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Garçon ruled out Sunday


Garçon ruled out Sunday

Wide receiver Pierre Garçon and safety Brandon Meriweather have been ruled out of Sunday’s game in Pittsburgh, Coach Mike Shanahan said.

Garçon will miss his fifth game this season because of torn ligament in his right foot, while Meriweather has yet to suit up because of a knee injury. Meriweather returned to practice on Wednesday but did not participate in Thursday or Friday’s sessions.

"We kept him out of again," Shanahan said of Meriweather. "More preventative. He might have done a couple of drills early, but for the most part he was out."

Linebacker London Fletcher (hamstring, head) practiced fully but is questionable.

Listed as probable are: cornerbacks Cedric Griffin (hamstring), David Jones (Achilles) and Josh Wilson (shoulder); punter Sav Rocca (knee); defensive end Doug Worthington (calf); and Darrel Young (hamstring).


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Another missed practice for Redskins Jamison Crowder

Another missed practice for Redskins Jamison Crowder

Things are trending the wrong way for Jamison Crowder's ability to play Friday night against the Bills. The slot receiver missed Tuesday's practice and was spotted again on Wednesday working off to the side with other injured players Matt Jones and Josh Doctson.

Both Doctson and Jones have been ruled out for the Bills game, and with Crowder again not practicing with the first-team offense, it's hard to see him playing either. That could mean a big night for Ryan Grant, who looked adept in the slot earlier in the preseason. 

On Tuesday, Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said Crowder is rehabbing from a knee injury sustained last week against the Jets. The coach was not sure if the second-year wideout would play Friday. Expect an official announcement on Crowder's availability when Gruden addresses the media following practice. 

Crowder proved to be a valuable weapon for the Redskins in his rookie season. Lined up almost exclusively as a slot receiver, he had 59 catches for 604 yards and two touchdowns. Crowder also served as the team's primary punt returner, a role most expect him to keep this season. 


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Redskins QB Kirk Cousins is getting used to getting ready

Redskins QB Kirk Cousins is getting used to getting ready

At this time in each of his previous four NFL seasons Cousins has been competing for a spot on the depth chart but not the top one. That belonged to Robert Griffin III. Cousins spent training camp and the preseason trying to make an impression and plan how he was going to stay prepared should he get his chance.

“That as a backup I was always trying to play well enough that the coaches would go back and say, ‘We can’t wait for this guy to get on the field. It may not be this Sunday, it may not be this season, but, boy, it’s exciting to see the way he practices and how efficient he is,’” said Cousins. “We can’t wait to see what he’d do in a real game.’ That was always my mindset.”

After the chain of events a year ago that led to Cousins being promoted to the No. 1 job and that led to him getting the franchise tag and the $20 million salary that goes with it. That paycheck has him entrenched as the starter and with a different focus than in previous seasons.

“As a starting quarterback, I think you want to be really sharp . . . in training camp you’re not trying to necessarily be ready to go for the first preseason game, you’re trying to be ready to go for Week 1. So you’re trying to build everything towards Week 1 a little bit more than when you’re fighting for that backup spot trying to earn just a spot on the team.”

Cousins’ preparation was mostly normal for an NFL starting quarterback until last Friday. The starter usually plays 2-3 series in the second preseason game but Jay Gruden decided to start Colt McCoy at quarterback and sit Cousins, along with some other key starters on both offense and defense. That means that the starters will play a lot against the Bills on Friday. They team’s approach to the game is similar to how they would approach a regular-season game.

“Yeah, I would say it is in the sense that we have a rhythm of a full week coming off the Jets game on a Friday, the Bills game on a Friday,” said Cousins. “We truly have that one week to turn around and be ready to go for the next game. So it’s a good simulation of our normal rhythm during the regular season. And like you said, the preparation may not be quite as extensive from a game planning standpoint but the rhythm is there.”

Cousins said that he is watching some film of the Bills defense to prepare for Friday. He probably has done that in his previous seasons in the league. But it was to be ready to make the best possible impression if he got a chance to play, not a part of a process to get ready for Week 1.

We will see if Cousins going through the offseason process in its entirety helps him take the next step once the season starts on September 12.

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Should the Redskins look to newly released Patriot for offensive line help?

Should the Redskins look to newly released Patriot for offensive line help?

Surprising news Wednesday when word leaked that the Patriots will release center Bryan Stork. Could New England's loss be the Redskins gain? Maybe. 

The Patriots selected Stork in the fourth round of the 2014 draft from Florida State, and in two seasons with New England he has started 17 games. Stork has also dealt with concussion issues, last year playing just eight games and starting six.

Listed at 6-foot-4 and 315 lbs., Stork is big for a center. Current Redskins starter Kory Lichtensteiger lists at 6-foot-2 and 295 lbs., and was limited to five regular season games last season. Behind Lichtensteiger, the Redskins have Spencer Long and Josh LeRibeus competing at the backup center spot, though Long is also currently taking snaps on the first team offensive line at left guard.

LeRibeus struggled last season when forced to step in at center, both in blocking and snapping, and it's hard to imagine the 'Skins want to see him in that position again. If Shawn Lauvao proves healthy and capable of taking back over at left guard, that would allow Long to backup or even compete with Lichtensteiger at center.

So how does Stork fit in with any of this? At times, he has been a better center than the current Redskins options. At other times, however, he hasn't.

Good insight from CSNNE.com Patriots beat writer Phil Perry

Stork could help a team in need of a center, but there are a few things worth looking into before investing in him. First and foremost, he has an injury history that could be concerning. He was placed on short-term IR before the start of last season, and he recently missed a week of training camp practice with what was reported as a head injury. Second, he plays with a mean streak that can sometimes go over the line. He has been kicked out of two practices (one during OTAs, one during camp) for fighting, and he picked up an unnessesary roughness penalty in the AFC title game last season. Third, he has graded out as a below-average center by Pro Football Focus. Not only did the Patriots choose David Andrews, a second-year undrafted player out of Georgia, to start over Stork, but Andrews' rise made Stork expendable. Any team that picks up the Florida State product will get a center with good size (6-4, 313 pounds) and a Super Bowl start under his belt, but he won't arrive without his share of questions.

It's August and many more players are going to get cut. Scot McCloughan and his scouting team will be watching all the action unfold, and will consider their options with each player. Considering the red flags surrounding Stork - injuries, aggressiveness, and losing his job to an undrafted guy - he might not seem to be the right fit for the 'Skins. That said, he is a big mauler for the front line, a commodity McCloughan values.

Stay tuned.