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Marcus Mason

Marcus Mason

The second-year back, who spent all of last year on the Washington Redskins' practice squad, looked good running the ball. He was decisive, quick to the hole, and he had a sneaky way of dodging through traffic to make the most out of each carry. He wound up with 98 yards on 18 carries. Mason also caught a touchdown pass from Colt Brennan, improvising like a veteran as the rookie QB rolled out of the pocket.

Naturally, such a performance has some calling Mason a lock to make the final roster.

Not so fast, my friend.

Barring injury, Mason has a very small chance of making the final 53. It's a numbers game, as simple as that.

The Redskins will carry 25 players on offense. Three will be quarterbacks, three will be tight ends. Nine offensive linemen is the bare minimum and even at that at least one of your reserves has to be ready to play two positions, more if one of them is inactive.

That leaves ten spots for backs and receivers. Five wide receivers will make the team; six is a possibility, as discussed here earlier. If that happens, the extra spot is likely to come out of the allotment for the defense and there will be 26 offensive layers.

Portis, Betts, and Cartwright all will make it and none of them is well-suited to play fullback. That means that either Nemo Broughton or a player to be named later has to stick as the backup to Mike Sellers.

The end result is that there is no room for Marcus Mason. The best his supporters can hope for is that he lands on the practice squad again.

Join me for a live blog of Saturday's preseason game. Go here for details.

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Redskins plan to 'spy' Cardinals' David Johnson with rookie Su'a Cravens, per source

Redskins plan to 'spy' Cardinals' David Johnson with rookie Su'a Cravens, per source

Facing one of the NFL's best running backs in Arizona's David Johnson, the Redskins plan to use rookie linebacker Su'a Cravens as a spy in nickel coverage to slow down the Cardinals' threat, per a source close to the team.

Johnson ranks third in the NFL with 921 rushing yards, but it's the variety of ways the Arizona offense uses their second-year running back that makes him so difficult to handle for opposing defenses. Johnson also has 55 catches for 613 yards, and that's just through 11 games.

Cravens comes into the game with momentum as perhaps the Redskins most dynamic defensive threat. With size to play linebacker and enough speed to play coverage, the 6-foot-1, 220 lbs. rookie out of USC will be put in a tough position covering Johnson. The reality of his assignment is to try and contain Johnson as the Cardinals offense is so reliant on the runner that he will get a number of chances.

In their last two games, Johnson has gone for more than 150 total yards in each contest and scored multiple touchdowns. For his part, Cravens has proved a playmaker in his rookie season. To go with 29 tackles in nine games, his stat sheet has sacks and an interception listed.

Getting to Carson Palmer is the best path for the Redskins defense - especially considering the Cardinals' offensive line woes - but using Cravens to try and limit Johnson is a smart course of action for the 'Skins.

One member of the Washington defense explained that Johnson is "going to make plays" but that the key is to limit the damage. If the running back catches a ball out of the backfield, Joe Barry's defense will be focused on making a stop after a five-yard gain, instead of a 20-yard gain.

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

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Redskins vs. Cardinals inactives: Reed out as expected

Redskins vs. Cardinals inactives: Reed out as expected

GLENDALE, AZ—As expected, the Redskins will be without star tight end Jordan Reed today against the Cardinals.

He is inactive due to a third-degree AC joint sprain in his left shoulder.

Reed gutted it out and played the second half on Thanksgiving Day in Dallas after being injured in the first but during the week he didn’t practice at all couldn’t regain the range of motion needed to play today.

Coach Jay Gruden said on Friday that the team is planning on having Reed play next week against the Eagles.

For this week, Vernon Davis will step into the starting role.

Also inactive is reserve defensive lineman Anthony Lanier, who was kicked in the lower leg in Dallas. Gruden said that the swelling was still too severe for him to be able to play.

LIVE BLOG: WEEK 13 REDSKINS VS. CARDINALS

The Redskins’ other inactive players today:

  • QB Nate Sudfeld
  • DL AJ Francis
  • RB Matt Jones
  • WR Rashad Ross
  • DB Dashaun Phillips