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Jansen on the bubble?

Jansen on the bubble?

It has been pretty obvious to all who have watched the Washington Redskins this year that Jon Jansen has been struggling. It has been widely assumed, however, that Jansen would get some time in the regular season to work through his issues.

Maybe, maybe not, according to Jim Zorn.

The Redskins' head coach said today in his post-game presser that there is a "battle, a very close battle" between Jansen, who was known as "The Rock" before injuries put him out for the 2004 and almost all of the 2007 seasons, and second-year player Stephon Heyer for the starting right tackle job.

Although Zorn threw Jansen a bone saying that, in contrast to the aforementioned observations, Jansen has been "solid this preseason".

Heyer got praised as well, with Zorn saying that "helped himself last night. He shored things up for us," putting him in position to "compete for a position."

Should Heyer earn the starting job one would have to wonder if Jansen would even make the team. If you're going for youth, why not go all the way? Jansen signed a five-year, $23 million contract extension before the '07 season. Why keep an expensive 32-year-old veteran around when you could use his roster spot for a less-costly youngster?

The cost of cutting him would be high, but not prohibitively so. He has about $6 million in unallocated bonus money from 2009-2011. Subtract his scheduled '09 salary of about $1.3 million and you'd have a $4.7 million dead cap hit for 2009. Against a cap of about $120 million, that's certainly doable.

While it's possible, releasing Jansen may not be such a good idea. His 2008 salary is just $730,000 and considering that his potential replacement would also cost at least $300,000, resulting in a savings of just over $400K.

That's not pocket change but it doesn't seem to be enough of a difference to justify whacking a guy who knows the system and who would be invaluable as a reserve. Who knows, maybe if he rides the pine for the first time in his life for a while he'll come back with a fire lit under him.

Then again, it's possible that he's just lost it. That wouldn't be the first time that happened to a 32-year old. The entire line has to be replaced over the next few years, why not start now?

Certainly such a move would represent Jim Zorn sending a message that there are no sacred cows—or rocks.

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Need to Know: Murphy and Kerrigan a potent sack combo

Need to Know: Murphy and Kerrigan a potent sack combo

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, December 5, six days before the Washington Redskins play the Philadelphia Eagles.

Timeline

Today's schedule: Jay Gruden conference call 3 p.m.

Days until: Redskins @ Eagles 6; Panthers @ Redskins 14; Redskins @ Bears Christmas Eve 19

Injuries of note vs. Cardinals:
C Spencer Long (concussion), S Will Blackmon (possible concussion/stinger)
Postgame injury report

Redskins vs. Cardinals by the numbers

—Kirk Cousins passed for 271 yards. While compiling those yards he moved up six spots in the team’s record book for single season passing yardage. He passed four different quarterbacks in the process and passed Mark Rypien and Joe Theismann twice.

—Cousins also moved past Jason Campbell for sixth on the team’s career passing yards list.

—DeSean Jackson caught a 59-yard pass from Cousins in the third quarter. It was his 35th career reception of 50 yards or longer. Since he entered the league in 2008 no NFL player has more.

—Ryan Kerrigan sacked Carson Palmer in the second quarter, giving him 10 for the season. He now has his second career season with double-digit sacks; he had 13.5 in 2014.

—Trent Murphy recorded a third-quarter sack of Palmer; he now has eight sacks this season. He had a total of six in his first two NFL seasons.

—Dustin Hopkins kicked a 53-yard field goal in the fourth quarter. It was the second-longest of his career. He hit a 54-yarder in Atlanta last season.

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Updating Redskins' injury list after loss to Cardinals

Updating Redskins' injury list after loss to Cardinals

GLENDALE, AZ—The Redskins went into today’s game against the Cardinals somewhat banged up and they exit with a couple of additional injury concerns in the form of concussions.

Center Spencer Long left the game in the second quarter. Initially it was announced that he had been evaluated for a concussion but that he had been cleared. But after halftime the word came down that he had been retested and it was determined that he does have a concussion. Long has entered the concussion protocol.

Veteran John Sullivan, picked up earlier this season when Kory Lichtensteiger went on injured reserve, filled in a center the rest of the way. He is a capable fill-in but if Long is out he would be the only available center. The Redskins might have to sign a center if it looks like Long will be out of action against the Eagles.

In the fourth quarter safety Will Blackmon left the game. According to Redskins coach Jay Gruden he was being evaluated for a concussion and a stinger. His exact status is unknown. Gruden will give more information during a conference call with reporters on Monday.

[MORE: JOSH NORMAN ON HIS CRUCIAL FOURTH-QUARTER PENALTY]