DeJon Gomes, like the rest of the Redskins secondary, was expected to struggle against Pro Bowl quarterback Drew Brees and the Saints vaunted air attack.Only he didnt.With the exception of a personal foul in the first quarter and pass interference infraction in the third, it could be argued that Gomes was among the Redskins best players on defense last Sunday. He finished the game tied for team-lead in tackles (4), combined tackles (5) and returned a fourth quarter interception 49 yards deep into Saints territory.Not bad for a second-year professional making just his sixth career NFL start. The 22-year-old strong safety replaced injured veteran Brandon Meriweather (sprained knee) and figures to get the call again Sunday in St. Louis.I thought he did a good job in a lot of areas, but theres room for improvement like everybody, defensive coordinator Jim Haslett said. I thought the guy stepped in and was cool and calm. Thats kind of his demeanor anyway. He did a nice job in both the running game and the pass game.Gomes afternoon did not get off to the type of start he had envisioned.On the Saints second drive of the game, he was whistled for a late hit on Darren Sproles, putting New Orleans on the Redskins 20-yard line. On the next play, Brees hit Jimmy Graham for the go-ahead touchdown.I guess it could have went either way, Gomes said Thursday. But I have to be smarter than that.It was the lowlight of an afternoon that, for the most part, only got better for Gomes.In the third quarter, he was whistled for pass interference after breaking up a pass deep in Washingtons end. Four plays later, the Saints settled for a field goal.Gomes then made amends for the two penalties with his clutch play in the fourth quarter as the Saints mounted a comeback bid. The home team had trimmed its deficit to 33-25, had the ball again and the Redskins were reeling.But Gomes, in essence, clinched the Redskins victory when he stepped between Brees and Lance Moore on a deep pass near midfield. Gomes snatched the ball, zigzagged across the field and nearly scored before getting shoved out of bounds at the three-yard line.Alfred Morris punched the ball into the end zone next play to put the Redskins ahead 40-25 and the game out of New Orleans reach.Gomes said it was his biggest play since junior college.My high school running back days came out of me, he said with a laugh. I was just trying to get as many yards as I could.Told of Gomes running back comment, Haslett had some fun at the safetys expense.Why didnt he score then? he cracked.
The Redskins’ injury report is looking a little better today, three days away from their game against the Eagles.
DE Chris Baker (ankle), CB Will Blackmon (concussion), T Ty Nsekhe (ankle), C Spencer Long (concussion) didn't practice today. That is a substantial reduction of the number of players who were out of practice on Wednesday.
Going from out yesterday to limited participants today were S Donte Whitner (illness), DE Ricky Jean Francois (knee/foot), and DE Anthony Lanier (leg).
Also limited were TE Derek Carrier (knee), ILB Will Compton (hip), TE Jordan Reed (shoulder), G Brandon Scherff (ankle), and OLB Preston Smith (groin).
A player moving from out of practice to limited is no guarantee that he will be able to participate come Sunday but it’s a step in the right direction.
On area of concern is the offensive line. Three players who started against the Cardinals have not practiced this week. One was Nsekhe and he already was headed to the bench after the return of Trent Williams from suspension.
According to Jay Gruden, the line will have enough bodies even if Long, Nsekhe, and Lauvao are out. Second year guard Arie Kouandjio would start at guard and John Sullivan, who finished up after Long left the game on Sunday, would be the starting center. They could activate Kory Lichtensteiger from injured reserve to back up guard and center and Vinston Painter would be the backup tackle.
It appears that Reed is making progress from the AC joint separation he suffered in his left shoulder on Thanksgiving Day in Dallas.
“He looked good out there today,” said Gruden. “He’s still a little sore. Right now I have absolutely no idea (if he will play).”
After missing the Redskins 31-23 loss to the Arizona Cardinals with a left shoulder injury, tight end Jordan Reed sounds like he will return this Sunday in Philadelphia.
"I feel confident," Reed said of playing against the Eagles.
The injury came in the first half against the Cowboys on Thanskgiving Day. Reed went up high to try and grab a Kirk Cousins' pass in the end zone. The ball fell incomplete, and Reed landed hard on his shoulder. The diagnosis was bad: an AC joint sprain. Even with that, Reed returned in the second half against the Cowboys and caught two touchdowns.
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Last week, Reed did not practice once and the team ruled their star tight end out for the Cardinals game on Friday. This week, facing a division foe in the Eagles, Reed said he's feeling much better and the range of motion in the shoulder has improved significantly.
"Today I just felt a lot better. It's painful but something I can deal with," Reed said. "I'm pretty good with range of motion, I almost got all my range of motion back."
While Reed is still fighting through a lot of pain, he practiced on Thursday in a limited role. Going through practice while the media was present, Reed looked athletic and fluid going through drills, but also seemed to show discomfort in between reps.
"He looked good today, but we'll see," Washington coach Jay Gruden said of his tight end.
The coach did not express the same confidence that Reed would play Sunday as the 'Skins look to halt a two-game skid.
"I have absolutely no idea," Gruden said. "But it is good to see him out here running and catching the ball."
Faith plays an important role for Reed, just as it did coming back from a concussion earlier this year. Reed proved his willingness to play through pain when he returned for the second half in Dallas.
"It's definitely some worries," Reed said about pushing through the pain. "I just leave it in God's hands and I just go out there and do my job."
He's made clear that the shoulder is still hurting him, but that he is willing to fight through that to be on the field with his teammates.
"We can't predict that or guess how he actually feels come game time," Gruden said of Reed. "Ultimately, it will be his call."
On the season, Reed has 59 catches for 630 yards and five touchdowns.
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