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Need to Know: Crawford's return to Redskins is likely

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Need to Know: Crawford's return to Redskins is likely

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, August 27, two days before the Redskins finish up their preseason at the Bucs.

Nickel coverage

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.

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Timeline

—Days until: Redskins @ Bucs 2; Final cuts 4; Eagles @ Redskins 13

—Today’s schedule

  • 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

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Redskins promote CB Phillips from practice squad, waive Bruton Jr. and Clausell

Redskins promote CB Phillips from practice squad, waive Bruton Jr. and Clausell

The Redskins made a couple of roster moves just before departing for Arizona to play the Cardinals.

They signed cornerback Dashaun Phillips from the practice squad and cut offensive tackle Blaine Clausell. The Redskins also waived safety David Bruton Jr. off of injured reserve.

Phillips was the Redskins’ nickel corner for the first three games of the season, and he made four tackles and recovered a fumble. But they moved rookie Kendall Fuller up into the slot corner role in Week 4 and Phillips spent several weeks on the inactive list before being waived on November 12 and added to the practice squad three days later.

The moves became known after Redskins coach Jay Gruden had spoken to the media for the day so we can only speculate as to the reasoning behind them. Actually, the release of Clausell isn’t hard to figure out. He was signed after Trent Williams started his four-game suspension and with Williams set to return on Monday and the other options at backup tackle healthy there was no point in keeping him around.

Phillips is likely going to Arizona as an insurance policy. The Cardinals like to spread the field with a lot of wide receivers. They will want to have five cornerbacks active. They do have Josh Norman, Bashaud Breeland, Fuller, Quinton Dunbar, and Greg Toler. But Breeland is listed as questionable with an ankle injury and they Redskins don’t want to take any chance of being caught short-handed at cornerback if he suffers a setback. That’s especially true when they don’t need to bring an extra tackle along.

Depending on how things shake out injury-wise against the Cardinals there is a good chance that we could see Phillips on the waiver wire once again as a roster spot will be needed for Williams.

Bruton started the first four games of the season at safety before going on injured reserve with a concussion. This past offseason he signed a three-year, $9 million free agent contract with $3.4 million full guaranteed. There will be a deal cap hit of approximately $1.7 million in 2017 to account for the prorated bonus. 

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Redskins-Cardinals injury report: Reed out, seven questionable

Redskins-Cardinals injury report: Reed out, seven questionable

Redskins

Out

TE Jordan Reed (shoulder)—The word heroic is thrown around too often when talking about what athletes do, in light if what, say, first responders do every day. But Reed playing in the second half out of the Dallas game with a third-degree AC joint sprain certainly was remarkable. But Gruden said that Reed won’t have sufficient range of motion in the shoulder or range of motion to be able to go against the Cardinals.

DE Anthony Lanier (leg)—The reserve lineman missed the second half of the Dallas game with a leg contusion. Gruden said he was kicked in the lower leg against the Cowboys and the swelling is still an issue.

Questionable

LS Nick Sundberg (back)—He tweaked his back in the weight room before the Packers game and missed that game and the one against the Cowboys. He was a full go in practice all week and will return against the Cardinals.

G Brandon Scherff (ankle)—He has been limited in practice during the week but it seems certain that he will go against the Cardinals.

T Ty Nsekhe (ankle)—Ditto comment on Scherff above.

CB Bashaud Breeland (ankle)—He suffered the injury in practice this week and he was limited in practice on Thursday.

RB Chris Thompson (illness)—He was limited in practice during the week but he said in the locker room he will have his usual role on Sunday.

Also questionable for the Redskins: ILB Terence Garvin (shoulder) and DE Ricky Jean Francois (knee)

Cardinals

Check back for the Cardinals injury update after they release their report later this afternoon.