A few quick thoughts to get your Thursday morning going:--Lost in the RG3 and LeRibeus signings yesterday was a report that cornerback Chase Minnifield will start the season on the physically unable to perform list. I had someone ask me on Twitter how Minnifield, who had microfracture surgery on his knee earlier this year, could play so well in minicamp and then end up on PUP for training camp. We dont know for sure and we wont until we have a chance to ask Mike Shanahan about it until next week. Its possible that he had a setback. Or its possible that the team doctors looked at the fact that the pounding of training camp, with two-a-days and full pads, is more severe than the two-hour minicamp practices in no pads with no contact and decided to give the knee more time to heal.--Im all for bold talk about winning the division and making the playoffs at this time of year. But there should be a rule that you cant use the word dynasty unless youre talking about ancient Chinese history or something like that if your franchise has never, ever won a Super Bowl. Yes, Mike Vick went there saying, I think we have a chance to develop a dynasty. Wow, from Dream Team to dynasty without even making the playoffs in between.--We are fortunate that the negotiations between the Redskins and Ben Dogra, RG3s agent, were conducted between the two parties and not in the media. That is not the case in the process of the Colts and Andrew Luck trying to get his deal done, at least not on the teams side. Yesterday team owner Jim Irsay made what was at least his third public pronouncement on the state of the negotiations, saying again that a deal is close and there is no doubt that it will get done before training camp opens. Irsay then went on to explain that close doesnt necessarily mean an agreement is imminent or anything. He said no doubt about it twice in he span of three sentences. But until there is a piece of paper with both parties signatures on it, there is always doubt.Days until: Training camp 7; preseason opener 21; RG3 vs. Luck at FedEx Field 37; final cuts 44; Redskins @ Saints 52; home opener vs. Bengals 66
You would think that after spending two years as the team’s third-down back, playing more snaps than any other running back last season, and getting a second-round restricted free agent tender that will pay him $2.7 million this year, Chris Thompson might feel comfortable as the Redskins start up the final phase of their preseason program. But he says that he is as nervous about making the team as he was when he was a fifth-round in 2013.
“Even after the last preseason game when you guys talk to me I’m going to still be nervous when that time comes around because I never forget that feeling,” he told reporters on Monday prior to the Redskins charity golf tournament at Army-Navy Country Club. “For me, I’ve just got to come out here and work every day to try to secure my job.”
The approach has worked for him in the past. He struggled with injuries his first two years in the league, playing a total of just six games. In 2015 he found his niche as the third-down back and he hasn’t given it up.
In fact, he may get more opportunities on first and second downs.
“I have a feeling that I might get a little more this year,” he said. “He [coach Jay Gruden] knows that I’m healthy and I can stay healthy. I think that was one of his biggest concerns, that I can handle the load. I think I’ll get a lot more opportunities.”
Rob Kelley is expected to be the starter and fourth-round pick Samaje Perine should get a significant number of carries. If Gruden plans on Thompson getting more work on the ground, that likely means that the Redskins anticipate running the ball more ofent than they did in 2016, when they were 27th in the NFL with 379 rushing attempts.
Health is key for Thompson. He not only played in all 16 games for the first time in his career last year, he came out of the season in good health. Not having the need to rehab is allowing Thompson to work on refining his game.
“[Being healthy] helps me to get away and focus on the little things that I need to work on,” he said. “Having a full offseason, being able to get away, I’ve been able to focus on those things. Just like my quickness, my route running. I know my route running is big for me to make it in this league so I work on that. . . that was my main goal.”
Thompson’s work ethic and his mindset where he takes nothing for granted have served him well. He will be an unrestricted free agent in 2018 and if he continues to produce he will be setting himself up for a nice payday.
Matt Jones entered the 2016 season as the Redskins undisputed starter at running back.
That lasted seven games.
By Week 8, Jones landed on the inactive list, and he never took another snap all year.
With OTAs beginning for the 2017 season, it looks like Jones might not play with the team.
#Redskins RB Matt Jones will not be at OTAs, source said. He was a healthy scratch most of last year, doesn’t appear part of their plans.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) May 24, 2017
In April at the NFL Draft, reports surfaced that Washington was trying to trade Jones.
Weeks before that, at the NFL Owner's Meetings in Arizona, Redskins head coach Jay Gruden had to be reminded that Jones was still on the roster as the coach talked about the running back situation for this fall.
Robert Kelley surpassed Jones as the top running back on the team last season with Chris Thompson secure in his third down back role.
Mack Brown even moved past Jones on the depth chart. When the Redskins drafted Samaje Perine in the fourth round, that signaled even bigger trouble for Jones' roster situation.
The Redskins will likely only keep four running backs this fall, and with Kelley, Perine, Thompson and Brown, it sure seems like Jones is the odd man out.
It's remarkable considering Jones has size, speed and an NFL resume that has three 100-yard games on it in just 20 games. The Redskins spent a third-round pick on Jones in 2015, and he largely ousted fan favorite Alfred Morris from the RB1 role as a rookie.
Life comes at you quick in the NFL.
Jones is a clear example of that.
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