Josh Morgan has spent the better part of the past two decades wondering how it would feel to put on a Redskins uniform and play in front of D.C.s fans.On Saturday, the Northeast Washington native will finally get his answer when the Colts visit FedEx Field for the teams third preseason game. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.I havent even begun to think about that, Morgan said this week. But I know its going to be surreal. Im excited.Morgan, who starred at H.D. Woodson High and then Virginia Tech, signed with the Redskins as a free agent in March after spending his first four seasons with the 49ers. Morgans five-year contract is worth 12 million the first two years, with 7.5 million guaranteed. Coming home was the biggest appeal, he said. I just havent thought about the feeling and how Im going to be when I actually walk into that stadium for the first time, when I walk into that locker room for the first time, walk on that field and be in a Redskins uniform.Morgan is one of four receivers who are guaranteed spots on the 53-man roster. Still, the 27-year-old faces two questions as the season approaches:1) Can he remain healthy? His 2011 season was cut short by a broken ankle, and hes already suffered a hamstring pull during training camp.2) How many times hell be targeted by Robert Griffin III? Pierre Garon and Santana Moss figure to be No. 1 and 2 receivers, while Morgan and Leonard Hankerson are battling to be option No. 1.Morgan said hes received over 100 ticket requests for his home Redskins debut.Its more than Im going to get, he said with laugh. I wont be getting that many tickets. Lets wait until the season, at least.One person Morgan is looking forward showing off for is his Godmother, Sonya Strickland, who will be in attendance and celebrating a birthday.Thats going to make the game even more special, Morgan said. Im going to do something special for her, make sure she has some fun at the stadium.Morgan is pretty sure hell have share in the fun, too. At least, once he gets over the nerves.Im too busy thinking about the game plan and everything else to really let that sink in and really hit me, he said. But when that time comes, Im sure Im going to be full of emotions and excitement and adrenaline.
For the second straight year the Redskins are going to undergo some early–season shuffling in the interior of their offensive line.
Last year left guard Shawn Lauvao was sidelined with an ankle injury after Week 3 and was replaced by Spencer Long. Then after Week 5 center Kory Lichtensteiger went out with a shoulder and neck problem and Josh LeRibeus took his place.
Now Lauvao and Lichtensteiger are out again. Lauvao is week to week with what Jay Gruden described as a “moderate” ankle sprain and Lichtensteiger is on the shelf for at least eight weeks as he went on injured reserve yesterday with a calf strain.
They went with a makeshift lineup for the second half of the Giants game, a lineup that had Trent Williams playing guard for the first time ever. But they have signed some reinforcements and now it will be up to Gruden and offensive line coach Bill Callahan to sort out who will play where against the Browns this week and how they will align them going forward.
The Redskins signed veteran center John Sullivan on Tuesday. Getting him ready to play on Sunday against Cleveland would be a tall task. In addition to learning the plays and blocking schemes, the line calls are very intricate and they take some time to master. Sullivan was out all of last year with back problems so there has to be some rust. However, he was in training camp for the Vikings and he did play some in the preseason before Minnesota released him.
They also moved Vinston Painter from the practice squad to the active roster. The Redskins are his fifth organization since the Broncos drafted him in the sixth round in 2013. He’s a backup for right now but that could change in the weeks ahead.
Arie Kouandjio, who has one NFL snap on his resume, could get his first start since coming to the Redskins in the fourth round of the 2015 draft. It may depend on whether or not Sullivan can pass a crash course on playing center over the next 72 hours or so.
If Sullivan can’t go, they start Long at center, Kouandjio at left guard, and Williams at left tackle. If Sullivan is ready he could go a center with Long at left guard.
They do have the option of putting Williams at left guard again and having Ty Nsekhe fill in at left tackle. But Williams is not getting paid $10.6 million to be a backup guard; he’s one of the best players in the league at one of the most important positions on the offense. If they can’t coach up Kouandjio to start a game they should reconsider both their personnel and their coaching choices.
On Sunday Redskins kicker Dustin Hopkins booted five field goals against the Giants, including the game winner with 1:51 left to play. Today he received reccognition for his day.
Hopkins was named NFC special teams player of the week, the first member of the Redskins to get the honor since Kai Forbath got in Week 8 in 2014.
Hopkins has not missed a field goal all year, hitting 11 of 11. His 5 for 5 performance on Sunday tied the team record for field goals in a game without a miss, somthing that has been accomplished only five times.
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