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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

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Redskins RB Thompson still nervous for impending cut down day

Redskins RB Thompson still nervous for impending cut down day

You would think that after spending two years as the team’s third-down back, playing more snaps than any other running back last season, and getting a second-round restricted free agent tender that will pay him $2.7 million this year, Chris Thompson might feel comfortable as the Redskins start up the final phase of their preseason program.

But Thompson says that he is as nervous about making the team as he was when he was a fifth-round in 2013.

“Even after the last preseason game when you guys talk to me I’m going to still be nervous when that time comes around because I never forget that feeling,” he told reporters on Monday prior to the Redskins charity golf tournament at Army-Navy Country Club.

“For me, I’ve just got to come out here and work every day to try to secure my job.”

ROSTER BATTLES: Left guard | Tight end Nickel cornerback  | Inside linebacker | Running back

The approach has worked for him in the past. He struggled with injuries his first two years in the league, playing a total of just six games. In 2015 he found his niche as the third-down back and he hasn’t given it up.

In fact, he may get more opportunities on first and second downs.

“I have a feeling that I might get a little more this year,” he said. “He [coach Jay Gruden] knows that I’m healthy and I can stay healthy. I think that was one of his biggest concerns, that I can handle the load. I think I’ll get a lot more opportunities.”

Rob Kelley is expected to be the starter and fourth-round pick Samaje Perine should get a significant number of carries. If Gruden plans on Thompson getting more work on the ground, that likely means that the Redskins anticipate running the ball more ofent than they did in 2016, when they were 27th in the NFL with 379 rushing attempts.

Health is key for Thompson. He not only played in all 16 games for the first time in his career last year, he came out of the season in good health. Not having the need to rehab is allowing Thompson to work on refining his game.

“[Being healthy] helps me to get away and focus on the little things that I need to work on,” he said. “Having a full offseason, being able to get away, I’ve been able to focus on those things. Just like my quickness, my route running. I know my route running is big for me to make it in this league so I work on that. . . that was my main goal.”

Thompson’s work ethic and his mindset where he takes nothing for granted have served him well. He will be an unrestricted free agent in 2018 and if he continues to produce he will be setting himself up for a nice payday. 

RELATED: OFFSEASON NFL POWER RANKINGS

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RB Matt Jones reportedly not part of Redskins' 2017 plans

RB Matt Jones reportedly not part of Redskins' 2017 plans

Matt Jones entered the 2016 season as the Redskins undisputed starter at running back.

That lasted seven games.

By Week 8, Jones landed on the inactive list, and he never took another snap all year.

With OTAs beginning for the 2017 season, it looks like Jones might not play with the team. 

NFL POWER RANKINGS: WHO GOT BETTER AFTER THE DRAFT?

In April at the NFL Draft, reports surfaced that Washington was trying to trade Jones.

Weeks before that, at the NFL Owner's Meetings in Arizona, Redskins head coach Jay Gruden had to be reminded that Jones was still on the roster as the coach talked about the running back situation for this fall.

Robert Kelley surpassed Jones as the top running back on the team last season with Chris Thompson secure in his third down back role. 

Mack Brown even moved past Jones on the depth chart. When the Redskins drafted Samaje Perine in the fourth round, that signaled even bigger trouble for Jones' roster situation.

The Redskins will likely only keep four running backs this fall, and with Kelley, Perine, Thompson and Brown, it sure seems like Jones is the odd man out.

It's remarkable considering Jones has size, speed and an NFL resume that has three 100-yard games on it in just 20 games. The Redskins spent a third-round pick on Jones in 2015, and he largely ousted fan favorite Alfred Morris from the RB1 role as a rookie. 

Life comes at you quick in the NFL.

Jones is a clear example of that. 

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ROSTER BATTLES: Left guard | Tight end Nickel cornerback  | Inside linebacker | Running back