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Full Redskins injury report: Two starters are questionable

Full Redskins injury report: Two starters are questionable

Injury report for Redskins vs. Giants

(Scroll down for updates to Giants injury report)

Redskins

Injured reserve

CB Chris Culliver (knee)—He was banged up some before suffering a season-ending injury to his right knee in practice on Thursday. Culliver was still dealing with an inflamed left knee that forced him to sit out three games earlier this season and he had an MRI to check out a shoulder injury earlier this week. Both the ACL and MCL in the right knee were torn when he went up for a pass during practice. It will be a long, hard road to recovery and it will not be surprising if that rehab extends through OTAs and minicamp next year.

Out

S Trenton Robinson (hamstring)He has missed practice all week and will miss his second consecutive game with the hamstring.

Questionable (50% chance player will play)

LB Keenan Robinson (shoulder)—Robinson has missed the last two games with a variety of upper body injuries. His absence has left the Redskins thin at inside linebacker. Will Compton will start in his place if he can’t go.

CB Deshazor Everett (hamstring)—The reserve corner’s importance grew with the season-ending injury to Chris Culliver yesterday. He did not practice on Wednesday but has been able to go on a limited basis the last two days. If he needs to be inactive, Quinton Dunbar will dress for the game.

CB Bashaud Breeland (illness)—He was listed on the injury report this week with a hamstring injury but he was a full go in practice on Wednesday and Thursday. Breeland missed practice on Friday with what Gruden said was a bit of a fever. It look like he will play on Sunday; if he doesn’t it would create some problems with Culliver out.

Probable (virtually certain will play)

NT Terrance Knighton (migraine)—He has been free of symptoms of cluster headaches since missing the Patriots game but he did miss a practice last week to go visit a specialist. Barring a setback he should be good to go.

CB DeAngelo Hall (toe)—Hall was full in practice all week and his injured toe seems to be coming around. He has only played 23 snaps on two games since returning but with Culliver out he needs to be ready for more extended action.

RB Alfred Morris (rib)—Morris played only three snaps against the Panthers before exiting when he aggravated a rib injury he suffered against the Saints. He bounced back, however, with full participation in practice all week. He should be able to handle a full load but we thought that last week, too.

LB Ryan Kerrigan (hand)—His right hand is still healing from a broken bone he suffered during the Redskins’ Week 7 game against the Bucs. He had the bye week to heal up and has had very close to his normal work load in the last three games.

S Dahson Goldson (wrist/hamstring/knee)—Goldson has been limited in practice all week to give him a break from what appear to be some nagging, mounting injuries.

Also listed as probable and full in practice all week are DE Chris Baker (ankle/rib), C Josh LeRibeus (elbow/shoulder), WR Andre Roberts (ankle), S Jeron Johnson (illness) and G Brandon Scherff (thigh).

Giants injuries

Out

OG Justin Pugh (concussion)—The Giants’ starting left guard was out of the Patriots game with a concussion and he still has not been cleared to practice. John Jerry will start in his place.

TE Larry Donnell (neck)—He has done some damage against the Redskins but he has a neck injury and has not practiced all week. Will Tye will start in his place.

LB Mark Herzlich (quad)—Herzlich plays sparingly on defense and contributes on special teams. Update Sat. 11.28 2:10 p.m.: Herzlich has been upgraded to questionable

Doubtful

C Weston Richburg (ankle)—Richburg has been dealing with an ankle injury and he was limited in practice on Wednesday and out on Thursday. If he can’t go then Dallas Reynolds will take his place as the starting center. Update Sat. 11.28 2:10 p.m.: Richburg has been downgraded to out; he and Pugh did not make the trip to Washington.

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How big a need do the Redskins have at running back?

How big a need do the Redskins have at running back?

Do the Redskins have a draft need at running back? It depends on who you ask.

Jay Gruden seems to be very happy with incumbent running back Rob Kelley. Here is what he had to say last month about the second-year back, signed as an undrafted free agent out of Tulane, last month:

“Oh, man, I love Rob Kelley,” Gruden said. “I thought he played great. You throw a rookie free agent into the fire like that and see him play and compete. Not one time did I feel like it was too big for him. Not once. That’s a hell of a thing to say for a kid out of Tulane who only had a couple of carries his senior year. He came right in, he competes on every play.”

Kelley played in 15 games last year and rushed for 704 yards and scored six touchdowns. He started the last nine games and if you project his numbers in this games out over a 16-game season you get about 1,050 yards and 11 touchdowns. That’s not Ezekiel Elliott or Le’Veon Bell production but it’s good for a team that is going to rely mostly on the pass.

Gruden also praised third-down back Chris Thompson and backup Mack Brown. In a telling sign, he acknowledged that 2015 third-round pick Matt Jones is still on the roster but he didn’t have much good to say about him.

Why, then, do you see so many draft analysts listing running back as one of the team’s most urgent needs? Mark Maske, who is the Post’s national NFL writer but also a former Redskins beat reporter, has them taking Stanford RB Christian McCaffrey in his mock draft. “There certainly are issues on defense for the Redskins,” writes Maske. But there also is a need at running back.”

Lance Zierlein of NFL.com said that the Redskins “obviously” need a running back as his rationale for mocking Florida State’s Dalvin Cook to Washington at No. 17.

So, what is it? Is Kelley adequate for the Redskins’ needs considering they call pass plays on over 60 percent of their offensive snaps? Would they run more often if they had a back like McCaffrey or Cook? And if they did run more would the offense improve?

I think that running back is like several positions with the Redskins. If they have to get through the 2016 season with what they have they will be OK. But if there is an upgrade on the board when they are on the clock they won’t hesitate to make the pick if he’s the best player available.

We will see what happens if, say, McCaffrey is still on the board when the Redskins pick at No. 17 and top defensive targets like Rueben Foster and Haason Reddick are off the board. That will be the true test to see how committed Gruden and the rest of the organization are to Kelley, Thompson, and company. 

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When talent is there, Bruce Allen has looked past red flags in 1st round of NFL Draft

When talent is there, Bruce Allen has looked past red flags in 1st round of NFL Draft

A four-time Pro Bowler and Super Bowl champ, Aqib Talib has a long and checkered past, which includes multiple arrests and failed PED and drug tests. The problems aren't new either, the talented cornerback was first arrested as a high school student. In college at Kansas, Talib was suspended multiple times and had multiple positive tests for marijuana use. 

Why does this matter for Redskins fans on the eve of the NFL Draft?

Despite all the trouble, Bruce Allen drafted Talib 20th overall in 2008 when the current Redskins general manager was in the same role for Tampa. While Talib's legal troubles and suspensions continued in the NFL, he also proved to be a highly capable cornerback in the pro game. 

The lesson for those trying to determine the Redskins draft board: Allen might be willing to look past red flags if a player presents good value. Talib did in 2008, and there could be opportunities for Washington in 2017.

Reuben Foster jumps to mind, as the talented Alabama linebacker will enter the league in the substance abuse program. While Foster's issues pale in comparison to other allegations about some draft prospects, players like Joe Mixon, Gareon Conley and Caleb Brantley will also present unique circumstances for NFL teams to evaluate. 

GMs are thrust into the unenviable task of determining a player's character, often in short periods of time. As 'Skins director of college scouting Scott Campbell explained, the team grades every player for their football skills first, and only later adds in character information. From Campbell's comments:

When you start to evaluate guys in the beginning, you don’t factor in the character. You don’t grade character, you grade talent. So you don’t throw away somebody early that may have some redeeming quality, or there’s a side to the story you don’t know about. You grade football players as football players first on talent, and then when it comes closer to the draft, you start weeding all that, getting more information, deciding, ‘OK, this guy’s not our kind of guy, this guy’s not a Redskin, this guy could be drafted, but good luck to him.

Thursday night the Redskins will be forced to make a determination on the right player for the team. That decision could include judging a player's character, and that could mean balancing legal or substance abuse troubles with talent and ability.

Talib is only one pick in Allen's long personnel career, but it's one worth noting. 

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