It is important for wide receivers to get separation.But for most of the past month none of the five players chasing after the remaining wide receiver jobs with Redskins has been able to gain any separation from the pack.That is, until last Saturday.Since the spring, the identities of the top four wide receivers have been known. They gave Pierre Garon and Josh Morgan big contracts. They have been waiting to see Leonard Hankerson reach his potential since his season ended prematurely with a hip injury last year. And if there were any doubts about the 33-year-old Santana Moss, long the teams leading receiver, he put them to bed by showing up 15 pounds lighter and catching everything in sight.Most figure that the Redskins will carry six wide receivers this season. The number is not set in stone; last year they had seven wideouts on the roster for most of the year plus return specialist Brandon Banks. But they could do that in part because they only carried two quarterbacks and it seems nearly certain that both Kirk Cousins and Rex Grossman will back up starter Robert Griffin III.If we go with six wide receiver roster spots there are two up for grabs. And through training camp and the first preseason game, none of the five realistic candidates for those two spotsBanks, Anthony Armstrong, Aldrick Robinson, Terrence Austin, and Dezmon Briscoeperformed well enough to put in a legitimate claim on one of the two jobs. They all had enough good moments to stay in the conversation but enough negative plays on film to keep the competition wide open.That changed on Saturday night in Chicago. Robinson caught six passes for 104 yards and touchdown. Briscoe had 51 yards on three receptions including a nice grab at the goal line for a touchdown. And Banks didnt see any action at receiver but he helped himself with a 91-yard punt return.Meanwhile, Austin caught just one pass for 11 yards and Armstrong, still ailing from a shoulder in jury that kept him out of the first preseason game, played very little.Robinson seems to have helped himself the most of all, at least in the eyes of Mike Shanahan. On Monday and again on Tuesday the coach raved about his touchdown catch and run, which came on a deflected pass.It looks like Robinson took a giant step towards earning a roster spot and Briscoe and Banks helped their cases a great deal. And it looks like Armstrong and Austin are on the outside looking in. Nothing, however, is set in stone. Armstrong should get more playing time against the Colts and over the past two years Austin has had a knack for coming through with a good performance just when he needed it most.The competition will continue through practice next week and the preseason finale against the Bucs. Making the final decision here will have the coaches up late into the night.
Prior to the Redskins' Wednesday afternoon practice, defensive lineman Ryan Kerrigan joined CSN Redskins Insider J.P. Finlay on Facebook Live to talk about all things football, Week 14 vs. the Eagles and a host of other subjects, presented by Paisano's Pizza.
Kerrigan, who is tied for third in the NFL with 10 sacks, discussed staying mentally sharp late in the season, what improvements the defense can make, his favorite food, and 90's TV shows.
Here are some of the highlights:
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Washington Redskins fans - Ryan Kerrigan taking your questions now!Posted by CSN Mid-Atlantic on Wednesday, December 7, 2016
0:33 - After a tough loss in Arizona, where is the team's collective mindset? How do the players feel about their playoff chances?
1:20 - Gameplanning for Carson Wentz: What are the keys to getting to the Eagles quarterback and making his day difficult?
2:05 - Kerrigan and the rest of the team is excited to get Trent Williams back. How would Kerrigan rate the team's performance in Williams' absence? Is Williams the most difficult left tackle Kerrigan has had to face?
3:20 - Kerrigan details his favorite food and why he doesn't get to eat his favorite food as much as he would like.
4:45 - Gheorghe Mureșan reference!
6:20 - The Redskins have struggled recently to put together solid back-to-back seasons. What does Kerrigan think is the key to finishing the post-NFC title season strong?
8:30 - Favorite 90's television show. Kerrigan is a big "Doug" fan, also enjoyed watching Carl Winslow and Steve Urkell on 'Family Matters." BONUS: 'Diehard' reference, which makes sense since it is the holiday season.
9:45 - Who was Ryan Kerrigan's favorite player growing up? Does he have any football heroes?
11:27 - How important is it to Kerrigan to finish the season as the NFL leader in sacks?
13:30 - How many bars of the "Saved By The Bell" theme song can Kerrigan sing?
14:09 - What is Josh Norman like off-camera and away from the media? The answer might surprise you.
15:10 - Kerrigan details his favorite Christmas gift of all time and why important gift presentation is important.
17:25 - Shoutout to Muncie, Indiana, Ryan Kerrigan's hometown and top vacation spot on "Parks & Rec."
18:10 - Kerrigan's final Facebook Live request: How many bars of 'The Fresh Prince of Bel Air" theme can Kerrigan sing?
Be sure to join us again soon when Paisano's Pizza poresents Ryan Kerrigan on CSNMA Facebook Live.
When you’re fighting for a playoff spot, it’s not only about what happens to you. It’s also about what happens to the teams you’re competing against for that playoff spot. And one of the Redskins’ main competitors got some very bad news this morning.
The Giants, who are in the No. 5 spot in the NFC, the first wild card spot, got word today that defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul has had sports hernia surgery. The recovery time is at least four weeks, probably more like six. The Giants’ season is likely to be over by the time six weeks elapse, barring a playoff run without one of their best defensive players.
Pierre-Paul has helped solidify what was a shaky Giants defense last year. He has seven sacks and a fumble recovery returned for a touchdown. He has been heating up down the stretch with 5.5 sacks in his last three games.
His loss is a big blow for the Giants. They are a game ahead of the Buccaneers, who hold the No. 6 spot, and a game and a half ahead of the Redskins, who are currently seventh.
The Redskins play New York in Week 17 so the Redskins have to pick up just one game on the Giants over the next three to have a shot at passing them in the season finale.
The chances of that happening looked pretty good with Washington playing playing three teams with losing records in the Eagles, Panthers, and Bears and the Giants going against division leaders Dallas and Detroit in addition to the Eagles. With the Giants now without Pierre-Paul, the Redskins’ probabilities got tilted in their direction a little bit more.
Just finishing a win ahead of the Giants wouldn’t guarantee a playoff spot but it would come close. It would mean that the Redskins would have at least nine wins and the Redskins’ tie means that two teams would have to get to 10 wins to knock them out of the playoffs. The Bucs have to win three more games to get to nine wins and the Packers and Vikings would have to run the table.