Former Pro Bowl tight end Chris Cooley tried his hand at fullback last season and it looks like he will get an opportunity to do so again this year.Cooley, who missed the last 11 games of last season with a broken finger and knee problems, said that he is planning on playing some fullback when the Redskins take on the Bills in the preseason opener on Thursday.Before he was injured last year he played fullback on occasion and he saw extensive action at the position in Week 4 in Dallas when starter Darrel Young was out with a hamstring strain.Cooley was listed as the second-team fullback when the team published its depth chart on Monday.Fullbacks just another part of our offense, Cooley said. We have a move position, the Joe Gibbs H-back type of deal. We call it Tiger . . . its all the same position, theyre interchangeable.I know our offense well and I feel like Im very capable of playing any of those positions.Being able to play another position would greatly enhance Cooleys job security. His salary cap charge is just over 6.2 million and his 2012 salary is 3.8 million. Fred Davis is the starting tight end. The Redskins invested heavily in the wide receiver position this year and there are likely to be many sets with three and four wides. That doesnt leave many snaps for two tight end sets so Cooleys opportunities to get on the field could be limited.Mike Shanahan said the starters will play up to about 20 plays against the Bills. Cooley said that he does not know how much hell play or when but hes ready for anything. And, after not having taken a snap of live football for about nine and a half months, and knocking heads with his teammates at practice last week, Cooley is ready to go.Im definitely looking forward to playing, he said. By the time its two weeks of practice without a game it gets real frustrating.I love football and it makes a lot more sense to me when theres a game plan for another team and not just running plays to get better.Cooley said that he is as healthy as he expects to be. I havent had any reason to be limited or miss practice, he said. I feel great.
Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, September 23, one day before the Washington Redskins play the Raiders at FedEx Field.
Today’s schedule: No media availability
—Monday night Redskins @ Chiefs (10/2) 9
—Monday night Redskins @ Eagles (10/23) 30
—Cowboys @ Redskins (10/29) 36
The Redskins week that was
Cravens officially won't return in 2017—This was the news that the Redskins had put Cravens on the reserve/left team list, which meant he can’t come back during the 2017 season. While we might hear something more on this before the end of December, the story is on hold until 2018. If Cravens does come back, he would start the second year of his rookie contract. The deal essentially is on hold until he returns (if he does, of course).
5 observations on the Redskins win over the Rams—The top takeaway was “you have to run the ball to run the ball.” Yes, it’s an obvious statement but the logic of it seems to escape Jay Gruden from time to time, as it did Sean McVay. Since Gruden came to Washington the Redskins are 3-19 when they rush for fewer than 90 yards and 1-14 when they attempt fewer than 20 runs. They committed to the run on Sunday and 229 rushing yards later they had the win.
Strong start for Smith but Redskins want to see more—Preston Smith has frustrated coaches with his inconsistency ever since arriving as a second-round pick in 2015. So, it’s too early to start thinking he’s going to have a breakout year after he started off with two sacks in two games. Still, a hot start is a key component to a breakout year and we’ll see if he keeps it up against tough opposition in the next two weeks.
First look at Redskins vs. Raiders—A Bay Area writer says that the Raiders’ offense is “doing whatever it wants” during the team’s 2-0 start. They are fourth in the NFL in total offense but they have that status primarily due to piling up 430 yards against the tanking Jets. I have no doubt that they will move the ball tomorrow night but I’m not so sure the will do whatever they want against an improved Washington defense.
Jay Gruden updates a lengthy injury report—When Gruden rattled off the injury list during his Monday press conference he listed seven players who were “day-to-day” with various injuries sustained during their physical win over the Rams. Six days later, it will be a surprise if any of them are out against the Rams tomorrow. Perhaps the most impressive injury return was that of Mason Foster. During the game, his shoulder was dislocated. He popped it back in and didn’t miss a snap. On Wednesday, less than 72 hours later, he was at practice giving some solid shoves to a blocking sled.
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In case you missed it
- Five listed as questionable
- What they're saying about the Redskins righting the ship
- Why you shouldn't lament Garcon's departure — yet
- New #RedskinsTalk Podcast: Huge opportunity looms for Redskins in primetime
The Redskins had a tough, physical game against the Rams last Sunday and it shows on the team’s injury report. Five players are listed as questionable for the coming game against the Raiders at FedEx Field.
TE Jordan Reed (chest), RB Rob Kelley (ribs), ILB Mason Foster (shoulder), S Montae Nicholson (shoulder), and CB Josh Norman (shoulder) are the players who are questionable.
Of those players, Reed was the only one to miss a practice this week. He was out on Wednesday and was back on a limited basis on Thursday and Friday. The Pro Bowl tight end told reporters in the locker room that he will be in the lineup on Sunday.
There is particular concern about Kelley’s injury. He is likely to start as he usually does. But CSN is reporting that the team will have four running backs on the game day active list instead of the three they went with in Weeks 1 and 2. Mack Brown will dress for the Redskins after being inactive in both previous games.
MORE REDSKINS: A STRONG START FOR SMITH BUT MORE IS NEEDED