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Need to Know: Can the Redskins get their running game going vs. the Jets?

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Need to Know: Can the Redskins get their running game going vs. the Jets?

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, October 14, four days before the Washington Redskins play the New York Jets.

Five early thoughts on Redskins vs. Jets

—The Redskins may have a shot at getting their running game going against the Jets. New York is giving up an average of 3.8 yards per carry, 11th in the NFL. That’s someone surprising since they have a pretty solid group of linebackers along with a defensive front featuring Muhammad Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson (just back from suspension), and Leonard Williams, the player the Redskins bypassed to draft Brandon Scherff. The two could be lined up against each other on occasion, a matchup to watch.

—The Redskins are going to have to be on their toes defending the run. Chris Ivory could go all Devonta Freeman on them. He is one of three backs in the league who are averaging over 100 yards per game (he’s played in 3 as the Jets are coming off of their bye and he was out for their Week 3 game against the Eagles with a quad injury). The Redskins were doing a pretty good job of stopping the run prior to the Atlanta game and they need to hope that that performance was just a blip and not a trend.

—Will DeSean Jackson play? As each week since his injury passes the chances have gone up from “no way” to “slight chance” to “possibly”, which is where we are right now. He practiced very little last week, just taking part in some of the individual drills. It would take quite a ramping up for him to be ready to go on Sunday. They will need every weapon they can get to go up against the Jets, who give up just 5.3 yards per pass play.

—Kirk Cousins’ counterpart in this game, Ryan Fitzpatrick, also has had a case of being bitten by the turnover bug. Like Cousins, he has thrown six interceptions but he has done it playing one game fewer than Cousins and in 40 fewer pass attempts. Points could be hard to come by and it would help if the Redskins defense could create a few short fields for Cousins and the Redskins offense to work with.

—The Jets are 3-1 despite Fitzpatrick’s interceptions in part because they can take the ball away. They are tied for second in the league with a turnover margin of plus-6. The Jets have 13 takeaways (remember, they’ve played just four games) including recovering a remarkable seven of eight opponent fumbles. That luck will end sometime but there is nothing that says that it has to end this Sunday. Ball security will be at a premium this week.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Practice 11:40; Jay Gruden and Kirk Cousins news conferences and player availability after practice, approx. 1:30.

Days until: Redskins @ Jets 4; Bucs @ Redskins 11; Redskins @ Patriots 25

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!