Here are the players whose stock went up and down against the Panthers.
Up—Josh Morgan caught six passes for 46 yards but that didn’t tell the whole story. A few of his grabs were of the amazing variety, reaching back to snare on pass and catching a couple just before getting smacked by a defender. It has taken him a while but he is finally starting to show the ability that made him one of the team’s top free agent priorities.
Down—Mike Shanahan made it a point last week to say that Aldrick Robinson would see increased playing time. He did, actually starting the game and playing 32 of the 81 offensive snaps. But on the Redskins’ first series he saw a tough but makeable chance slip through his fingers. He was targeted just once more during the game and he caught the pass for six yards.
Up—Hey, it’s not Alfred Morris’ fault that the Redskins only gave him the rock three times in the second half. The rookie continued his roll towards a stellar season with 76 yards on his 13 attempts (5.8 avg.). Play after play he lived up to his motto that he will never let the first defender take him down.
Down—Brandon Banks has not been able to break off a big play in the kicking game and he got a chance to redeem himself with a couple of key third-down touches against the Panthers. He couldn’t find an opening and was tackled short of the sticks both times.
Up—It looks like London Fletcher may be rounding back into form after a couple of off weeks. He had eight tackles and didn’t miss any, per Pro Football Focus. When he plays well, it raises the level of the whole defense.
Down—Ryan Kerrigan had just one assist against the Panthers and that was it. His last sack of a quarterback came in Week 4 against the Bucs; his only other sack was of a wide receiver attempting an option pass against the Steelers.
By Jason Dobkin (@jasondobkin)
Stephen A. Smith mocked the Redskins on ESPN First Take on Monday after their loss to the Lions Sunday, continuing the back-and-forth between the team and the television personality.
He told the Redskins "bravo again" for losing the close game that apparently was enough to prove the point he made last week on the show that the Redskins had a loser's mentality and were "inept" and "nonexistent." Smith loudly took issue with Chris Baker's and Ricky-Jean Francois' declaration that the Redskins "run the East," saying they need to be focusing on the big picture.
Baker tweeted at him the next day, demanding respect, and Smith stuck to his guns the next day on First Take.
On Monday, Smith mocked Jay Gruden for defending his team at a press conference, where he said Smith was "out of line" for his comments and that he didn't know anything about who the Redskins were or the work they put in.
"And of course there’s the great Jay Gruden, because we know he’s great just by his name alone," Smith said. "Let’s be clear about that. We know that he’s great, [because he] takes time out of his busy schedule to comment about me."
"Who gives a damn about hard work?" he went on to say. "It's about results."
Baker held back from engaging with Smith on Twitter this time.
MORE REDSKINS: Consussion protocol for Josh Norman could be complicated
While the Redskins are not yet out of the woods regarding Trent Williams’ knee injury, the news sounds better than Williams looked after the game on Sunday.
Jay Gruden confirmed an earlier report that an MRI revealed no structural damage to the left knee of the Pro Bowl left tackle. He went down near the end of the Redskins’ 20-17 loss to the Lions and he needed assistance to get back to the locker room. After talking to the press, he had a decided limp as he walked to the team bus.
“That’s [the MRI results] good news, but we have to still monitor him during the week and see how he does,” said Gruden.
Guard Brandon Scherff left the game briefly after suffering a sprained AC joint in his shoulder. “He’s sore,” said Gruden. “He’s a tough sucker, but he’s sore.”
Scherff will be monitored in practice as well.
Gruden also said that cornerback Bashaud Breeland is sore after suffering a sprained ankle. He missed two games with a right ankle injury earlier this season but Gruden said that his injury is to his left ankle.