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Redskins-Bucs preview: Plenty of players with lots to prove

Redskins-Bucs preview: Plenty of players with lots to prove

What: Redskins vs. Buccaneers
Where: FedEx Field, Landover, Md.
When: Tonight, 7 p.m.
TV: Comcast SportsNet, NBC 4Robert Griffin IIIand the Redskins other starters are not expected to touch the field once tonights preseason finale against the Buccaneers kicks off.But if you think that makes the game meaningless, just askDezmon Briscoehow hes approaching it. For players like him, the contest represents their best chance of snagging a job in the NFL this season. Play well, earn a job. Struggle, get cut Friday, when teams must pare rosters from 75 to the regular season maximum of 53.So dont tell Briscoe tonight doesnt mean anything.Keep reading for a little more on Briscoes tenuous grasp on one of the final wide receiver jobs and a few other positions the crew atwww.csnwashington.comwill be keeping tabs on.1) Against the Bears and Colts, Briscoe used his 6 foot 2, 210-pound frame and sure-handedness to haul in a combined five receptions for 100 yards and two touchdowns and leave an impression on the coaches, as well.Against the Bucs, though, Briscoe must show he can excel on special teams, too. He said he expects to line up on kickoff, kick return, punt and punt rush teams. He started as the off-returner last season in Tampa Bay.A strong showing on teams could be the edge Briscoe needs to beat outAnthony Armstrong,Brandon BanksandTerrence AustinandAldrick Robinson. Those five are battling for what appears to be two final spots at wide receiver.Im looking forward to showing the coordinators what I can do, Briscoe said. Going into my third year, Ive realized that special teams is a huge, huge priority for people in the situation Im in. I have to go out there and prove that I can play special teams.2) It will be interesting to see how CoachMike Shanahanhandles his running backs. If rookie Alfred Morris watches from the sidelines with the other first team players, does that mean he's claimed the starter's job? Last week's107-yard performance against the Colts clinched his spot on the 53-man roster.But how much will Tim Hightower play? The veteran returned from a 10-month layoff due to a knee injury Saturday, but carried the ball only five times (for a total of 28 yards) and was sore Monday. What aboutEvan Royster? He was sidelined with a minor knee injury last Saturday but said this week he hopes to play.The status ofRoy Helu Jr.(two sore Achilles tendons) remains unclear.More and more, it appears Shanahan will keep four running backs. The question now is who starts and how playing time will be divided among the other three. We ought to have some answers later.3) The team jettisoned two cornerbacks on Monday, waivingMorgan Trent(injury settlement) and tradingKevin Barnesto the Lions for a conditional draft pick.That leaves the team with seven corner backs and as many as five spots to fill.DeAngelo Hall,Josh WilsonandCedric Griffinwill be three of them. But who are the others? Seventh-round draft pickRichard Crawfordhas enjoyed a strong camp. But what aboutBrandyn Thompson,David JonesandTravon Bellamy?Thompson, Jones and Bellamy have 60 minutes to make a strong closing argument for the final spot.4) The kicking competition betweenGraham GanoandNeil Rackersnever gained much traction this preseason. Now the job belongs toBilly Cundiff, who no doubt will seek to make a strong first impression.Cundiff, long snapperNick Sundberg, holderSav Roccaand the rest of the field goal unithave had exactly one practice to get on the same page. Will it be a seamless integration, or does the unit need a little polish?The bright side for us is after this game, weve got nine practice days until we play New Orleans, said Sundberg, who added that he worked with Cundiff previously in Baltimore.I know how he works, he knows how I work, so I think it will be a quicker transition than we originally thought.

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Redskins vs Bills: 5 things to watch in the preseason game that matters

Redskins vs Bills: 5 things to watch in the preseason game that matters

When the Redskins take on the Bills Friday night (coverage starts at 6:30 CSN) this will be the closest to a regular season game Washington gets before September 12th. It's time for the 'Skins to show up. With starters slated to play a full half, the team will get the opportunity.

  1. Time for Cousins - Kirk Cousins got an unexpected night off last week when Jay Gruden decided to give backup Colt McCoy the start against the Jets. That should not be the case Friday as Gruden has said he expects the starters to go for the first half against the Bills. Cousins, for his part, is ready to take the field. "We want to be sharp, we want to stay healthy. We just want to move the football, convert third downs, stay out on the field and score points, and that really never changes. Whether it’s the preseason, whether it’s a practice session of moving the football, or whether it’s a real game," the QB said on Monday.
  2. Trent & Reed back out there - Arguably the Redskins two best players are set to make their preseason debut Friday night. Trent Williams and Jordan Reed should line up with Cousins and the Redskins offense, and coaches will be watching both. Injury concerns for either player aren't much of a consideration, but it will be interesting to watch as both guys look to get their wind and conditioning.
  3. Improved secondary gets test - The Redskins secondary should absolutely be improved this fall, as playmaker Bashaud Breeland has another year under his belt and 2015 All-Pro Josh Norman joins the squad. That doesn't mean Friday night against the Bills won't present a challenge though. Buffalo QB Tyrod Taylor is known to elongate plays with his legs, so the corners will need to stay on their assignments longer than normal. Breeland said earlier in the week that he knows the challenge Taylor presents, and while the 'Skins defense did not gameplan for the Bills like they would against a regular season opponent, the secondary needs to be prepared for Taylor and WR Sammy Watkins.
  4. Will the Stork arrive? -  Scot McCloughan traded for the former Patriots center on Wednesday, and after much consternation, it appears Bryan Stork will report to the Redskins. When he will report remains a question. Stork would not play Friday night, but it will be interesting to see if he arrives on the sideline or waits until the weekend to meet his new team. Stork might help at center, but at least will bring a new level of competition for starter Kory Lichtensteiger. 
  5. Let's get physical - Rex Ryan coaches the Bills. Rex Ryan likes his teams to play very physical, and the Redskins better be ready for that physicality Friday night. Don't forget that beating Buffalo last year put the 'Skins on track for a playoff berth, but also took the Bills off course for an AFC playoff bid. Yes it's preseason, but this game should have some juice early. 

Stay tuned for updates throughout Friday as @JPFinlayCSN will be on scene at FedEx Field early.

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VIDEO: Tony Romo exits Cowboys preseason game with apparent back injury

VIDEO: Tony Romo exits Cowboys preseason game with apparent back injury

Dallas Cowboys starting quarterback Tony Romo has a lengthy medical history.

Despite rookie quarterback Dak Prescott's strong play early in the preseason, the last thing the Cowboys needed was another injury to their franchise quarterback.

RELATED: A GUIDE TO DRAFTING FANTASY FOOTBALL QBS

On Thursday night, early in the Cowboys' preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks, Romo attempted to slide safely to the turf.

As he went to the ground, he was awkwardly tackled from behind and crumpled up in pain.

Defensive end Frank Clark made a hard yet leagal tackle, but the angle of the tackle and Romo's slide combined for a painful scene.

Romo walked off the field on his own power but was immediately attended to by trainers as Prescott prepared to take over.

Romo was on the field for three plays before being hit by Clark.

The 36-year-old has played in all 16 games in just five of his ten NFL seasons as starting QB and missed all but four games last season after suffering a broken collerbone. 

UPDATE 25 AUGUST 2016, 10:37 P.M.

According to ESPN, Romo "pulled his back" and was healthy enough to return, but was held out by coach Jason Garrett.

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Think again about Redskins taking a serious look at Stevan Ridley

Think again about Redskins taking a serious look at Stevan Ridley

Stevan Ridley hit the free agent market today after the Detroit Lions released him. The news should not come as a surprise as Ridley has struggled since his knee injury in 2014.

Fans thinking Ridley might be able to help the Redskins depleted running back corps need to think again. Last season, Ridley played in nine games for the Jets, getting one start. He rushed the ball 36 times for 90 yards, an average of 2.5 yards-per-carry.

The Redskins run game struggled last year, but their stats look impressive next to Ridley. As a team the Skins rushed for 3.7 YPC, and presumed starter Matt Jones averaged 3.4 YPC.

MORE REDSKINS: STORK REPORTEDLY WILL REPORT

The Redskins may well look for help at running back, especially as Jones is dealing with a shoulder injury and will sit out the remainder of the preseason, but Ridley is highly unlikely to be the answer.

Elsewhere in the running back world, reports show that five teams are interested in former Bills running back Karlos Williams. Who those teams are, however, remains a mystery.