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Need to Know: Five games in next 25 days for the Redskins

Need to Know: Five games in next 25 days for the Redskins

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, October 13, the day the Washington Redskins take on the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday night football.

A key five games stretch

Redskins fans had better hope that their team got its rest over their bye week. After having played just one game in the last 20 days the Redskins now play five games in the coming 25 days. That stretch ends November 7 and by then we will have a pretty good idea if the Redskins will be playing meaningful football in December.

It starts tonight in Dallas (2-3) and there is a chance for the team to get its first signature win of the year. Next the Bears (4-2) come to FedEx Field and they will be well rested after they stopped a two-game losing skid on Thursday with a win over the Giants.

On October 27 there is the toughest game on the entire schedule, when Peyton Manning and the Broncos (5-0) host the Washington. Then it’s back home to face the Chargers (2-3) followed by a quick turnaround to a Thursday night game in Minnesota (1-3).

These five games will take the Redskins up to the nine-game point in the season. That, of course, is the point where in 2012 Washington was 3-6 and wondering about its future. That turned out to be a seven-game winning streak the close the season and take the NFC East title.

But, to a man, the players don’t want to be in that position again. To avoid that situation they will have to win at least three of these coming five games. Going 3-2 between now and November 7 will put the Redskins at 4-5, probably in pretty good shape in the weak NFC East.

A 2-3 stretch here puts them right where they were a year ago at 3-6. At that point in 2012 they were three games behind the division-leading Giants. At 3-6 this year they probably wouldn't be that far out of the lead but, again, nobody on the team wants to have climb out of that hole for a second straight year.

If they win tonight they only have to go 2-2 in the following four games to set themselves up for the stretch and 4-1 in the five-game stretch looks like a realistic possibility. A loss means they have to win three out of four to get themselves in position for a run.

It’s always good for the Redskins to beat Dallas but tonight it’s extra important.

In case you missed it

Sun 10.06

Mon 10.07

Tue 10.08

Wed 10.09

Thur 10.10

Fri 10.11

Sat 10.12

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Need to Know: Redskins look for fifth straight win over Eagles

Need to Know: Redskins look for fifth straight win over Eagles

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, December 5, four days before the Washington Redskins play the Philadelphia Eagles.

Timeline

Today's schedule: Practice 1:05; Jay Gruden and Kirk Cousins news conferences and open locker room after practice approx. 3:00

Days until: Panthers @ Redskins 12; Redskins @ Bears Christmas Eve 17; Giants @ Redskins, New Year’s Day 25

Injuries of note vs. Cardinals:
C Spencer Long (concussion), S Will Blackmon (concussion)
Long's concussion could force roster move

First look at Redskins vs. Eagles

The last time: The Redskins won 27-20 at FedEx Field in Week 6 in a game that was not really as close as the score indicated. The Redskins outgained the Eagles 493 yards to 239 and had the ball for 10 more minutes. Philly scored on a kickoff return and an interception return in a three-minute span in the second quarter and that was about all they had. The Redskins have now beaten the Eagles four straight times. 

The Eagles leaders: Quarterback Carson Wentz got off to a hot start, posting three passer ratings of over 100 in his first four games. In eight games since his passer rating is 70.1 and his high in a game is 91.4. Leading rusher Ryan Mathews had his first 100-yard game in Week 10; he shares the load with Wendell Smallwood and Darren Sproles. Jordan Matthews (57 receptions, 686 yards) is expected back after missing last week with an ankle injury. Sacks leader Brandon Graham (5.0) has only one sack in the last six games.

Be on the lookout: The Eagles have been getting it done on special teams for years. This year they have two kickoff return touchdowns and Darren Sproles averages 13.7 yards per punt return including a 66-yarder.

Hodgepodge: A Washington win would put them 2.5 games ahead of the Eagles with three to play. Barring a Philly win out/Redskins lose out scenario the Redskins would be out of last place in the NFC East in consecutive years for the first time since 2002-2003 . . . The Redskins already are ensured of avoiding double-digit losses in consecutive seasons for the first time since 2001-2002 . . . The Eagles have allowed over 400 yards of offense in two of their last three games.

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When will Jordan Reed return? Jay Gruden says he 'can't predict it'

When will Jordan Reed return? Jay Gruden says he 'can't predict it'

The Redskins best pass cacther did not play in a loss to the Cardinals, and it appears there is still no clear timeline for Jordan Reed's return to the field. 

"Jordan will be day-to-day," Washington coach Jay Gruden said. "You know, we just have to wait and see."

Gruden issued the same statement on Reed last week, and the tight end proceeded to miss all Redskins practices for the week and was announced out for the Arizona game on Friday. Reed's injury came on Thanksgiving in Dallas when he separated his shoulder diving in the end zone for a Kirk Cousins' pass during the first half.

Incredibly, Reed returned in the second half and caught two touchdowns while playing in immense pain. Gruden and Cousins used words like 'stunned' and 'surprised' talking about Reed's return in the Dallas game, but looking forward to Philadelphia, it's hard to know what to expect from the tight end's shoulder.

"Everybody is different with these types of injuries and hopefully he is a fast healer but we’ll take him day-to-day, get him his treatment and go from there," the coach said. "I can’t predict it."

For the season, Reed has 59 catches for 630 yards and five touchdowns in just nine games. Reed missed two games earlier this year after sustaining a concussion against the Ravens.

Without Reed in the lineup against the Cardinals, the Redskins offense dipped in production. Cousins threw for less than 300 yards for the first time in three games, though backup tight end Vernon Davis had five catches for 47 yards. 

If Reed practices Wednesday, even in a limited role, would be a good sign for the 'Skins tight end. 

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