Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, August 27, two days before the Redskins finish up their preseason at the Bucs.
Five notes from Redskins Park:
1. There seems to be no question that Barry Cofield will be in the lineup on Sept. 9. When Shanahan was asked about him, he spoke of his conditioning and his cast. Cofield’s fingers will be free when he does wear the cast and that is a good thing when it comes to him dealing with opposing offensive linemen. Although he presumably won’t be able to fully use his hands, any amount of added movement there will help.
2. There is quite a debate going on in the media over who will end up returning punts after Richard Crawford’s season-ending injury. The discussion might be more animated if we each were convinced that a particular player had the inside track on the job but nobody has a good feel for it. Chris Thompson flashed some ability but he is inexperienced and he fumbled twice in the last two games. Santana Moss and DeAngelo Hall have handled the job in the past but Mike Shanahan may not want to risk injury to front-line players by subjecting them to that. Skye Dawson may be the best suited of all of them but there probably isn’t room on 53 for him. There are pros and cons to all of them and we’re probably going to wait until the Eagles’ first punt on Sept. 9 to find out.
3. Normally players who are expected to be starters, or even heavy contributors, don’t play in the fourth preseason game. But on Thursday strong safety Brandon Meriweather and cornerback Josh Wilson, both names on the top line of the depth chart, will both take the field against the Bucs. Meriweather will make his season debut and will play about a half. Wilson’s first appearance was Saturday against the Bills and he should play about 15-20 plays. It might be hard to judge how they perform going up against the Bucs’ backups but it’s the only game they have left to get those guys out there into some game action.
4. The players who the Redskins waived with an injury designation yesterday, Crawford and Jeremy Kimbrough, are likely to remain with the team. The other 31 teams will have a chance to claim them, which very rarely happens since they would be claiming a player who is out for the year. If the players go unclaimed by 4 p.m. today they will revert to the Redskins’ injured reserve list. Putting them through waivers has some advantages over moving them straight to IR and the team is gambling that no team will claim them. History has shown that’s usually a pretty safe bet.
5. I’ll probably do a full post on this, but whether the Redskins keep four running backs or maybe six wide receivers will be up to Tom Compton. He is a near lock to be on the 53 as Trent Williams’ backup at left tackle. But do the coaches trust him to play right tackle if needed? If he can, that means that Tony Pashos could be gone and the Redskins can carry eight linemen. That would open up a roster spot for that fourth running back or sixth wide receiver.
Stat of the day
The Eagles are the easiest opening day opponent the Redskins have had since 2001, in terms of wins the previous season. Philly went 4-12 last year and the Redskins have not faced an opening opponent that won four or fewer games the previous year since they faced the Chargers in 2001.
The Redskins should be wary, however. The Redskins, coming off of an 8-8 season, lost to San Diego in that opener 30-3.
—Days until: Redskins @ Bucs 2; Final cuts 4; Eagles @ Redskins 13
- 11:15 open locker room
- 12:00 Jim Haslett news conference
- 1:00 practice (open to reporters for first 30 minutes)
- 3:30 (approx.) Kyle Shanahan and Mike Shanahan news conferences
“A dream come true” for Brandon Jenkins
In case you missed it