Most of the Redskins were happy to learn that the NFL and referees association had come to an agreement to end the lockout of the officials who have come to be known as the real refs.Im excited to finally get our real refs back, said defensive end Stephen Bowen.How happy? He said that the next time he saw Ed Hochuli, one of the more well-known NFL field officials, Im going to bear hug him and tell him I love him.Linebacker Lorenzo Alexander also was glad they were back. They always say you dont miss something until you go without it, he said.Alexander serves as he teams player representative and he was particularly pleased about the about the impact that the return of the referees will have on player safety.Im glad they were able to get a deal done so we can go out here and play some clean games, he said.Defensive end Kedric Golston said that the two sides were under too much pressure not to settle in the wake of the highly controversial ending of the Packers-Seahawks game on Monday night.There was a lot of other people outside of the football world who were starting to catch a hold of it, said Golston. It was starting to take off with wings.Kory Lichtensteiger is happy to have some degree of consistency as to how the games are called. Very excited to have them back, the starting left guard said. We went into games with the replacements knowing to expect the unexpected with them. Calls were going to go every which they, it was going to be sporadic.Not all of the players were all that excited to see the referees return.I didnt really care on way or another, said center Will Montgomery. Im not worried about the refs, Im not going to change the way I play based on whos reffing.Defensive coordinator Jim Haslett was nonplussed by the return as well. The sum total of his reaction was, Its a new group to yell at.In any case, the players were not inclined to give the officials a break while they work off any rust that may have accumulated in the eight or nine months that have passed since any of them officiated an NFL game.Theyre professionals, said Alexander. If I miss a week because of injury I dont get a free pass.Lichtensteiger agrees. Nobodys ever patient with the referees, no matter who it is.
Dispatches from London - While Redskins Insider JP Finlay is in London covering the 'Skins game against the Bengals on Sunday, he will occassionally provide a first-person account of the sights and sounds from the British capital.
LONDON — The trip started in an Uber headed due north, as the Tottenham practice facility made for an hour long trip from central London. With the Redskins still in Ashburn, spending the day working on a TV story with Tottenham was not a bad way to do it.
For those uninformed, Tottenham Hotspur is one of the best soccer clubs in England, and in turn, the world.
After speaking with their press office last week, photographer Mitch Tischler and I headed to Enfield to watch their practice and talk with players.
The newly built facility was incredible; it looked like something out of Star Wars. Gleaming white stone and walls of glass. A sprawling campus with more soccer fields than I could count, the Spurs took the field and warmed up.
Much like watching NFL practice, we didn't get to watch much. Within about 15 minutes the PR staff escorted us off the field. From there, we waited about an hour and then walked to a side field.
Then we got hit with a pretty big surprise. Former NBA point guard and future Hall of Famer Steve Nash was practicing with the Spurs as part of an NBA-UK promotion. After practice, we all hit an auxiliary field and watched as Nash and Spurs players Christian Eriksen and Victor Wanyama tried a wild array of trick shots - with both soccer and basketball skills on display.
Pretty cool day - attended Tottenham Hotspur practice - Steve Nash did tooPosted by JP Finlay on Thursday, October 27, 2016
It was pretty nuts.
From there, we left Enfield to head to White Hart Lane, the club's north London stadium. The scene was a zoo; Tottenham is building a new stadium on the same grounds as the current park.
As cool as practice was - and it was really cool - White Hart Lane was even better. We got to meet with and talk to Ledley King, a former Spurs captain and English National Team player. King was a great interview with a lot of cool international perspective on the globalization of sports.
But more than that, King was a genuine good dude. Super nice and easy to speak with, and funny too. Probably the highlight of hanging with King and Spurs PR staffer Tony Stevens came where we were talking NFL.
King and Stevens were wondering if kickers ever have to make tackles, and how that goes. Mitch and I explained it rarely goes well, and to highlight our point, we showed the clip of Sean Taylor destroying Brian Moorman in the Pro Bowl. In unison, King and Stevens went full "ooooohhhhhhhhh" as we watched the hit a few times.
As ridiculous as this day was, it wasn't over. Clinton Portis arrived and we toured the stadium, going in the locker room and out on the pitch. Yeah, that's right, the pitch.
Tottenham plays a home game on Saturday, and we're hoping to attend.
As far as London goes, the only real drawback is the traffic. I live in and drive around DC all day, I know bad traffic, and London is bad. Also, between practice and the stadium and the traffic, I didn't eat all day, which made me quite hangry. But that's my problem, not London's.
Redskins running back Matt Jones did not not participate in practice on Thursday, one day after sitting out practice with knee soreness. His availability for Sunday's game against the Bengals in London looks very much in doubt.
As #Redskins practice gets underway, looks like Matt Jones (knee) is on the side once again.— Stephen Czarda (@SCzardaRedskins) October 27, 2016
Coach Jay Gruden told the media after Wednesday's practice that Jones was reporting knee soreness with lateral movement.
If the second-year back can't play Sunday, Gruden said rookie Robert Kelley would get the majority of carries and Chris Thompson would continue playing third-down back as normal.
The game could represent a big opportunity for Kelley after Jones fumbled twice in last week's loss to the Lions.
Gruden is expected to update the media on his players' health at Thursday's postgame press conference.
MORE REDSKINS: Redskins move past Spurs, Cowboys flaps to wish Wizards luck