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Aldrick Robinson gets a second chance

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Aldrick Robinson gets a second chance

Aldrick Robinson’s first opportunity to make an impact in the NFL didn’t last long. 

On Sunday, the Redskins’ wide receiver will get a second chance against the Panthers. And this time, Robinson knows can’t afford to drop the ball again.

“Opportunities are limited,” Robinson said. “Now that they’re going to get more involved, I have to take advantage of my opportunities.”

Robinson replaced Pierre Garçon when the No. 1 receiver hurt his foot in the first quarter of the season opener. Robinson played the final three quarters against the Saints and impressed the coaching staff with his speed and route-running. The 24-year-old also hauled in four passes for 52 yards and a touchdown.

As a result of his strong showing, Robinson was tapped to start in Garçon’s place against the Rams the following week. But instead of seizing the opportunity, Robinson missed two blocks and dropped a deep pass that hit him in the hands.

“I didn’t play as well as I wanted,” Robinson said. “That kind of pushed me back a little bit. Now I’ve got another chance.”

Coach Mike Shanahan wouldn’t say exactly how Robinson will be deployed, but with Garçon expected to be sidelined again and the entire group of wide receivers coming off a wretched performance in Pittsburgh that included 10 drops, Robinson will see a more prominent role this week in a critical game for the Redskins (3-5).

“Aldrick has gotten back in the mix,” Shanahan said, referring to Robinson's role in practice this week. “When Pierre went down early, he had a pretty good game. He’s going to get some more playing time. And as you have guys who get hurt, these guys have to step up.”

Robinson played a career-high 66 snaps against the Saints after Garçon hurt his foot. But it was all downhill from there for the Dallas native as his playing time plummeted from 30 snaps vs. the Rams to three against the Giants. He also missed the Tampa Bay game after getting knocked unconscious during the pregame warmup when he ran into teammate Brandon Meriweather.

Against Pittsburgh, Robinson remerged – sorta. He was included in 15 plays and nearly scored a touchdown when dived for a Robert Griffin III pass in the end zone early in the fourth quarter. Robinson got both hands on the ball, but cornerback Keenan Lewis held Robinson’s arm, increasing the catch’s degree of difficulty.

Even though he didn’t snag the ball, the play showed Shanahan something.

“If he wasn’t interfered with,” the coach said. “The guy [had him in an] arm bar. He still almost caught it. That showed me a lot right there. There were another couple of routes that he ran that I was really impressed with so he will get some more playing time.”

This time, Robinson plans to grab the opportunity with both hands – on the field, the practice field and in the classroom.

“I have to take a better approach,” Robinson said. “I have to be well-prepared and be ready when a play presents itself Sunday. I’m going to be a lot more focused, work on the details and the little things – all the things that will help me do better than the last time I had this chance.”

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Redskins vs Bills: 5 things to watch in the preseason game that matters

Redskins vs Bills: 5 things to watch in the preseason game that matters

When the Redskins take on the Bills Friday night (7:30 @ CSN) this will be the closest to a regular season game Washington gets before September 12th. It's time for the 'Skins to show up. With starters slated to play a full half, the team will get the opportunity.

  1. Time for Cousins - Kirk Cousins got an unexpected night off last week when Jay Gruden decided to give backup Colt McCoy the start against the Jets. That should not be the case Friday as Gruden has said he expects the starters to go for the first half against the Bills. Cousins, for his part, is ready to take the field. "We want to be sharp, we want to stay healthy. We just want to move the football, convert third downs, stay out on the field and score points, and that really never changes. Whether it’s the preseason, whether it’s a practice session of moving the football, or whether it’s a real game," the QB said on Monday.
  2. Trent & Reed back out there - Arguably the Redskins two best players are set to make their preseason debut Friday night. Trent Williams and Jordan Reed should line up with Cousins and the Redskins offense, and coaches will be watching both. Injury concerns for either player aren't much of a consideration, but it will be interesting to watch as both guys look to get their wind and conditioning.
  3. Improved secondary gets test - The Redskins secondary should absolutely be improved this fall, as playmaker Bashaud Breeland has another year under his belt and 2015 All-Pro Josh Norman joins the squad. That doesn't mean Friday night against the Bills won't present a challenge though. Buffalo QB Tyrod Taylor is known to elongate plays with his legs, so the corners will need to stay on their assignments longer than normal. Breeland said earlier in the week that he knows the challenge Taylor presents, and while the 'Skins defense did not gameplan for the Bills like they would against a regular season opponent, the secondary needs to be prepared for Taylor and WR Sammy Watkins.
  4. Will the Stork arrive? -  Scot McCloughan traded for the former Patriots center on Wednesday, and after much consternation, it appears Bryan Stork will report to the Redskins. When he will report remains a question. Stork would not play Friday night, but it will be interesting to see if he arrives on the sideline or waits until the weekend to meet his new team. Stork might help at center, but at least will bring a new level of competition for starter Kory Lichtensteiger. 
  5. Let's get physical - Rex Ryan coaches the Bills. Rex Ryan likes his teams to play very physical, and the Redskins better be ready for that physicality Friday night. Don't forget that beating Buffalo last year put the 'Skins on track for a playoff berth, but also took the Bills of course of an AFC playoff bid. Yes it's preseason, but this game should have some juice early. 

Stay tuned for updates throughout Friday as @JPFinlayCSN will be on scene at FedEx Field early.

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VIDEO: Tony Romo exits Cowboys preseason game with apparent back injury

VIDEO: Tony Romo exits Cowboys preseason game with apparent back injury

Dallas Cowboys starting quarterback Tony Romo has a lengthy medical history.

Despite rookie quarterback Dak Prescott's strong play early in the preseason, the last thing the Cowboys needed was another injury to their franchise quarterback.

RELATED: A GUIDE TO DRAFTING FANTASY FOOTBALL QBS

On Thursday night, early in the Cowboys' preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks, Romo attempted to slide safely to the turf.

As he went to the ground, he was awkwardly tackled from behind and crumpled up in pain.

Defensive end Frank Clark made a hard yet leagal tackle, but the angle of the tackle and Romo's slide combined for a painful scene.

Romo walked off the field on his own power but was immediately attended to by trainers as Prescott prepared to take over.

Romo was on the field for three plays before being hit by Clark.

The 36-year-old has played in all 16 games in just five of his ten NFL seasons as starting QB and missed all but four games last season after suffering a broken collerbone. 

UPDATE 25 AUGUST 2016, 10:37 P.M.

According to ESPN, Romo "pulled his back" and was healthy enough to return, but was held out by coach Jason Garrett.

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Think again about Redskins taking a serious look at Stevan Ridley

Think again about Redskins taking a serious look at Stevan Ridley

Stevan Ridley hit the free agent market today after the Detroit Lions released him. The news should not come as a surprise as Ridley has struggled since his knee injury in 2014.

Fans thinking Ridley might be able to help the Redskins depleted running back corps need to think again. Last season, Ridley played in nine games for the Jets, getting one start. He rushed the ball 36 times for 90 yards, an average of 2.5 yards-per-carry.

The Redskins run game struggled last year, but their stats look impressive next to Ridley. As a team the Skins rushed for 3.7 YPC, and presumed starter Matt Jones averaged 3.4 YPC.

MORE REDSKINS: STORK REPORTEDLY WILL REPORT

The Redskins may well look for help at running back, especially as Jones is dealing with a shoulder injury and will sit out the remainder of the preseason, but Ridley is highly unlikely to be the answer.

Elsewhere in the running back world, reports show that five teams are interested in former Bills running back Karlos Williams. Who those teams are, however, remains a mystery.