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Need to Know: Cousins, Crowder closing in on Redskins records

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Need to Know: Cousins, Crowder closing in on Redskins records

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, December 28, six days before the Washington Redskins travel to Dallas to play the Cowboys.

Five numbers of note from the 2015 Redskins

137—In 2014 the Redskins were outscored by 139 points, scoring 301 and giving up 438. Through 15 games this year their point differential is minus-2 (354 scored, 356 allowed). That is a remarkable 137-point improvement, the equivalent of nearly 20 net touchdowns in one season.

63.6—The percentage of their red zone opportunities that the Redskins turn into touchdowns. That is the sixth best in the NFL and a substantial improvement over their 2014 red zone conversion rate of 47.9 percent.

120—The number of passing yards that Kirk Cousins needs to become the Redskins’ all-time single season leader in passing yards. He has 3,990 yards and the team record is held by Jay Schroeder, who passed for 4,109 yards in 1986.

5—The number of receptions that Jamison Crowder needs to set the team rookie record for receptions in a season. Crowder has 54 and Art Monk (1980) holds the record with 58. Crowder needs just two catches to pass Charley Taylor (55 in 1964) for second place. (Note: I am using the NFL’s definition of the term rookie here. In 1985 Gary Clark caught 72 passes in his first year in the NFL but he had played in the USFL so the league does not recognize him as a rookie).

47—The number of touchbacks on kickoffs that Dustin Hopkins has 14 games into his Redskins career. It also happens to be the exact same number of touchbacks that Kai Forbath had as the Redskins’ kicker in three years from 2012-2014.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Players off, no availability

Days until: Redskins @Cowboys 6; start of NFL playoffs 12

In case you missed it

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Long injury list hampers Redskins practice

Long injury list hampers Redskins practice

As Jay Gruden stepped to the podium to read the injury report, he warned, “This will be a while.”

He was right, as he rattled off one the longest injury reports of the season.

Out were G Spencer Long (concussion), S Will Blackmon (concussion), DE Chris Baker (ankle), DE Ricky Jean Francois (knee/foot), DE Anthony Lanier (lower leg), G Shawn Lauvao (groin), OT Ty Nsekhe (ankle), and S Donte Whitner (illness).

Of that group, all but Jean Francois, Lanier, and Nsekhe are starters. Between them and the limited players listed below it was difficult for the Redskin to conduct a normal practice.

“It was a challenge,” said Gruden of getting through it. “Practice was modified quite a bit today. We did more walkthrough today than we ever have on a Wednesday.”

“Sometimes you have to taper back just a hair to make it through practice, try to get the mental reps in with walkthrough and then hopefully the physical part will come maybe tomorrow. Friday we can open them up a bit.”

Limited in practice were TE Jordan Reed (shoulder), OLB Preston Smith (groin), ILB Will Compton (hip), G Brandon Scherff (ankle), and TE Derek Carrier (knee).

READ MORE: FULL UPDATE ON JORDAN REED

Reed returned to practice for the first time since suffering a Grade 3 sprain to the AC joint in his left shoulder in the game against the Cowboys on Thanksgiving. He missed the game in Arizona. While his limited participation was a good sign for his return it’ is way too early in the week to say with any degree of certainty that he will be playing against the Eagles.

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Robert Griffin III set to start Sunday for Browns vs. Bengals

Robert Griffin III set to start Sunday for Browns vs. Bengals

RGIII is finally getting another chance to play.

Plagued by injury after injury — most recently breaking a bone in his left shoulder in the Brown’s 29-10 loss to the Eagles in their season opener — the former Redskin is set to start for Cleveland against the Bengals on Sunday, ESPN’s Dan Graziano reports.

Griffin was cleared for contact last week after missing the majority of the Browns’ 0-12 season, and the team is coming off a bye week after its last loss to the Giants over Thanksgiving weekend.

In 2015, Kirk Cousins replaced Griffin as starting quarterback, and the Redskins released him at the end of the season. He signed a two-year, $15 million contract with Cleveland in March.  

In Griffin’s absence, the Browns have relied on Cody Kessler and Josh McCown, who boast a 65.5 and 54.5 completion percentage, respectively. The two combine for just 12 touchdowns this season.

Will Griffin be the key to ending the Browns’ winless season? We’ll find out Sunday.

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