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Need to Know: Bye is coming at the right time for the Redskins

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Need to Know: Bye is coming at the right time for the Redskins

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, October 27, 12 days before the Redskins visit the New England Patriots.

Tandler’s Take Two Tuesday: Into the bye on a high

One of the topics that is bound to come up in the afterglow of the Redskins’ remarkable, improbably, historic comeback win over the Bucs on Sunday is that it’s a shame that the Redskins are taking a bye after such a big rally to win. Taking a week off will blunt their momentum, this line of thinking will go.

Well, in reality it doesn’t quite work that way. Momentum from game to game is not necessarily a reality in the NFL, at least not in terms of building off of a comeback win. Let’s look at the three times the Redskins came back from 21 points down to win:

—In 1999, they overcame a 21-0 deficit to beat the Panthers in Week 4. They have a bye in Week 5 and beat the Cardinals 24-10 upon returning.

—The Redskins visited the Lions in 1990 and were behind 35-14 in the third quarter. Jeff Rutledge came in at quarterback and led a rally to an overtime win. If any win should build momentum it would be that one. But they went to Philadelphia the following week and lost 28-14. If you’ve been following the team for a while, you’re familiar with that game as the Body Bag Game.

—They followed up Sonny Jurgensen’s greatest comeback, a rally from 21 down to beat Dallas at what was then D. C. Stadium in 1965, with consecutive losses to Browns and Giants.

Yes, that is a small, limited sample size and Sonny and Rutledge don’t play for the 2015 Redskins. But whatever momentum advantage the Redskins might have will be outweighed by the need for the team to return to good health, or at least a reasonable facsimile thereof. Here are some players who have missed multiple game who could return after the bye:

—WR DeSean Jackson (hamstring) seems to be the most likely to return for the Redskins game against the Patriots. He didn’t really have a setback prior to the Jets game, he just had some tightness due to breaking up some scar tissue. He has missed six games since going out in Week 1.

—Nobody is quite sure what is up with Chris Culliver (knee). Jay Gruden has said that an MRI on it was negative and that the issue is not structural. If rest is the prescription he could be ready as he will have missed three games plus the bye week. This will be something to watch when practice resumes a week from tomorrow.

—CB DeAngelo Hall missed his fourth game after what Gruden said was a toe injury that would have him out three or four weeks. But some wiggle room was left in the timetable so it could be longer. In any case, the extra week should help.

—C Kory Lichtensteiger is another injury surrounded in some mystery. Gruden said it was a disc issue and that there is concern about strength on his left side. We never have been given a timetable for his return so it’s also wait and see.

And then there were a couple of injuries that two key defenders suffered during the Bucs game.

—LB Ryan Kerrigan has had surgery to repair his broken right hand. If there was a game on Sunday there is a chance he would have to miss it. There seems to be a pretty good chance he will be back to play New England, although it's too early to know for certain.

—The most troubling injury of all could be CB Bashaud Breeland’s hamstring. He strained it while he was in the process of chasing down the Bucs’ Doug Martin to make a game-saving tackle. The second-year player has been the glue that has held the back end of the defense together with Hall and Culliver out. He might need to remain that even after the veterans return. We don’t know how severe the injury is but certainly an extra week for it to heal will help.

The Redskins coaches could also use the bye to revamp, or at least tweak, the rushing attack that has been so anemic for the last month or so. Gruden said the coaches would do some self-scouting to clean out some tendencies that other teams have figured out.

In other words, it’s time. The players and coaches have been grinding since training camp started in late July. Even the few players who don’t need a physical break from the game need some mental time off.

We won’t stop grinding here, though. Check here and on CSNmidatlantic.com for some looks back at the first part of the season and some articles looking ahead not only to the final nine games but to the 2016 offseason as well.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Practice 10 a.m.; player availability after practice

Days until: Redskins @ Patriots 12; Saints @ Redskins 19; Redskins @ Panthers 26

In case you missed it

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New #RedskinsTalk Podcast: Comparing Redskins training camp with the New England Patriots

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New #RedskinsTalk Podcast: Comparing Redskins training camp with the New England Patriots

After a poor first preseason showing and some questions about the physicality of Redskins training camp, JP Finlay talks with Patriots Insider Phil Perry from CSN New England to discuss the differences between Washington's camp and how they run things in New England.

<<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!

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Redskins Playbook: Jay Gruden calls Ryan Grant "Mr. Consistent"

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Redskins Playbook: Jay Gruden calls Ryan Grant "Mr. Consistent"

Few Redskins players draw more heated fan reaction than Ryan Grant. In three seasons with Washington, Grant has never missed a game, but he also hasn't produced much. His career stats: 39 catches for 412 yards and two touchdowns. 

Regardless, Jay Gruden and the Redskins coaching staff appreciates Grant in a way few fans understand. Grant is able to back up both the slot and outside receivers, and knows the roles of all the players.

"He’s really strong, he’s in great shape, and he’s Mr. Consistent," Gruden said of Grant. "Everything we ask him to do he does, and he does it right."

When Jamison Crowder missed time in Richmond with a hamstring strain, Grant stepped into Crowder's slot role. When Josh Doctson hurt his hamstring and missed time, Grant stepped into his role on the outside of the offense.

Throughout camp, Grant has displayed good hands and an adept knowledge of the offense. 

"No matter where he lines up, no matter what we ask him to do, he can come in the core and block the safety, whatever we want him to do, he can run whatever route from whatever positon and he runs at the right depth, perfect angles coming out of them," Gruden said. "He’s just ‘Steady Eddie,’ and that’s why I like him. I like consistent, smart players and that’s what Ryan is."

Against the Ravens in the Redskins first preseason game, Grant hung on to a tough catch over the middle to give the team one of very few offensive sparks. The problem for fans as it relates to Grant has not been preseason play. It's been inconsistent play in regular season games. 

Gruden believes that could change this year.

"I think people may be surprised with how many balls Ryan Grant might catch. Either way, could happen, I don’t know. I can’t foresee the future there, but I would be just fine with Ryan Grant being the target of a lot of balls."

To state the obvious: Grant is definitely making the roster. Behind Terrelle Pyror, Crowder and Doctson, Grant is the Redskins fourth wideout and one of the few players on the roster that is interchangeable among the Washington receiver positions. 

Grant's career best season came in 2015 when he caught 23 balls for 268 yards and two TDs. Based on his preseason, it seems Grant could surpass those totals in 2017. Much of his early season work has been a result of injuries to Doctson and Crowder, but make no mistake, Grant has been impressive in practice. 

Will it translate to the real games? The opprotunity seems only likely to arise if the Redskins deal with injuries at the receiver spot. 

Last year, Cousins threw for nearly 5,000 yards, but DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon accounted for more than 2,000 of those yards. Doctson, Crowder and certainly Pryor are likely to be the major recepients of Cousins' aerial prowess. Jordan Reed, Vernon Davis and Chris Thompson accounted for another 1,618 yards last year.

Keep in mind, this is the last year of Grant's rookie contract. If there was ever a time to show in games what coaches have long seen and loved in practice, this would be the year. It seems only an injury would give him a major opportunity. If the situation came to pass, Gruden would have faith in Grant. 

<<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!