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Need to Know: Five Redskins who are under pressure against the Eagles

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Need to Know: Five Redskins who are under pressure against the Eagles

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, October 15, one day before the Washington Redskins host the Philadelphia Eagles.

Timeline

Today's schedule: No media availability

Days until: Redskins @ Lions 8; Redskins vs. Bengals in London 15; Vikings @ Redskins 29

Five under pressure in Redskins vs Eagles

QB Kirk Cousins—He is on this list until he breaks through and looks like a franchise quarterback. He had his moments against the Ravens, notably on a perfect throw to Pierre Garçon for a third-quarter touchdown. But the problem was, that was their only offensive touchdown. Much of the rest of his day was spent overthrowing some open receivers, especially on third and short. Cousins completed one of six passes on third and one. You can question the play calling if you want but the quarterback has to execute better.

LG Shawn Lauvao—Containing Eagles defensive tackle Fletcher Cox, an active, powerful threat against both the pass and the run, will primarily be the responsibility of Lauvao. Cox plays about 75 percent of the Eagles’ snaps so Lauvao had better pack a lunch, maybe a couple of them plus a snack.

Related: Doctson out, two starters questionable for Redskins vs. Eagles

TE Vernon Davis—As of this writing Jordan Reed’s official status for Sunday is questionable but both the timetable needed to be cleared through the concussion protocol and off-the-record comments from some players make it look nearly certain that he will not play. That means a stepped-up role for Davis, the veteran who has 10 receptions for 94 yards this season. Some of the pressure here works its way down to Niles Paul, who will move up into Davis’ role as the second tight end.

OLB Ryan Kerrigan—This is supposed to be Preston Smith’s permanent spot on this list but Kerrigan is the one who should shine this day. The Eagles’ first offensive play will be the first NFL play for fifth-round pick Halapouliavatti Vaitai, who will play in the place of suspended right tackle Lane Johnson. That should be a favorable matchup for left OLB Kerrigan, who will be close to full strength after dealing with an elbow injury last week.

Related: Crowder letting instincts take over on punt returns

DE Chris Baker—I’m convinced that Baker made a play that may have turned the Redskins’ season around. Baker has one sack this season. It came when the crushed Eli Manning early in the second quarter of the Giants game. Before that hit, Manning was on a roll; after it he was a very average quarterback. That turned the game in the Redskins’ favor and they ended their two-game losing streak to start the season. If Baker can shake up Eagles rookie QB Carson Wentz the Redskins will gain a decided edge.

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Updating Redskins' injury list after loss to Cardinals

Updating Redskins' injury list after loss to Cardinals

GLENDALE, AZ—The Redskins went into today’s game against the Cardinals somewhat banged up and they exit with a couple of additional injury concerns in the form of concussions.

Center Spencer Long left the game in the second quarter. Initially it was announced that he had been evaluated for a concussion but that he had been cleared. But after halftime the word came down that he had been retested and it was determined that he does have a concussion. Long has entered the concussion protocol.

Veteran John Sullivan, picked up earlier this season when Kory Lichtensteiger went on injured reserve, filled in a center the rest of the way. He is a capable fill-in but if Long is out he would be the only available center. The Redskins might have to sign a center if it looks like Long will be out of action against the Eagles.

In the fourth quarter safety Will Blackmon left the game. According to Redskins coach Jay Gruden he was being evaluated for a concussion and a stinger. His exact status is unknown. Gruden will give more information during a conference call with reporters on Monday.

[MORE: JOSH NORMAN ON HIS CRUCIAL FOURTH-QUARTER PENALTY]

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Josh Norman on his crucial fourth-quarter penalty vs. Larry Fitzgerald

Josh Norman on his crucial fourth-quarter penalty vs. Larry Fitzgerald

GLENDALE, AZ—The Redskins had a couple of chances to stop what would eventually turn into the Cardinals’ game-clinching drive in the fourth quarter. The first one came when they went for it on fourth and one at their own 34. It was a gutsy call by Arizona coach Bruce Arians and David Johnson make him look smart by popping off a 14-yard run.

The Cards earned that one. But it looked as though they got something of a gift a few plays later when Josh Norman was flagged holding receiver Larry Fitzgerald. It was a borderline call, granting Arizona a gift third and five conversion. Two plays later Carson Palmer went in for the kill, throwing a 42-yard touchdown pass to J.J. Nelson.

On the field, Norman seemed to be none too pleased with the penalty flag. He said after the game that he thinks that Fitzgerald may have stolen a flag.

“He [Fitzgerald] was within five yards. Larry is a wily vet,” said Norman. “I'd been doing it all game, kind of . . . He breaks out and I go for the ball and the flag got thrown. We'd like to see that not happen in that situation because there was some good position, some good leverage. And a flag came out.

“It is what it is. You can't blame a call on that, blame a call on this. It's whatever, man.”

Norman is right. The Redskins blew plenty of chances to take control of the game and the blame can be spread around on both sides of the ball. But the flag will loom large as the Redskins try to shake off this loss and get ready for the Eagles next week.

[MORE: ANGRY JAY GRUDEN SAYS REDSKINS 'NOT EVEN CLOSE' TO THINKING ABOUT PLAYOFFS]