The Redskins biggest problem against the Bengals, defensive coordinator Jim Haslett said Thursday, was the same one that cost them a week earlier against the Bengals: Big plays.The one difference last Sunday, though, was that all of the big plays were the result of poor execution by the secondary. Haslett also mentioned injuries safety Brandon Meriweather has yet to suit up because of a knee injury and cornerback Cedric Griffin left the game in the first quarter and technique as issues, as well.We have to play better technique, No. 1, Haslett said. It would be good to get guys healthy, get some guys back. But like I mentioned last week, and it holds true again this week, we gave up the three big plays against Cincinnati.Tampa Bay, the Redskins opponent on Sunday, ranks 24thin points per game (20), and quarterback Josh Freeman has completed only 51.3-percent of his passes. But Freeman and the run-oriented Buccaneers offense has shown the ability to make big plays in the passing game, completing two plays of 40-plus yards and nine of 20 yards or more in the seasons first three games.On Thursday, though, Haslett still was explaining what went wrong against the Bengals.The first miscue came on Cincinnatis first play from scrimmage. The Bengals lined in the wildcat formation and the Redskins did not adjust properly.We didnt get lined up right, Haslett said before adding that the team also was not prepared for wide receiver Mohamed Sanu to uncork a perfectly placed deep pass.We actually knew the receiver could throw, Haslett added. We just didnt know he could throw 50 yards on a rope.On 48-yard touchdown pass that put the Bengals ahead 14-7, cornerback Josh Wilson simply misplayed Armon Binns. Wilson did not have any safety help on the play and, therefore, no room for error.And on the decisive touchdown a 59-yard pass from Andy Dalton to Andrew Hawkins rookie Jordan Crawford simply got beat. Crawford, who was playing for the injured Griffin, bit on a double move by Hawkins.So, to review, the Bengals' first big play was poor preparation. The second was poor technique and the third was poor execution exacerbated by an injury that put a young player in a difficult spot.Theyll get better, Haslett said. We covered our butts off against New Orleans in the first game against maybe the best offense that played in the National Football League. So I know they can do it.
The Redskins’ injury report is looking a little better today, three days away from their game against the Eagles.
DE Chris Baker (ankle), CB Will Blackmon (concussion), T Ty Nsekhe (ankle), C Spencer Long (concussion) didn't practice today. That is a substantial reduction of the number of players who were out of practice on Wednesday.
Going from out yesterday to limited participants today were S Donte Whitner (illness), DE Ricky Jean Francois (knee/foot), and DE Anthony Lanier (leg).
Also limited were TE Derek Carrier (knee), ILB Will Compton (hip), TE Jordan Reed (shoulder), G Brandon Scherff (ankle), and OLB Preston Smith (groin).
A player moving from out of practice to limited is no guarantee that he will be able to participate come Sunday but it’s a step in the right direction.
On area of concern is the offensive line. Three players who started against the Cardinals have not practiced this week. One was Nsekhe and he already was headed to the bench after the return of Trent Williams from suspension.
According to Jay Gruden, the line will have enough bodies even if Long, Nsekhe, and Lauvao are out. Second year guard Arie Kouandjio would start at guard and John Sullivan, who finished up after Long left the game on Sunday, would be the starting center. They could activate Kory Lichtensteiger from injured reserve to back up guard and center and Vinston Painter would be the backup tackle.
It appears that Reed is making progress from the AC joint separation he suffered in his left shoulder on Thanksgiving Day in Dallas.
“He looked good out there today,” said Gruden. “He’s still a little sore. Right now I have absolutely no idea (if he will play).”
After missing the Redskins 31-23 loss to the Arizona Cardinals with a left shoulder injury, tight end Jordan Reed sounds like he will return this Sunday in Philadelphia.
"I feel confident," Reed said of playing against the Eagles.
The injury came in the first half against the Cowboys on Thanskgiving Day. Reed went up high to try and grab a Kirk Cousins' pass in the end zone. The ball fell incomplete, and Reed landed hard on his shoulder. The diagnosis was bad: an AC joint sprain. Even with that, Reed returned in the second half against the Cowboys and caught two touchdowns.
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Last week, Reed did not practice once and the team ruled their star tight end out for the Cardinals game on Friday. This week, facing a division foe in the Eagles, Reed said he's feeling much better and the range of motion in the shoulder has improved significantly.
"Today I just felt a lot better. It's painful but something I can deal with," Reed said. "I'm pretty good with range of motion, I almost got all my range of motion back."
While Reed is still fighting through a lot of pain, he practiced on Thursday in a limited role. Going through practice while the media was present, Reed looked athletic and fluid going through drills, but also seemed to show discomfort in between reps.
"He looked good today, but we'll see," Washington coach Jay Gruden said of his tight end.
The coach did not express the same confidence that Reed would play Sunday as the 'Skins look to halt a two-game skid.
"I have absolutely no idea," Gruden said. "But it is good to see him out here running and catching the ball."
Faith plays an important role for Reed, just as it did coming back from a concussion earlier this year. Reed proved his willingness to play through pain when he returned for the second half in Dallas.
"It's definitely some worries," Reed said about pushing through the pain. "I just leave it in God's hands and I just go out there and do my job."
He's made clear that the shoulder is still hurting him, but that he is willing to fight through that to be on the field with his teammates.
"We can't predict that or guess how he actually feels come game time," Gruden said of Reed. "Ultimately, it will be his call."
On the season, Reed has 59 catches for 630 yards and five touchdowns.
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