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Fletcher: 'You can feel the excitement'

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Fletcher: 'You can feel the excitement'

In summary: Only one thing mattered to 37-year-old London Fletcher following Monday night’s 17-16 victory over the Giants: The Redskins' season remains relevant. 

“Playing meaningful games in December, it’s just a different atmosphere, a different feeling, a different preparation,” Fletcher said after gutting out another game on a gimpy ankle. “You can tell the excitement of the fans, the city. Just coming into the stadium, you saw how many people were out here early, ready for this game.”

Fletcher was asked if he could recall the last time FedEx Field rocked the way it did Monday. 

“This is the loudest I’ve seen FedEx since the Dallas game, the last game [of the] 2007 season,” he said after a moment of contemplation. Fletcher was referring to the Redskins’ wild-card clinching victory over the Cowboys in the 2007 season finale.

With their third consecutive win, the Redskins, at 6-6, have vaulted themselves back into the thick of the NFC East and wild card races. The Giants, meantime, fell to 7-5, while the Cowboys also sit at 6-6 after Sunday’s victory over the Eagles.

If you think about it, if we lose this game, we go down three games to the Giants,” Fletcher said. “It would have been highly unlikely for us to have a chance of winning the division. But now we’re a game back. We just made it very interesting.”

Interesting, indeed. 

Turning point: Early in the fourth quarter, the Redskins found themselves trailing 16-10. But Robert Griffin III directed a methodical, 12-play, 86-yard drive that culminated with an eight-yard Pierre Garçon touchdown reception that put the home team ahead for good. Garçon finished with eight receptions for 106 yards – three yards shy of his season-high.

“We came through when we needed to,” Garçon said. “That’s what a good team does when their back is against the wall.”

Offensive play of the game: Late in the first quarter, Josh Morgan scored his first touchdown of the season in bizarre fashion. The wide receiver was the pitchman on an option when Griffin, tucked the ball and turned up field. Griffin, however, fumbled at the Giants’ 13-yard line, bobbling the ball up in the air – and right into the hands of a streaking Morgan.

“It just bounced my way,” Morgan said laughing. “We game planned the option. We ain’t game-planned for him to do it the way he did it, but he made it happen. It worked out.”

It marked the second time this season a wide receiver recovered a Griffin fumble for a touchdown. In Tampa, Garçon pounced on a loose ball in the end zone.

Defensive play of the game: In the fourth quarter, the Redskins were clinging to a one-point lead when the pass rush finally delivered. Linebacker Rob Jackson sacked Eli Manning for a seven-yard loss at the Giants’ 14-yard line. The sack forced the visitors’ to punt and swung the momentum toward the Redskins for good.

Special teams play of the game: As important as Kai Forbath’s 33-yard field goal in the second quarter proved to be in a one-point victory, the Redskins benefited greatly from Lawrence Tynes missing a 43-yarder a few minutes earlier. Tynes entered the game tied for the league lead in field goals made (29) and was 6 of 7 from 40-49 yards out.

Injury report: Tackle Trent Williams said after the game that his bruised thigh, “felt terrible.” But he played through the pain and helped pave the way for the Redskins’ 207 yards on the ground. 

…Fletcher did not arrive in Landover wearing anything on his sprained left ankle but he left wearing an immobilizer boot. He said he did not reinjure the ankle and that the boot was for precautionary reasons.

…Giants tackle Sean Locklear was carted off the field in the fourth quarter with a knee injury, according to Giants Coach Tom Coughlin.

Quote of the day: Coughlin on his team scoring only three points in the final 30 minutes: “This is not real complicated. I don’t know what happened in the second half. They certainly didn’t come out and play.”

Quote of the day, Part II: Griffin joking about the fumble that resulted in a touchdown: “We’ve already gone through this. It was a pitch to Josh. I knew he was going to be there and I’m going to stay with the story.”

Game ball: Alfred Morris gets it after rushing for a career high 124 yards on 22 carries. With 1,106 yards, he broke the Redskins’ rookie record for rushing yards and moved into a tie with Tampa Bay’s Doug Martin for the league lead among rookies.

“It’s huge,” he said. “So much history here and to be able to do that, it says a lot. It’s a blessing, coming from where I came from. A lot of people didn’t think I was going to make the team. But I made the team. I’ve rushed for 1,000 yards and done a lot of things I didn’t think I was going to be able to do. But I believed in myself. And I have a coach that believes in me, and that makes me push that much harder."

By the numbers: The Redskins became the first team in NFL history to have a rookie pass for 2,000 yards and a rookie rush for 1,000 yards, according to the team.

By the numbers, Part II: The Redskins ended a 10-game losing streak at home on Monday night football. Their last win on MNF was over the Cowboys in Oct. 2007.

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Redskins announce Lichtensteiger, Hall to injured reserve, two players signed

Redskins announce Lichtensteiger, Hall to injured reserve, two players signed

The Redskins announced the moves of two veterans to injured reserve and the signing of a veteran center. They also promoted a player from the practice squad.

They sent safety DeAngelo Hall and center Kory Lichtensteiger to injured reserve. Hall suffered a torn ACL on Sunday against the Giants and Lichtensteiger sustained a calf strain.

To take those spots on the roster, the Redskins signed veteran center John Sullivan and offensive lineman Vinston Painter was moved up from the practice squad to the 53-man roster.

Sullivan, was the Vikings’ starting center from 2009 through 2014. The 31-year-old missed all of 2015 with a back injury and the Vikings released him on August 30 of this year.

The Redskins claimed Painter off of waivers in August but released him when they cut down to 53 players. He was then signed to the practice squad.

Hall and Lichtensteiger are no strangers to injured reserve. It’s the second straight season Lichtensteiger has been on injured reserve. He suffered a neck and shoulder injury last year that had him on IR for eight weeks before he returned. Hall tore his Achilles in 2014 and spent the last 11 games on injured reserve.

Due to the new injured reserve rules, either player would be eligible to return to the roster after missing eight weeks. With the ACL injury that will not happen for Hall but if Lichtensteiger could return if the calf heals. The team does not have to designate anyone to return in advance but they can make only one such move during the season.

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Redskins move Kory Lichtensteiger to IR, make add at center, per report

Redskins move Kory Lichtensteiger to IR, make add at center, per report

The Redskins may have a roster hole to fill at center and according to a report they are set to sign a veteran to do the job.

The Redskins are going to sign John Sullivan, who was the Vikings’ starting center from 2009 through 2014, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Media.

The 31-year-old Sullivan missed all of 2015 with a back injury and the Vikings released him on August 30 of this year.

RELATED: REDSKINS MAKE ANOTHER MOVE WITH D-HALL DONE FOR THE YEAR

Kory Lichtensteiger was placed on injured reserve due to a calf injury he sustained against the Giants on Sunday. Jay Gruden described Lichtensteiger’s situation as “week to week” during his press conference on Monday.

The Redskins will have to make a roster move when the do sign Sullivan, whether it’s Lichtensteiger to IR or something else.

If Lichtensteiger does go on injured reserve it will be the second consecutive year on the shelf for him. He suffered a neck and shoulder injury last year that had him on IR for eight weeks before he returned.

Due to the new injured reserve rules, Lichtensteiger would be eligible to return to the roster after missing eight weeks. The team does not have to designate anyone to return in advance but they can make only one such move during the season.