Just about the only pending topic not asked of Mike Shananhan following Sunday's rookie camp practice involved the running back situation. Granted, both the Redskins head coach and Tim Hightower expressed a mutual interest in having the free agent back for the 2012 campaign. Should the team and veteranrunner agree to terms, the backfield would largely be set along with second-year runners Roy Helu and Evan Royster.Then again, the draft has now and come gone and Hightower, who is recoveringfrom a season-ending knee injury suffered last October,remains on the open market. Plenty of time exists between now and the start of training camp - thoughOTA's start this month - so there might not be a calendar issue for the Redskins. Two running backsdrafted in the later rounds of the just completed NFL draft add depth, butthe need for aninside runner remains.However, should another team make Touchdown Timmy an offer he can't refuse - or the recovery period moves slower than expected or the missing cap space stays missing - then what? This recent article on NFL.com ranks Hightower as the top free agent RB on the market, but that distinction is hardly carries an asterisk considering the motley crew. The top-five list also could use a scrubbingsince one listed option signed elsewhere, another one is on the verge of doing the same, another is talking retirement and the remaining two are Cedric "rap sheet" Benson and Thomas "3.1 ypc" Jones.Why Hightower and the Redskins have yet to put pen to paper, unclear. What is incredibly obvious is that the other options are hardly interesting, but some veteran will be added. Considering Shanahan stated rookie Robert Griffin III is his starting quarterback, it would be nice for a more concrete ground game outlook. Click here for more ofBen's take on thenon-Hightower running back options.
C Spencer Long (concussion)—He missed the second half of the Cardinals game and has been in the concussion protocol this week. John Sullivan will start in his place.
S Will Blackmon (concussion)—Blackmon also has been in the concussion protocol and has not practiced all week. Donte Whitner and Duke Ihenacho will handle the safety position.
DE Anthony Lanier (leg)—The reserve lineman missed the Arizona game with a leg contusion. Gruden said he was kicked in the lower leg against the Cowboys and the swelling is still an issue.
G Shawn Lauvao (groin)—It was a surprise to see him watching practice on Wednesday as no injury had been reported for him. But he came in for treatment and did not practice on Wednesday and Thursday. If he can’t go, Arie Kouandjio will start at left guard.
OT Ty Nsekhe (ankle)—Fortunately Trent Williams is back from his suspension; Nsekhe was the starter while he was out. If Nsekhe is out, Vinston Painter will be the swing backup tackle.
TE Jordan Reed (shoulder)—After missing last week’s game with a third-degree separation of the AC join in his left shoulder, Reed was able to practice on a limited basis this week. If range of motion is still an issue he could sit or play very limited snaps. If it’s a matter of pain tolerance he will be a full go.
G Brandon Scherff (ankle)—He has been limited in practice during the week but it seems certain that he will go against the Eagles.
DE Chris Baker (ankle)—Baker missed some practice this week but he should be able to go against the Eagles although his level of effectiveness will bear watching.
Also questionable for the Redskins: DE Ricky Jean Francois (knee), OLB Preston Smith (groin), ILB Will Compton (hip), TE Derek Carrier (knee)
WR Jordan Matthews (ankle) and RB Ryan Matthews (knee) were full in practice all week and it seems likely that the Eagles’ leading receiver and rusher, respectively, will play on Sunday. Up in the air is the status of WR Dorial Green-Beckham (oblique), who missed practice on Wednesday and Thursday.
RT Halapoulivaati Vaitai (knee) will miss his third straight game. He had a rough start in his NFL debut against the Redskins in Week 6 but he remained the starter until getting injured in Week 11. Since then the Eagles have moved LG Alan Barbre to right tackle with Stefen Wisniewski going in at left guard.
Ryan Grant generates a ton of reaction from Redskins fans - and it's not always postive. The third-year wideout sat down with JP Finlay to talk about the ups and downs of life in the NFL.
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