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NFC East report: Nicked up Nicks ready for some football

NFC East report: Nicked up Nicks ready for some football

Another day, another missed practice for Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks, who missed the bulk of training camp after breaking a bone in his foot back in May. Even though New York s opening week of the NFL season is a short one, what with Wednesdays game against Dallas, the stud receiver says hell be on the field.It's not that its perfect. But it's nothing that is going to stop me from playing, Nicks said, the New York Daily News reports. For all you fantasy players out there, the good news is youll know whether Nicks is active or not and thus can lineup adjustments are possible unlike when players have issues heading into late Sunday or Monday night games. Barring ominous sounding news and even against the Cowboys upgraded corners, feel confident using the top 10 fantasy receiver.Speaking of injuries, the Cowboys are still not sure or at least they are not letting the public know if they are about the status of three key contributors for Wednesdays game. Tight end Jason Witten, nose tackle Jay Ratliff and corner Mike Jenkins all made the trip to New York, but the assumption is the trio will not suit up. One report from over the weekend said based on the standard recovery from a lacerated, Wittens injury of choice as it turns out, the tight end is, extremely unlikely for the game, though the team remains hopeful. Youth is being served in the City of Brotherly Love. Well, at least for Philadelphias football team, the architects of which believe you can go young and still win big. The Eagles enter the season with their youngest roster since 1986.According to CSNphilly.coms Reuben Frank, the Eagles have ten guys are 21 or 22. Another 26 are between 23 and 26. And 12 more are in their late 20s.If it wasnt totally clear before, it is now, Frank writes. The Eagles believe the way to win a Super Bowl is with youth and with energy. With fresh legs and with tons of upside.Frank notes veterans like Asante Samuel, Vince Young and Ronnie Brown are out, kids like corner Brandon Boykin, running back Bryce Brown and quarterback Nick Foles are in.Everywhere they possibly could, the Eagles went young. Everywhere they possibly could, they shed veterans and added some young kid with blazing speed and tons of potential. Add it up, and this is the youngest Eagles team in 26 years."Dont think this is something new. Realize the Eagles top three offensive skill players LeSean McCoy, DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin are all 25 years old or younger.

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DeSean Jackson planning protest of police violence with custom cleats against Browns

DeSean Jackson planning protest of police violence with custom cleats against Browns

Redskins wide receiver DeSean Jackson was one of the four players to raise his fist during the national anthem last weekend  as a form of protest in solidarity with 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick,

But Jackson plans to continue his protest this weekend, making a fashion statement in the process.

The speedster has a pair of custom cleats referencing the string of incidents involving police violence.

TMZ spoke to Jackson and it appears he is planning to wear the cleats in pregame warm-ups and potentially on the field during the Redskins' Week 4 home game against the Browns, the latter of which could earn him a fine from the NFL offices.

Jackson spoke to TMZ about his message:

"Senseless killings have been ongoing for awhile and police brutality in our black community ... and as a young black leader with a stage and platform I'm starting awareness to help prevent these killings, and hopefully get justice to these cops who have taken lives of innocent human beings."

Jackson says he doesn't just want justice, but also "a change with the decision making on these cop killings."

"I am also coming up with a master plan to start a movement" with the intention of making a real impact.

What that movement is, we don't know yet, but as of now it starts on Sunday. 

MORE REDSKINS: 5 things to know before Redskins-Browns

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Redskins vs Browns Preview: 5 things to know as Washington looks to get even

Redskins vs Browns Preview: 5 things to know as Washington looks to get even

The Redskins take on the Browns Sunday at 1 p.m., but full coverage begins on CSN at noon. Can Washington climb back to an even record after a poor start? Weather at FedEx Field calls for overcast skies and the possibility of rain remains after a wet week in the DMV. Here is everything you need to know for the matchup:

  1. Time is now - For three weeks the Redskins have moved the ball well, until they get in the Red Zone. Looking at the numbers, there is little reason for the hiccups inside the 20. Kirk Cousins is the second leading passer in the NFL, and last season the Redskins offense proved they can be a scoring force. Eventually, the red zone levee will break, and odds are this will be the week. Cleveland's defense gave up 30 points to a middling Miami offense last week, and gave up 25 and 29 points in Weeks 1 and 2. 
  2. Don't get confused - Much will be made of Terrelle Pryor's standout effort in a Week 3 loss to Miami. The Cleveland receiver and occasional QB had an impressive day, totalling 200 yards and a touchdown. But Pryor should not be the focus of the Redskins defense. That needs to be locked in on stopping Browns RB Isaiah Crowell, the NFL's second-leading rusher. Crowell is averaging more than 6 yards-per-carry, and Washington's defense has been gashed on the ground this year. The key to beating Cleveland comes in stopping the run. 
  3. More, more, more - Running, that is. Matt Jones got 17 carries against the Giants and ran the Redskins to the game-winning field goal late in the game. Offensive coordinator Sean McVay on Jones late success in New York: "We got a few more opportunities and when they presented themselves in that crunch-time situation I thought he ran his best. A bigger, physical back – I thought that he got better as the game progressed and that’s what you want to see from him." More carries from Jones, especially late in the game, will mean good news for the 'Skins.
  4. 3-headed monster - Coming into the season, the Redskins plan on defense was to have Junior Galette, Ryan Kerrigan and Preston Smith attack quarterbacks off the edge of their defense. That plan came to a crashing halt when Galette blew out his Achilles. Surprisingly, Trent Murphy is succesfully stepping into Galette's role, leading the team with three sacks in three games. While Joe Barry's unit could use more from Smith, Murphy's results are encouraging, and this could be the week all three outside linebackers get going against a rookie QB in Cody Kessler.
  5. Stay special - In last week's win in New York, the Redskins special teams shined. Punt returner Jamison Crowder busted a long return and Tress Way completed a long pass to Quinton Dunbar on a well-timed but gutsy fake punt call. Oh yeah - Dustin Hopkins made all five of his field goal attempts and was named Special Teams Player of the Week and Month. It wasn't all smiles on specials, as the 'Skins had an early fumble on a return and a blocked punt called back late in the game. But if Washington's special teams can continue to deliver big plays, that could be a big boost for the team. And don't forget Rashad Ross will be back returning kicks this week.

Numbers & Notes

  • The Redskins have forced 27 fumbles since the start of the 2015 season, most in the NFL. The Redskins also lead the league with 18 fumble recoveries in that span.
  • Jamison Crowder already has two receiving TDs this year. His next will be a career high, after just two TDs as a rookie.
  • Jordan Reed needs two catches to get to 200 career receptions.
  • If Trent Murphy can force a fumble against Cleveland, he would become the first member of the Redskins to force a fumble in three consecutive games since LaVar Arrington in 2003.

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