Don't sleep on Alfred Morris.So says NFL insider and draft analyst Russ Lande, who listed the Redskins rookie runner among his late-round sleepers from the 2012 class. Here is whatLande said in his Sporting News article about the sixth-rounder:"Morris, who played at Florida Atlantic, stood out at the Redskins OTAs. He impressed with his versatility at tailback and fullback, and also with his ability to catch the ball. Considering Mike Shanahans history of success with running backs drafted late, we expect Morris to make a significant contribution his rookie season."Not sure how one assess much in the OTAs when thepplayers are in shorts and running around without pads, but Lande isn't the only one barking up the "Morris as a surprise" tree. Considering Tim Hightower's injury history, Morris' versatility (could take snaps at fullback)and, as Lande notes, Shanahan's track record when it comes to unearthing random runners, why not.Among the other rookies drafted after thethird round Lande mentionedinclude Eagles corner Brandon Boykin (a personal fave of mine) and Dolphins runner Lamar Miller.
As Jay Gruden stepped to the podium to read the injury report, he warned, “This will be a while.”
He was right, as he rattled off one the longest injury reports of the season.
Out were G Spencer Long (concussion), S Will Blackmon (concussion), DE Chris Baker (ankle), DE Ricky Jean Francois (knee/foot), DE Anthony Lanier (lower leg), G Shawn Lauvao (groin), OT Ty Nsekhe (ankle), and S Donte Whitner (illness).
Of that group, all but Jean Francois, Lanier, and Nsekhe are starters. Between them and the limited players listed below it was difficult for the Redskin to conduct a normal practice.
“It was a challenge,” said Gruden of getting through it. “Practice was modified quite a bit today. We did more walkthrough today than we ever have on a Wednesday.”
“Sometimes you have to taper back just a hair to make it through practice, try to get the mental reps in with walkthrough and then hopefully the physical part will come maybe tomorrow. Friday we can open them up a bit.”
Limited in practice were TE Jordan Reed (shoulder), OLB Preston Smith (groin), ILB Will Compton (hip), G Brandon Scherff (ankle), and TE Derek Carrier (knee).
READ MORE: FULL UPDATE ON JORDAN REED
Reed returned to practice for the first time since suffering a Grade 3 sprain to the AC joint in his left shoulder in the game against the Cowboys on Thanksgiving. He missed the game in Arizona. While his limited participation was a good sign for his return it’ is way too early in the week to say with any degree of certainty that he will be playing against the Eagles.
RGIII is finally getting another chance to play.
Plagued by injury after injury — most recently breaking a bone in his left shoulder in the Brown’s 29-10 loss to the Eagles in their season opener — the former Redskin is set to start for Cleveland against the Bengals on Sunday, ESPN’s Dan Graziano reports.
Barring an unforeseen health setback in practice, the Browns plan to start Robert Griffin III at QB on Sunday, per source.— Dan Graziano (@DanGrazianoESPN) December 7, 2016
Griffin was cleared for contact last week after missing the majority of the Browns’ 0-12 season, and the team is coming off a bye week after its last loss to the Giants over Thanksgiving weekend.
In 2015, Kirk Cousins replaced Griffin as starting quarterback, and the Redskins released him at the end of the season. He signed a two-year, $15 million contract with Cleveland in March.
In Griffin’s absence, the Browns have relied on Cody Kessler and Josh McCown, who boast a 65.5 and 54.5 completion percentage, respectively. The two combine for just 12 touchdowns this season.
Will Griffin be the key to ending the Browns’ winless season? We’ll find out Sunday.