Griffin, also possibly the result of a weaker offensive line, we saw explosive runs behind the backup line. Rookie Matt Jones got things started with a 24 yard rumble up the middle with a good cut to make a defender miss mid way through. Chris Thompson also had a nice run around the right side and similarly to Jones made a defender go for a slip and slide ride with a smooth cut. Finally, the speedster Trey Williams put his track like ability on display with a 38 yard run down the right sideline. Although the Redskins combined for a whopping 179 yards on the ground on 40 carries, 81 of them came from these big plays.

Again the starting defense was shaky coming out of the gates. Yes they were missing the likes of DeAngelo HallBaushad BreelandRyan Kerrigan, and Junior Galette, but fundamentally they were not getting the job done. Throughout the game the Redskins could not sustain tackles and bring the ball carrier to the ground individually. From the starters, Keenan RobinsonDavid Amerson, and Chris Culliver were all guilty of that. The nice part however was the rest of the defense’s swarming to the football to make the additional yardage gain minimal through gang tackling.

The up and down nature of the starting defense continued with the coverage in the passing game. At times Matthew Stafford, without arguably the best receiver in the game Calvin “Megatron” Johnson, was simply dissecting the gaps in the defense (similarly to how Cousins and McCoy would return the favor). The Lions quarterback had four passes, out of his eight, for double digit yard gains. In the end the Redskins defense did a decent job preventing the Lions from entering the red zone. Both drives stalled for the Lions and they settled for a 49 yard Matt Prater field goal over the course of their two drives. Jason Hatcher was a key pass rusher in stalling both drives as he twice hurried Stafford into not converting on third down.

Now lets take a look at whose stock is rising and whose is falling as the Redskins continue their evaluation process to cut their roster to 53 players by Saturday, September 5th.

  • UP: Tackle Tom Compton. With all the problems on the offensive line yesterday, Compton who was used multiple times as a blocking tight end (trying to fill the void of Logan Paulsen), did an effective job. The backup lineman has the mobility to sustain blocks down field which allowed Alfred Morris to gain a 10 yard clip on the opening possession. With Brandon Scherff moving to guard, opening an extra roster spot at tackle, Compton is all but a lock for the final roster.
  • DOWN: Tackle Willie Smith. For Gruden to say Smith played “pretty good” is laughable. The tackle was playing in place of Pro Bowl left tackle Trent Williams who could have gone it it were a regular season game. Smith was beat repeatedly. Three times Lions defenders got clean shots on Griffin around the outside. Smith was bailed out the fourth time from the fact that Scherff got blown up quicker than he did. If Ty Nsekhe shows he is the least bit competent in being a backup tackle, the journey man Willie Smith will continue his journey right out the door.
  • UP: Punter Tress Way. Arguably the Redskins most worthy player of a Pro Bowl of All-Pro selection might just be their dynamite punter. In a special teams that has been horrendous over the years, the Redskins might have found their changer in field position for the next five years. Way led the league in gross punting average at 47.5 yards. Last night Way averaged 51 yards on four punts and helped his coverage team with directional punts that helped limit punt return yardage to a total of 13 yards.
  • DOWN: Guard Brandon Scherff. Yes he is a rookie and yes he was not the only problem on the offensive line, but the 5th overall pick was absolutely bull rushed straight back into Griffin on a drop back. If Scherff is going to worth the value of his draft pick, he MUST at least develop into a above average guard where he supposedly more suited to start his development. Scherff also had a somewhat tough time on running plays as the Redskins got no substantial runs running to the right where he anchors the line with Morgan Moses. Scherff would say postgame that the play of the offensive line is “unacceptable” and says he needs to work on “everything”.

Everything moving forward will depend on the recovery timetable set for Griffin who has to pass the league’s strict concussion protocol before being able to do any work in practice. Head coach Jay Gruden has already come out and said he imagines Griffin to still be the starter. This might be frustrating for some who want to see Cousins or maybe even McCoy to get another shot at the starting job, but to me you cannot give up on Robert yet even though this is his third straight year with an injury.

Important Dates:

  • Face the Baltimore Ravens for the third preseason game (“dress rehearsal”) in 8 days on 8/29 at 7:30 PM.
  • The final cuts to a 53 man roster will take place over the next 15 days by 9/5.
  • Season and home opener against Miami Dolphins on Sunday, September 13 in 23 days.

 

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