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Need to Know: Five early thoughts on Redskins vs. Giants

Need to Know: Five early thoughts on Redskins vs. Giants

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, September 22, two days before the Redskins travel to play the Giants.

Five early thoughts on Redskins vs. Giants

Actually, these are not really early because the game is in two days. But here we go anyway:

—The Redskins get no break when it comes to playing teams that are tough to run against. The Giants actually have allowed fewer rushing yards than the Redskins and teams have tried to run against them. The numbers are 45 rushing attempts, 136 yards, a 3.0 average. Washington’s line is 31/141/4.5.

—The Giants have a rather extensive injury list. If Jason Pierre Paul started practicing today he would not play Thursday. WR Victor Cruz missed the first two games with a calf injury following knee surgery last year and it is very unlikely that he makes his season debut on Thursday. Other Giants who have a short week to try to recover are left tackle Ereck Flowers (ankle) and CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (head). Tom Coughlin did not give the media much of an update on Flowers and Rodgers-Cromartie on Monday so time will tell on them.

—Rodgers-Cromartie is the injury to keep an eye on. The New York pass defense has been shaky even with him in the lineup. Opposing quarterbacks have completed 72.5 percent of their passes against them and have gained 7.9 yards per attempt. It should be noted that the quarterbacks were Tony Romo and Matt Ryan. Kirk Cousins isn’t on their level at this point in his career. We will see what he can get done.

—Odell Beckham Jr., as one would expect, has been Eli Manning’s favorite target. The quarterback has thrown at Beckham 20 times, seven more targets than to any other player. Last year’s rookie of the year has 12 catches for 190 yards and a touchdown. You can do the math and see that he’s on pace for another spectacular season. Chris Culliver gives the Redskins a good shot at limiting him but he will make some plays.

—Rashad Jennings has been the Giants’ primary running back but he has averaged just 2.9 yards on his 22 carries. It should be noted that being handed the ball and told not to score doesn’t help your average much. If that keeps up we could see a shift to the younger Andre Williams, who is averaging 4.8 yards on 12 carries.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Practice 12:15; Jay Gruden news conference and player availability after practice.

Days until: Redskins @ Giants Thursday night 2; Eagles @ Redskins 12; Redskins @ Falcons 19

In case you missed itActu

—The Redskins get no break when it comes to playing teams that are tough to run against. The Giants actually have allowed fewer rushing yards than the Redskins and teams have tried to run against them. The numbers are 45 rushing attempts, 136 yards, a 3.0 average. Washington’s line is 31/141/4.5.

—The Giants have a rather extensive injury list. If Jason Pierre Paul started practicing today he would not play Thursday. WR Victor Cruz missed the first two games with a calf injury following knee surgery last year and it is very unlikely that he makes his season debut on Thursday. Other Giants who have a short week to try to recover are left tackle Ereck Flowers (ankle) and CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (head). Tom Coughlin did not give the media much of an update on Flowers and Rodgers-Cromartie on Monday so time will tell on them.

—Rodgers-Cromartie is the injury to keep an eye on. The New York pass defense has been shaky even with him in the lineup. Opposing quarterbacks have completed 72.5 percent of their passes against them and have gained 7.9 yards per attempt. It should be noted that the quarterbacks were Tony Romo and Matt Ryan. Kirk Cousins isn’t on their level at this point in his career. We will see what he can get done.

—Odell Beckham Jr., as one would expect, has been Eli Manning’s favorite target. The quarterback has thrown at Beckham 20 times, seven more targets than to any other player. Last year’s rookie of the year has 12 catches for 190 yards and a touchdown. You can do the math and see that he’s on pace for another spectacular season. Chris Culliver gives the Redskins a good shot at limiting him but he will make some plays.

—Rashad Jennings has been the Giants’ primary running back but he has averaged just 2.9 yards on his 22 carries. It should be noted that being handed the ball and told not to score doesn’t help your average much. If that keeps up we could see a shift to the younger Andre Williams, who is averaging 4.8 yards on 12 carries.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Practice 12:15; Jay Gruden news conference and player availability after practice.

Days until: Redskins @ Giants Thursday night 2; Eagles @ Redskins 12; Redskins @ Falcons 19

In case you missed it

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Redskins Playbook: Niles Paul forcing a fourth tight end roster spot?

Redskins Playbook: Niles Paul forcing a fourth tight end roster spot?

Redskins coaches appreciate Niles Paul. Not just for the immense physical skills, a 6-foot-1, 225 lb. college receiver turned NFL tight end and fullback. He works hard every day at practice, and demands the same from his teammates. 

Last season, Paul landed on the injured reserve after an injury in London during a Week 8 tie against the Bengals. Because of that, some speculation emerged that Paul could be the odd man out in the Redskins tight end group, behind Jordan Reed and Vernon Davis and fighting with 2017 draft pick Jeremy Sprinkle, not to mention veteran Derek Carrier. 

RELATED: COULD REDSKINS MAKE RUN AT NICK MANGOLD?

After two preseason games, it's clear Paul is ready to fight for that spot. Against Green Bay on Saturday night, Paul logged a touchdown catch and a fumble recovery on special teams, showing the versatility that makes him so valuable to Washington. 

For Paul, he's just happy to be back on the field. 

"I got my season cut in half last year. I just want to be back on the field by any means necessary. I've just been missing it. I've been missing football in my life," Paul said after the game (full video above).

Paul's acrobatic TD grab showed that he still has the explosiveness to help the offense, but his special teams play is what will keep him on the roster. It also helps that head coach Jay Gruden complimented Paul for an outstanding camp and work ethic. 

"His speed looks where it was before the injuries. I mean, I think he's had an outstanding training camp so far. He's done so many different things. And that's one of the toughest positions," Gruden said of Paul. 

The Redskins offense hasn't hit full cylinder yet, but Paul thinks the return of Jordan Reed will help. 

"We're missing a major piece and that's Jordan Reed," he said. "We got some fine tuning to do."

Considering Reed's injury history, and backup tight end Vernon Davis starting the season at 33, a healthy Paul is a luxury for the Redskins. He stands to make nearly $2.5 million this season, but he also brings versatility. Paul is happy to play fullback, a role that seems to be growing, as well as all over the field on special teams. 

Washington will absolutely keep Reed and Davis. With his play this preseason, Paul seems a sure thing too. And if the squad wants to keep their draft pick in Sprinkle, who has tremendous size and has shown promise, four tight ends on the 53-man roster looks like the future. 

<<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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With Spencer Long on the shelf, could Redskins make a run at Nick Mangold?

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USA Today Sports

With Spencer Long on the shelf, could Redskins make a run at Nick Mangold?

News broke late Monday night that Redskins' center Spencer Long underwent a minor knee scope and is expected to miss two weeks. That timetable spells good news for Washington, as that would bring Long back to the team before the first regular season game against the Eagles on September 10th. 

In the meantime, expect rookie Chase Roullier to take over at center for the Redskins. A 6th round draft pick, Bruce Allen and the Washington brass moved up to select Roullier, and the young player out of Wyoming had a strong training camp. 

RELATED: NILES PAUL FORCING HIS WAY TO A ROSTER SPOT?

"He’s done a great job, he really has. For a rookie to come in here and handle all the things he has to handle, it’s been very impressive," Redskins coach Jay Gruden said of Roullier in early August. 

Still, Jay Gruden has been very clear about the need for a backup center on the roster. Last season the team brought in veteran John Sullivan during the year to provide depth at the position after Kory Lichtensteiger went down with injury.  Sullivan ended up starting one game for Washington, and is now playing with the Rams. 

With Long on the mend, the only other center on the Redskins roster is Roullier. Ronald Patrick is listed with the more generic OL designation though he has played center too.

It seems likely the team will move quickly to add another center, and one name that will get suggested is Nick Mangold. An 11-year veteran that played his entire career with the Jets, Mangold has more experience than Long, Roullier and Patrick combined.

He's also played the position at a very high level. Twice named to the NFL's All Pro team, Mangold has made seven Pro Bowls, most recently in 2015.

It's not entirely clear why Mangold isn't on an NFL roster already. He worked out for the Ravens this offseason, though some reports suggested Mangold wanted more guaranteed money than was discussed. 

A quick look at his Twitter feed does not suggest a guy missing the NFL life. A big soccer fan, Mangold seems very dialed in to London's Tottenham Hotspur and the New York City Football Club. (Check his Twitter out here)

If the team truly believes Long should not miss any regular season action, Mangold is probably not a fit. At 33-years-old with an impressive resume, Mangold likely doesn't want to come back just to be a backup, and Gruden has repeatedly talked about Long's ability and potential in the middle of the line. Should Long suffer a setback, the equation could change. 

Other names are likely to pop up for tryouts, as the 'Skins must consider more interior line depth. Making a run at Mangold might be something fans want to do, though it might not make sense at this point.

<<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!