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Need to Know: Five offensive players with work to do during Redskins OTAs

Need to Know: Five offensive players with work to do during Redskins OTAs

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, May 22, four days before the Washington Redskins start OTAs.

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OTAs get underway on Tuesday at Redskins Park. Here are five offensive players who will have a lot at stake during this phase of the offseason.

—G Chris Chester—He had Spencer Long breathing down his neck all last year and now Arie Kouandjio could provide a little extra heat on him. At 32 with a salary cap number north of $4 million and the team switching to running scheme geared towards power blocking, Chester will have to adapt quickly.

—WR Andre Roberts—Last year Roberts was a free agent disappointment. It wasn’t all his fault since they brought in DeSean Jackson after signing him, decreasing his role. Still, he caught just 36 passes and dropped seven. The Redskins are very high on fourth-round pick Jamison Crowder, who does what Roberts does—plays slot receiver and returns punts and kickoffs.

—G Josh LeRibeus—When you were drafted by the guy who was around two regime changes ago (Mike Shanahan), have spent three years as a backup and your team spends third- and fourth-round picks on players at your position in consecutive drafts you should start feeling uncomfortable. If LeRibeus is going to hang on it starts with being in top shape for OTAs and making a solid impression.

—WR Ryan Grant—He’s not in any danger of being cut but his situation is similar to that of LeRibeus in that he was picked by the old guy (Bruce Allen) and new guy Scot McCloughan grabbed two wide receivers, Crowder and Evan Spencer, in this year’s draft. Grant was taken as something of a project who would improve over the years but he needs to take some big strides or the two rookies could pass him on the depth chart.

—TE Jordan Reed—Like Grant he’s not going anywhere and Reed is probably not in any danger of losing his starting job. But he desperately needs to stay on the field or the organization will start planning for a long-term future without him. Reed needs to avoid the nagging injuries that have kept him sidelined during offseasons and training camps in the past so that Gruden and McCloughan have some confidence in him.

Timeline

—It’s been 145 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be 114 days until they play the Dolphins at FedEx Field.

Days until: Redskins minicamp starts 25; Redskins training camp starts 69; Thursday night Redskins @ Giants 125

If you have any questions about what's going on at Redskins Park, hit me up in the comments. And I'm always on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Need to Know: Another big day on the ground on tap for the Redskins?

Need to Know: Another big day on the ground on tap for the Redskins?

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, December 11, eight days before the Washington Redskins host the Carolina Panthers.

Timeline

Today's schedule: Redskins vs. Eagles 1 p.m.

Days until: Panthers @ Redskins 8; Redskins @ Bears Christmas Eve 13; Giants @ Redskins, New Year’s Day 21

Injuries of note:
Out:
G Long (concussion), S Blackmon (concussion), DE Lanier (leg)
Limited: TE Reed (shoulder), G Scherff (ankle), DE Jean Francois (knee/foot), DE Baker (ankle), G Shawn Lauvao (groin)
Final injury report

Final thoughts on Redskins vs Eagles

—The Redskins have not stopped a team in a goal to go situation since September. The Eagles are good in such situations, converting TDs 84 percent of the time. If the Redskins can get a stop and force a field goal try when the first time the Eagles get down there that would be a big psychological boost for the visitors. Or, better yet, maybe they can just not let the Eagles get any first and goal opportunities. That’s what happened when the teams played in Week 6.

—In that Week 6 meeting the Redskins rushed for 230 yards, their best performance on the ground this season by 79 yards. Matt Jones picked up 135 yards on 16 attempts, Rob Kelley had 5-59, and Chris Thompson kicked in with 9-37. It’s unlikely that Jones will be active so it will be up to Kelley to get things rolling on the ground.

—For all the talk about Kirk Cousins having the Eagles’ number, he had one of his worst statistical games of the year against them in Week 6. He completed just 52.9 percent of his passes, his lowest completion percentage of the season. Cousins also threw perhaps his worst interception of the year, a pick six that tied the game at 14 in the second quarter. The bottom line was that he made some plays and the Redskins won but he likely will have to play better this time for his team to prevail today.

—Carson Wentz has six interceptions in his last three games, including three last week against the Bengals. Josh Norman is due to get an interception, overdue, in fact. Don’t know what will happen but the chances seem good that a Redskin will get his hands on a Wentz pass today.

—We saw last week that the Redskins are not a lock to go on the road and win against a team that is desperately fighting for its playoff life. Fortunately for the Redskins, the Eagles do not have players who are the equals of David Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald, and Patrick Peterson. While plenty can go wrong I think the Redskins come away with with the win.

Redskins 28, Eagles 24

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Redskins bring former starting center back to active roster

Redskins bring former starting center back to active roster

The Redskins officially brought Kory Lichtensteiger back to the active roster, and while the move is now for depth, it could have other ramifications down the road. 

The move is on the NFL's transaction report for Saturday. To make room for Lichtensteiger, the team released defensive lineman A.J. Francis. 

Dealing with injuries up and down the line of scrimmage, Lichtensteiger's return could give the offensive front more flexibility. When Lichtensteiger got injured Week 3 and sent to the injured reserve, third-year pro Spencer Long stepped in and performed well at center. Last week in Arizona, Long sustained a concussion.

That injury opened the door for John Sullivan, who will start this week in Philadelphia with Long ruled out. Sullivan was brought in as a backup to Long once Lichtensteiger was put on IR. With Long now in the NFL concussion protocol, the Redskins need another center should Sullivan get hurt. Alas, Lichtensteiger's return from the IR. 

Left guard Shawn Lauvao also sustained an injured groin, and that's where things could get interesting. Long is capable of playing guard, as is Lichtensteiger in a pinch. Should Lauvao's injury persist, Lichtensteiger might be able to help there.

Against the Eagles, the plan certainly appears to be second-year man Arie Kouandjio starting in place of Lauvao. Kouandjio made one earlier start this season - Week 4 against Cleveland - and the results were mixed.

If Kouandjio stumbles and Lauvao needs more time, Lichtensteiger's return to the roster gives Jay Gruden and Bill Callahan more flexibility, especially when Long returns from injury.

In fact, once the team has Long, Lichtensteiger and Sullivan healthy, there could be a bit of a logjam roster-wise on the offensive line, but considering all the injuries, bumps and bruises that are part of O-line life by the last four games of the season, the Redskins staff likely won't mind figuring that out. 

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