I think that everyone knows that if the Giants lose to the Packers on Sunday, the Redskins will be playing for the NFC East lead a week from Monday night when the G-men come to FedEx Field.
But what if the Giants win tomorrow? And suppose they do better than most expect during their tough finishing stretch, which includes back-to-back road games in Atlanta and Baltimore. Are the Redskins’ playoff hopes shot?
No, they are not thanks to some work they did earlier this season when it looked like the best they could hope for this season would be to match last year’s total of five wins. A wild card spot is very much in play if the Redskins can win four of their last five to finish at 9-7.
Here is the big picture: It looks like one of the two wild card berths will go to either the Packers or the Bears. They are both 7-3 and tied atop the NFC North. One likely will win the division, the other will get a wild card.
The Vikings, Bucs, and Seahawks are all tied for the second spot at 6-4. The Redskins are a game and a half behind them.
It is very possible that all three will lose on Sunday. Minnesota visits the Bears, Tampa Bay hosts the Falcons and Seattle makes the NFL’s longest road trip when they go to Miami. That would pull the Redskins within a game of the last wild card.
The leg up that the Redskins have is that they beat both the Bucs and the Vikings, giving them the tiebreaker edge.
If the Saints beat the 49ers they could join that group a game ahead of the Redskins. The Redskins, of course, earned the tiebreaker over New Orleans when they won the season opener.
There is a lot that has to go right there and much of it is not in the Redskins’ hands. Right now, there really isn’t much of a point in examining the other tiebreakers because there is a long way to go. But don’t despair if the Giants get hot and run and hide from the rest of the division. There is another path for the Redskins to keep playing into January for the first time in five years.
WR Josh Doctson (Achilles)—While they wanted to wait until after the bye week to make this determination they sent the top draft pick to some more specialists and the decision was made to put him on the shelf. Jay Gruden said that he could return later in the season. The earliest he could do so would be Week 15.
TE Jordan Reed (concussion)—The star tight end had symptoms after the Ravens game and it was determined that he has a concussion. This week he did get to practice on a limited basis on Wednesday but he was not on the field Thursday or Friday. This will be the second game missed for Reed.
WR DeSean Jackson (shoulder)—He did not practice on Wednesday or Thursday but he practiced on Friday and Gruden said “he ran around pretty good”. Both Jackson and Gruden seem to be confident that he will play but that remains to be seen.
Not on injury report
LB Su’a Cravens (concussion)—He entered the concussion protocol immediately after the Browns game. The rookie was a full go in practice on Thursday and Friday and Gruden said that “he’s good to go” after missing two games.
Check back for the Lions injury report when it is released later today.
When the Redskins drafted Josh Doctson No. 22 overall, the idea was the rookie receiver out of TCU would push DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon for snaps and catches. An Achilles injury limited Doctson's ability to hit the field, and now has landed the receiver on the injured reserve list.
Washington coach Jay Gruden announced the move to IR on Friday and said "It's best for him. For his state of mind it's important to get this thing fixed."
Doctson opened training camp on the Physically Unable to Perform list and did not play in the preseason. He did not open the regular season on the IR, however, and played in the Redskins first two games against the Steelers and Cowboys, both losses.
From there, Doctson was inactive for four weeks before landing on the IR.
"I feel terrible for Josh," offensive coordinator Sean McVay said.
Moving Doctson to the IR had been discussed for a few weeks as his Achilles injury did not seem to improve, but Gruden and the Redskins front office wanted to wait and see if the rookie could rebound from the injury. A myriad of tests have been done on the affected area and did not reveal damage, so the cause of Doctson's pain remains unknown.
Expect much more information on Doctson and what it means for the Redskins receiving group to come.
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