September 21, 2019

Washington Redskins: Monday Wrap Up after 17-10 Loss to Dolphins

So what did we expect? Things looked good when the Washington Redskins were up 10-0 although all fans had to be thinking they should have been up even more. Then when the punt coverage team gave up a house call that Tress Way blamed himself for not getting enough hang time, fans had watched this same story unfold multiple times before. The Redskins hoped that playing winning football would quite all of the off the field drama surrounding the franchise, but instead they are the same team from years past that choked away a lead.

Today things were shaken up quite a bit at Redskins Park as signings and waiving took place along with the loss of key starters.

First, the Washington Redskins released their kicker for three years Kai Forbath and signed Florida State product Dustin Hopkins who was beat out for the Saints job by former seventh round pick of the Redskins in 2014 Zach Hocker. Gruden cited that the team wanted someone with a stronger leg, especially on kickoffs. This is much in part to the Redskins special teams coverage being so miserable that they need to make sure kickoffs are no longer an issue. Now if they could stop punting the ball too. Forbath barely missed a 46 yard field in which Redskins punter Way again took the fault because of a bad hold. Even if the coaching staff believed Way, this was probably just the easiest excuse to move on from him after he struggled against weak competition from Ty Long during the offseason. The former Lou Groza award winner was happy about his time in DC and might be able to find work soon if the injuries taking place with the Steelers keep up.

On a smaller note, after the Redskins promoted OLB Houston Bates from the practice squad and releasing DE Frank Kearse, the team did the exact opposite today by waiving Bates while re-signing Kearse. The team knew that Jackson Jeffcoat would be unable to go Sunday against the Dolphins and with Ryan Kerrigan possibly on a snap count, the team could ill afford not having at least three pass rushers at 100%. That explains why Bates was promoted to begin with, but now that Jeffcoat is expected to be ready for the next game against the Rams, the Redskins reverted back to their seven man defensive line. This however gives us an idea of who the Redskins feel comfortable letting other teams have a chance at when trying to tweak the roster temporarily.

It was confirmed by head coach Jay Gruden today that the Redskins will be without the services of DeSean Jackson for an estimated three to four weeks with a seriously pulled hamstring. Gruden left the door open for a quicker return, but like with Jordan Reed, hamstrings set their own timetable to recovery. Jackson is likely disappointed with the set back, especially considering the Redskins host the Philadelphia Eagles Week 4 in a battle that the elite deep threat will likely have to sit out. Rashad Ross, who was inactive against Miami, will likely see playing time because of his speed capability but Gruden also wants rookie Jamison Crowder and Ryan Grant to also step their games up to fill Jackson’s void. As Gruden put it, the Redskins lost a “star” who “scares safeties and corners” and he is not wrong as Jackson is one of the biggest big play weapons in the league.

On the defensive side, the Redskins lost starting strong safety Duke Ihenacho for six to eight weeks with a fractured left wrist that will require surgery to repair. It is not yet known whether the former Bronco will be placed on the IR designated to return list or not. Ihenacho surprisingly beat out free agent signee Jeron Johnson for the starting role and now will be lucky to play half the season after yet another bad break for the Redskins. Trenton Robinson more than Johnson filled the role of strong safety in Ihenacho’s absence against Miami so who starts opposite FS DaShon Goldson is likely up for grabs.

When DeAngelo Hall had to sit out temporarily with a rib injury against the Dolphins, it was obvious that Ryan Tannehill was targeting David Amerson. Amerson was tested on seven straight pass plays which eventually led to a Dolphins touchdown before the end of the half that begin to change the momentum of the game. Usually that would have been Bashaud Breeland‘s role to replace Hall but was sitting out while serving a one game suspension. Then just when Breeland returned to the team today, an NFL spokesman explained that CB Chris Culliver will serve a one game suspension starting now stemming from a hit and run incident last year. Although that means that the Redskins will be short a capable corner for the second weak in a row, it will allow the likes of a Justin Rodgers, who is believed to have made the roster simply because Breeland did not count to the 53, or another defender to show why they deserve to stay on the 53 man roster when Culliver returns.

In summary the Redskins believe they upgraded in the kicking department, but lost three key skill position players as they prepare to host the St. Louis Rams who beat the Seattle Seahawks in a 34-31 shootout that ended in overtime.

About Neil Dalal

Neil Dalal is a Staff Writer for District Sports Page covering the Redskins, Wizards, and Maryland Terrapins. Neil grew up in Silver Spring, MD and attends the University of Maryland. Neil has loved everything related to the Redskins, Wizards, Capitals, and Terrapins since he was eight years old. However, he favors the Orioles, as he started watching baseball before the Expos moved to DC. You can follow Neil on Twitter @NeilDalal96.

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