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Examining Redskins options after preseason injuries to Trent Murphy, Su'a Cravens

Examining Redskins options after preseason injuries to Trent Murphy, Su'a Cravens

No injuries. Ask any football coach their biggest hope coming out of a preseason game, and "no injuries" will be the most common answer. Sure, coaches want the players to execute and the team to win, but leaving the field injury free is the higest priority. 

For the Redskins, that doesn't appear to be the case after Thursdy night's game in Baltimore. Outside linebacker Trent Murphy left the game after getting his left knee and leg rolled up on, and was spotted leaving the locker room on crutches. Safety Su'a Cravens was seen on the sideline getting his knee looked at by trainers, though he left the locker room walking on his own power. 

RELATED: FIVE OBSERVATIONS FROM PRESEASON GAME 1

After the game, Jay Gruden said both players would get MRIs on Friday to reveal the extent of the injuries. Without speculating about the severity, odds are both players will at least miss some preseason action. Let's look at the Redskins options behind both players. 

Murphy: This is a tricky situation since the fourth-year pass rusher out of Stanford was to set to miss the first four games of the year with a PED suspension. The earliest Murphy can take the field for Washington is Week 6 (four game suspension and Week 5 bye), so there is more time for him to heal. In the preseason, however, Washington is now quite thin at outside linebacker. Preston Smith sprained his ankle in Richmond and is likely to miss another week. Junior Galette didn't play Thursday with a hamstring issue. Galette hasn't played in two seasons, and Washington should be as cautious as needed with the veteran sackmaster. The durable Ryan Kerrigan is obviously an option, but a player with his track record does not need a ton of preseason work. Second-round rookie Ryan Anderson can take more snaps, but shouldn't be overused in games that don't matter either. Washington is in a good spot that rosters don't need to be cut until after the fourth preseason game. Expect to see plenty of Lynden Trail and Pete Robertson during the remaining three games of the preseason. 

Cravens: The second-year player out of USC missed one practice in training camp, and Deshazor Everett stepped in for him. Everett has a lot that coaches like, he flies to the ball and puts himself in position for big hits, though he lacks the size of Cravens. That size and tackling ability helps Cravens work against tight ends and running backs. Further down the roster, rookie Montae Nicholson still seems far away from actual game reps after undergoing shoulder surgery this offseason. Could DeAngelo Hall be an option? That seems far away too, as he's still on the PUP list and has hardly even been seen running down in Richmond. Veteran Will Blackmon could be an option, he's versatile, though he seems a more clear backup to D.J. Swearinger. Expect to see much more of Everett. 

RELATED: MUST SEE PHOTOS FROM REDSKINS-RAVENS PRESEASON GAME

<<CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS FROM REDSKINS TRAINING CAMP>>

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Top 5: Redskins players and positions to watch vs. Packers

Top 5: Redskins players and positions to watch vs. Packers

The Redskins stumbled out of the gate in their preseason opener after falling to the Baltimore Ravens 23-3. Washington showed very little offense as they struggled to move the ball for most of the game, while the defense suffered some key injuries.

Kirk Cousins and company look to rebound in their second preseason game as they host the Green Bay Packers this Saturday at 7:30 PM. 

CSN's Julie Donaldson and former NFL GM Charley Casserly give their top five players and positions to keep an eye on in the Redskins second preseason game.

RELATED: FOSTER, BROWN TO START VS. PACKERS, GRUDEN SAYS.

Charley Casserly Top 5:

5. Matt Ioannidis: "I like Ioannidis. I thought he played the best of the rest of the defensive lineman. He's a high motor guy, he gives you effort, he's quick."

4. Deshazor Everett: "I thought he played well the other night. I thought he covered well, I thought he was aggressive against the run, he made good tackles."

3. Outside Linebackers: "Hey Preston Smith, this is your opportunity. This is a big year for him because hey, we drafted a guy. Anytime we draft a guy, the pressure is on."

2. Kirk Cousins: "He's got an advantage here. Green Bay is down, two of their top three corners aren't playing. This passing game should be in sync this week."

1. Offensive Line: "This offensive line did not play last week...you got to come out, dominate the line of scrimmage, control the line of scrimmage, and set the tone for the game."

Julie Donaldson's Top 5:

5. Nico Marley: "He has a lot of heart. He's making a name for himself... this guy has more to show for us than just being Bob's grandson, but I want to see can he do it again..."

4. Deshazor Everett: Cc'd: Casserly's comments

3. Samaje Perine: "There were so many expectations for him, he looked a little bit lost. I'm kinda hoping those are just nerves..."

2. Offensive Line: "If Kirk Cousins is going to have any success, or anybody that goes behind him, if that run game is going to have any success then we need to get that o-line in sync."

1. Colt McCoy: "We are one injury away from Coly McCoy taking over this team."

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Josh Doctson looks good to go, new starters at LB and other practice notes

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AP

Josh Doctson looks good to go, new starters at LB and other practice notes

Josh Doctson looked like a first-round pick in Richmond, at least, until a hamstring injury knocked him off the Richmond practice fields for a few days. On Thursday, back in Ashburn, Doctson again showed his considerable talents.

Taking the field for 11v11 drills for the first time since he injured his hamstring. Doctson made three catches from QB Kirk Cousins. He showed the same fluidity and smoothness in his routes that he flahes in Richmond. 

Leaving the field, Doctson said he felt good. After practice, Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said Doctson "looked good." Gruden added the plan is to see how Doctson looks in warmups before the Packers game Saturday (6:30, CSN) night and then the team will decide if the second year wideout will play or not. 

Other notes and observations:

  • In season, the media gets to watch very little of NFL practices, especially in the time leading up to a game. Since Thursday's practice was still technically a training camp session, reporters got to stay and watch as the Redskins prepared for the Packers by running their scout team offense and defense. Cousins and the starting Redskins offense went up against the faux-Packers squad, complete with Dashaun Phillips dressed in a yellow penny playing the role of Ha-Ha Clinton Dix. It was very interesting to watch, and shows that the Redskins will be better prepared for Green Bay this week than they were for Baltimore last week. 
  • Thursday's practice also went much shorter than many of the recent sessions, another sign that the Redskins were treating the Packers game like a normal week. The team skipped the bulk of individual drills, 7v7 and cut down on special teams work. 
  • Deshazor Everett missed the practice session with a personal issue, per Gruden. The coach added that Everett is "okay."
  • Working in drills near the goal line - against the scout team - Cousins looked dialed in. He fired touchdowns to Vernon Davis and Terrelle Pryor.
  • Kendall Fuller has locked up the nickel cornerback role. It also looks like the four down linemen in nickel will start with Jon Allen, Matt Ioannidis, Preston Smith and Ryan Kerrigan. There will be plenty of changes and rotations among that group though.
  • Gruden announced after practice that Zach Brown and Mason Foster will start at the linebacker spots vs Green Bay. The team showed that duo in drills, which meant Will Compton got pushed to the second team. When that group was on the field, rookie Montae Nicholson tipped a pass at the goal line. Compton came up with it for the INT. 

<<CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS FROM REDSKINS TRAINING CAMP>>

Want more Redskins? Click here to follow JP on Facebook and check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates via Twitter! Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcasts, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!