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Need to Know: Five Redskins who are under the gun on Sunday

Need to Know: Five Redskins who are under the gun on Sunday

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, September 17, three days before the Washington Redskins host the St. Louis Rams.

Five Redskins who are under the gun on Sunday

QB Kirk Cousins—He probably has a longer leash than most people think he does. But it’s not unlimited and at some point he has to play a clean game, make plays in the clutch, and, for the first time since 2012, have the team win a game that he starts and finishes. No better time than the present, although the Rams have a tough defense from front to back. Cousins likely will appear on this list every week until he puts together a solid performance.

P Tress Way—Rarely does the punter appear on a list like this but he admitted that he outkicked the coverage on Jarvis Landry’s 69-yard punt return on Sunday and Tavon Austin is coming to town. Way likes to let it rip but he will need precision punting if they are going to keep Austin out of the end zone. Whether he needs to go to a higher and shorter when kicking to Austin or just boot it out of bounds, he needs to execute whatever the call is.

G Brandon Scherff—Aaron Donald is not as big as Ndamukong Suh but he is quicker and more active. He will be a different kind of challenge for Scherff, who did pretty well against Suh. If Cousins is going to have a chance to get going, Scherff keeping Donald under control will be critical.

CB DeAngelo Hall—It may be unfair to put this on Hall but the veteran corner—or somebody—needs to get a takeaway or two. The Redskins had their hands on three interceptions and a fumble on the second-half kickoff. They came up empty. The last time Hall played a full season in 2013 he had four interceptions with two returned for touchdowns and a fumble recovery for a TD. If he can bring one back this week it could be contagious.

WR Ryan Grant—He is likely to get most of the snaps that will be available to the backup wide receivers with DeSean Jackson sidelined. Jay Gruden is always singing his praises so it is time for him to produce. Grant has Jamison Crowder and Rashad Ross behind him so he needs to show what he can do.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Practice 11:40; Jay Gruden and Joe Barry news conferences and player availability

Days until: Rams @ Redskins 3; Redskins @ Giants Thursday night 7; Eagles @ Redskins 17

In case you missed it

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Jay Gruden presser recap: Enough is on Chris Thompson's plate already

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USA Today Sports Images

Jay Gruden presser recap: Enough is on Chris Thompson's plate already

Here is a recap of Jay Gruden’s press conference on Wednesday:

—The injuries are covered in a separate post here. Jordan Reed was the only non-participant. Gruden said his status is “wait and see.”

—Gruden doesn’t see them playing Chris Thompson more than they do now. He noted that in addition to being the third-down back he also returns kicks and comes in on second and long plays. “It’s important for us to keep him healthy,” said Gruden. “He’s not a guy that I personally want to give him 30 carries a game.”

RELATED: MUST-SEE PHOTOS FROM REDSKINS' WIN IN LA

—In a year, Matt Ioannidis has gone from being on the practice squad to being a key member of the defensive line. Gruden was impressed with his play against the Rams. “Against the Rams, he played very well,” he said. “He had pressured the quarterback four or five times, he hawked down Tavon Austin on a jet sweep, which was a big play on the first play of the game. If he gets out of there, it could’ve been a 70-yard touchdown.” Gruden said that work in the weight room with help from fellow DL Ziggy Hood helped in Ioannidis’ transformation.

—Gruden said that the Rams game might have been the best of Jordan Reed's career despite gaining just 48 receiving yards on six catches. “Yeah, Jordan was awesome,” he said. “I thought he had the best all-around game he’s had in a while. I think, not just route-running, but blocking. He was outstanding in blocking. Had a key block on the touchdown Chris Thompson had on the second series of the game, was physical and did a great job.”

MORE REDSKINS: FIRST LOOK AT REDSKINS VS RAIDERS

—The Su’a Cravens situation was dismissed rather quickly. The Redskins will not be adding another safety to the roster. “No, we have Fish [Smithson] already as our fifth guy on the practice squad and he’s doing a good job, so we’re OK at safety spot,” said Gruden. “As far as Su’a’ is concerned, we just have to put it behind us, move forward and let him take care of his personal life and let us take care of this season.”

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Redskins injury report: Jordan Reed out of practice, six are limited

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Redskins injury report: Jordan Reed out of practice, six are limited

There were a lot of wounded Redskins on the practice field on Wednesday as the team started preparations for their game against the Raiders on Sunday.

One injured player was not on the field. Jordan Reed was out with a chest injury. Obviously, there is concern but Jay Gruden said that it is too early to rule him out of the game.

A half dozen players were limited: RB Rob Kelley (rib), S Montae Nicholson (shoulder), CB Josh Norman (shoulder), OT Morgan Moses (ankle), S Deshazor Everett (knee), and LB Mason Foster (shoulder).

RELATED: MUST-SEE PHOTOS FROM REDSKINS' WIN IN LA

While none of the injuries seems particularly serious, they still could affect each player’s status for the game.

Foster suffered a separated shoulder during the game, popped it back in, and continued without missing a snap. He said that said that he was letting the athletic trainers handle it. “I’m going in, getting my treatment, doing what they tell me to do,” he said.

Kelley suffered a rib cartilage injury in the second quarter on Sunday. He said that the pain was very high that day but that it has subsided since.

MORE REDSKINS: FIRST LOOK AT REDSKINS VS RAIDERS

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.