Brandon Meriweather wasn’t the only injury concern for the Redskins on Monday.
Only three days before facing the Cowboys in Dallas, linebacker London Fletcher sported an immobilizer boot on his left ankle. If the Redskins had been scheduled to practice, Shanahan said the 37-year-old veteran would have been held out.
Fletcher sprained his ankle in the first quarter of Sunday's 31-6 thrashing of the Eagles when teammate Ryan Kerrigan landed on him during a tackle. Fletcher returned to the game and lined up for 45 of the unit’s 74 snaps.
Asked if he’s worried that Fletcher might be sidelined Thursday, Shanahan said, “Sure. Anytime you have an ankle sprain, you’re not really sure.’
Fletcher has played in 234 consecutive games, which is tied for the most among active players.
“Knowing London, he’ll be back if possible,” Shanahan said. “But we’ll have to evaluate it day-by-day.”
Tight end Logan Paulsen suffered a left hip injury late in the second half and returned. Shanahan said, “He’s pretty sore right now.”
Cornerback Josh Wilson, meantime, sustained a rotator cuff injury in his left shoulder with about 90 seconds remaining in the game. Wilson was attempting to make a diving tackle and landed on the field awkwardly.
Shanahan called Wilson’s injury “a second degree strain.”
Shanahan also said tackle Trent Williams was dealing with a minor ankle sprain, safety Reed Doughty had stitches on his finger and tackle Jammal Brown’s hip is still sore. Brown, who is attempting to return from preseason surgery, is not expected to participate in team activities Monday or Tuesday.
Kirk Cousins' price tag just moved even higher with the news that he will replace Matt Ryan in the Pro Bowl. ESPN's John Keim reported the roster move first.
Ryan's Atlanta Falcons advanced to the Super Bowl on Sunday with a 44-21 dismantling of the Green Bay Packers. That victory means Ryan will not be available for the Pro Bowl, held this Sunday in Orlando. Cousins got his spot as an alternate.
Cousins gets the spot deservedly. This season he passed for 4,917 yards, completing 67 percent of his passes and throwing 25 TDs to 12 INTs. In two seasons since being named starter for the Redskins, Cousins has thrown for more than 9,000 yards.
The Pro Bowl nod for Cousins will only make the Redskins pending contract talks that much tougher. The quarterback played in 2016 under the franchise tag, which netted him nearly $20 million. This season Washington could again place Cousins on the franchise tag, with a price tag around $24 million. Both sides can still work for a long-term deal, though the value of that contract would likely soar past $100 million and closer to $120 million.
Some questions exist within the Redskins organization if that is too much money devoted to one player, even if it is a Pro Bowl quarterback.
It's fitting that Cousins is subbing in for Ryan, who has found much success playing under Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan. All signs points to Shanahan taking over as the 49ers head coach after the Super Bowl, and a report emerged that San Francisco would make a strong push to obtain Cousins, either in free agency or via trade.
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The Redskins have made official some coaching staff changes that have been reported over the last few days.
The team announced that they have filled both coordinator jobs with internal hires. Outside linebackers coach Greg Manusky is the new defensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Matt Cavanaugh is now the offensive coordinator.
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The team also announced the hiring of two assistant coaches, one on each side of the ball. Kevin O’Connell will replace Cavanaugh as the QB coach and Jim Tomsula will coach the defensive line.
Tomsula was the 49ers head coach in 2015. He was fired after that one season after posting a 5-11 record. But it was his eight seasons as defensive line coach in San Francisco that the Redskins care about. Tomsula did a solid job there, working under Mike Nolan, Mike Singletary, and Jim Harbaugh. He also was the defensive line coach under Manusky when he was the defensive coordinator in San Francisco.
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He is known as a fiery motivator, something that will work well with Manusky’s similar style. The line was one of the weakest areas of the defense last year. They are likely to add some talent to the line this offseason and Tomsula is a good choice to coach them up.
The Redskins still need a defensive backs coach. They have a strong in-house candidate in Aubrey Pleasant and now attention will turn to getting a deal for him. It remains to be seen if they will fill Manusky’s former job or if current inside linebackers coach Kirk Olivadotti will add the outside backers to his responsibilities.
Stay up to date on the Redskins! Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page www.Facebook.com/RealRedskins and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.