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Cooley says he'll see action at fullback on Thursday

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Cooley says he'll see action at fullback on Thursday

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.

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Redskins RB Thompson still will be nervous on cut down day

Redskins RB Thompson still will be nervous on cut down day

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. 

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RB Matt Jones reportedly not part of Redskins' 2017 plans

RB Matt Jones reportedly not part of Redskins' 2017 plans

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. 

NFL POWER RANKINGS: WHO GOT BETTER AFTER THE DRAFT?

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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