To NFL Fans:The National Football League is at its best when the focus is on the players and the action on the field, not on labor negotiations.All of us who love the sport appreciate the skills and dedication of the players and coaches. That is why we are focused not just on what happens on the field but what our game will be like in another decade or two. The NFL has always tried to look ahead, to innovate, and to constantly improve in all we do.We recognize that some decisions may be difficult to accept in the passion of the moment, but my most important responsibility is to improve the game for this generation and the next.I believe in accountability, not excuses. And I regret we were not able to secure an agreement sooner in the process and avoid the unfortunate distractions to the game. You deserve better.As a lifelong fan, this wasn't an easy process for anyone involved. I particularly want to commend the replacement officials for taking on an unenviable task and doing it with focus and dedication in the most adverse of circumstances.Our new agreement gives long-term stability to an important aspect of our game, officiating. More important, with this agreement, officiating will be better in the long run. While the financial issues received the most attention, these negotiations were much more about long-term reforms. For example, beginning with the 2013 season, the NFL will have the option of hiring a number of officials on a full-time basis to work year-round, including on the field. In addition, the NFL will have the option to retain additional officials for training and development purposes, and may assign those additional officials to work NFL games.We are moving forward with the finest officials in sports back on the field. It's time to put the focus where it belongs -- on the clubs and players and our magnificent game, with a special thanks to our fans for their passion.Roger Goodell
Facing one of the NFL's best running backs in Arizona's David Johnson, the Redskins plan to use rookie linebacker Su'a Cravens as a spy in nickel coverage to slow down the Cardinals' threat, per a source close to the team.
Johnson ranks third in the NFL with 921 rushing yards, but it's the variety of ways the Arizona offense uses their second-year running back that makes him so difficult to handle for opposing defenses. Johnson also has 55 catches for 613 yards, and that's just through 11 games.
Cravens comes into the game with momentum as perhaps the Redskins most dynamic defensive threat. With size to play linebacker and enough speed to play coverage, the 6-foot-1, 220 lbs. rookie out of USC will be put in a tough position covering Johnson. The reality of his assignment is to try and contain Johnson as the Cardinals offense is so reliant on the runner that he will get a number of chances.
In their last two games, Johnson has gone for more than 150 total yards in each contest and scored multiple touchdowns. For his part, Cravens has proved a playmaker in his rookie season. To go with 29 tackles in nine games, his stat sheet has sacks and an interception listed.
Getting to Carson Palmer is the best path for the Redskins defense - especially considering the Cardinals' offensive line woes - but using Cravens to try and limit Johnson is a smart course of action for the 'Skins.
One member of the Washington defense explained that Johnson is "going to make plays" but that the key is to limit the damage. If the running back catches a ball out of the backfield, Joe Barry's defense will be focused on making a stop after a five-yard gain, instead of a 20-yard gain.
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GLENDALE, AZ—As expected, the Redskins will be without star tight end Jordan Reed today against the Cardinals.
He is inactive due to a third-degree AC joint sprain in his left shoulder.
Reed gutted it out and played the second half on Thanksgiving Day in Dallas after being injured in the first but during the week he didn’t practice at all couldn’t regain the range of motion needed to play today.
Coach Jay Gruden said on Friday that the team is planning on having Reed play next week against the Eagles.
For this week, Vernon Davis will step into the starting role.
Also inactive is reserve defensive lineman Anthony Lanier, who was kicked in the lower leg in Dallas. Gruden said that the swelling was still too severe for him to be able to play.
LIVE BLOG: WEEK 13 REDSKINS VS. CARDINALS
The Redskins’ other inactive players today:
- QB Nate Sudfeld
- DL AJ Francis
- RB Matt Jones
- WR Rashad Ross
- DB Dashaun Phillips