Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, January 8, Day 10 of the Redskins’ search for a new head coach.
Last week we looked at some potential Redskins salary cap casualties. There are some other players whose roster spots are in danger due to reasons not related to finances. Here is a look at five who have some work to do if they are going to stick around in 2014.
1. RB Evan Royster—He showed some promise near the end of his rookie season but he hasn’t done much since. A speedy Chris Thompson or a bargain free agent could knock him off the roster.
2. OL Josh LeRibeus—The new coaching staff will certainly be brought up to speed on how LeRibeus reported out of shape last year and never caught up. If he’s not in shape when the offseason program starts in early April he might not make it to OTAs.
3. OL Maurice Hurt—He spent all of last year on the PUP list after getting a knee scope before minicamp. Nobody was quite sure why he remained on the roster and he will need to give the incoming coaches a reason to keep him around.
4. CB Chase Minnifield—Finally healthy, he showed flashes of promise during training camp but he was inconsistent and landed on the practice squad. Minnifield will have to show more long stretches of competence and some strong special teams ability if he is going to stick around.
5. RB Jawan Jamison—Mike Shanahan took a flyer on him in the seventh round even though the team didn’t need a running back. He didn’t display the quick moves and pop we saw in his highlight tapes at any point. Like Royster, he could easily be crowded off of the roster.
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—On this date in 2008, Joe Gibbs announced his second retirement as coach of the Redskins.
—It’s been 10 days since the Redskins played a game; it will be about 242 days until they play another one.
—Days until: NFL free agency 63; Offseason workouts start 89; 2014 NFL Draft 120
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The Redskins made a roster move 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.
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.
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)
Check back for the Cardinals injury update after they release their report later this afternoon.