Lost in the news of the losses of Jonathan Goff for the season and Kory Lichtensteiger until the start of the regular season was the news that they signed an offensive tackle.Jordan Black has been out of football for a year. The seven-year NFL veteran with 80 NFL games under his belt, including 40 starts at tackle, was about to give up his life as a full-time dad and go back to work in the real world. He had an appointment Monday with a commercial real estate broker to discuss opening up some units of a fitness business franchise.I was all but retired, he said.A phone call Sunday afternoon changed that. The Redskins had gotten the news about Goff and they had a roster spot available. Did he want to come play in Washington?Black needs to pack on some poundsBlack had a career decision to make. It took him about 30 seconds to make it. He arrived in Ashburn on Monday and was on the field for the walkthrough practice on Tuesday morning.Since he was not in camp with another team, CBA rules will keep him out of practicing fully until Friday.The Redskins are Blacks fifth NFL team since the Chiefs drafted him in the fifth round in 2004. He started 29 games in Kansas City in three seasons before moving on to stops with the Texans and Jaguars. The Saints had him in during training camp last year but released him during the final cuts.During his stint in Houston, the quarterbacks coach was Kyle Shanahan. It seems like that is the link that got Black that surprise phone call on Sunday.The question is, can he help on an offensive line that now has two starters on the sideline? Black said that he can play either right or left tackle but he is likely going to be put to work on the right side, where starter Jammal Brown is on the sideline with a hip injury.For right now, Tyler Polumbus has taken virtually all of the first-team snaps at right tackle. Mike Shanahan mentioned Maurice Hurt, who is now filling in at left guard with Lichtensteiger out, and Willie Smith as possible replacements for Brown, if needed.But it appears that Black will get a look. It is hard to imagine him starting but if Browns injury is serious they might want to hold on to him for veteran depth.Or, Black could end up meeting with that commercial real estate agent after all.
Going into today’s game against the Redskins, Matthew Stafford had 20 fourth-quarter comebacks in 99 career starts.
When it was over, he had 21 in 100.
It looked like Kirk Cousins had created the perfect ending to his return to the state where he grew up. He scored on a 19-yard run on a read option play to put the Redskins up by four with 1:05 left to play. All the defense had to do was keep the Lions out of the end zone.
It took Stafford just three plays, passes to Marvin Jones and Andre Roberts sandwiched around a 14-yard scramble, to get into the red zone.
Some would call that a prevent defense prevent a win.
“Yeah, I think in hindsight we should’ve blitzed seven or eight but we played coverage that we’ve been playing for a long time,” Gruden said when asked if the defense should have been more aggressive on the final series. “He [Stafford] knifed a seam route but Will [Compton] missed it by about a fraction of a hair.”
“We’ll look at film and critique it later.”
The Lions slowed down momentarily in the red zone. But on third down and 10, Stafford fired a bullet to veteran receiver Anquan Boldin for the winning score with 16 seconds left.
Here are five observations from the Redskins’ loss to the Lions.
—The Redskins can’t keep giving themselves mountains to climb in the form of turnovers and penalties. Washington had three fumbles hit the ground and lost two of them, the Lions recovered their only fumble. A Dustin Hopkins field goal from 45-yards—a veritable chip shot for him—hit off of the very top of the upright and bounced the wrong way. The Redskins didn’t need all of those plays, just one of them.
—Kirk Cousins put on a show for his hometown fans, including relatives and Michigan State alumni. He completed 77 percent of his passes for 301 yards and a touchdown. Cousins ran for another score, one that appeared to win the game.
—Joe Barry needs to get this last-minute defense figured out. In Baltimore a few weeks ago they almost let a road win slip away but a Joe Flacco TD pass was nullified when replay showed that the receiver’s foot was just out of bounds. Today, they weren’t so fortunate. It’s a tough balance between pressure and coverage but they had held Stafford in check for much of the day until the final minute.
—Chris Thompson needs some more carries. Today he led the team in both carries (12) and yards (73). He finished off some runs tough, too, fighting for extra yardage. They don’t want to wear him out or risk injuring him but they need to get the ball in his hands.
—I’m not in the “bench Matt Jones” club but he needs to get back to basics. Fighting for extra yardage is great but ball protection is more important.
MORE REDSKINS: Norman out with a concussion