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Need to Know: Five Redskins who must improve in second half of the season

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Need to Know: Five Redskins who must improve in second half of the season

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, November 12, three days before the Washington Redskins host the New Orleans Saints.

Five Redskins who need to improve in the second half of the season

There are many Redskins who need to play better in the second half of season. Here are five who are in the team’s future plans who need to step up.

RB Matt Jones—The rookie has the physical ability to be an impact running back. But issues with fumbling and problems finding the proper place to run have held him back. If he wants to show that he is the back of  the future, now’s the time to start.

G Brandon Scherff—The top draft pick has been competent at guard but not special. If he is going to justify being the fifth overall pick he is going to have to be special as in perennial Pro Bowl selections and occasional All-Pro status. He doesn’t have to get there this year but he needs to start working towards it.

WR Pierre Garçon—He hasn’t been playing poorly but he hasn’t had any big games. He gained 74 yards receiving in the opener and he hasn’t gained that many since. Garçon’s season high in receptions is seven; he had more than that three times last year. It would be good if he could have a few games where he carries the offense with 10 catches for 110 yards or so.

LB Keenan Robinson—Last year it looked like he was Pro Bowl bound at some point in his career but so far this year he hasn’t been nearly as effective. Robinson has had some nagging injuries which may have reduced his effectiveness. It looks as though he may be pressing in his contract year. Robinson needs to relax and play if he is going to get paid.

LB Ryan Kerrigan—Like Garçon, Kerrigan is not having a terrible year but he isn’t having the impact that the team was hoping for when he got his contract extension in July. The issue is not so much that he has just 3.5 sacks; it’s that he hasn’t made other big plays like he has in the past that made him much more productive than his sack numbers alone would suggest. He has just one forced fumble and that was recovered by the offense. The fifth-year player has no fumble recoveries, no interceptions, and no passes batted down.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Practice 11:35; Jay Gruden and Joe Barry news conferences and player availability after practice, approx. 1:30

Days until: Saints @ Redskins 3; Redskins @ Panthers 10; Giants @ Redskins 17

In case you missed it

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Long injury list hampers Redskins practice

Long injury list hampers Redskins practice

As Jay Gruden stepped to the podium to read the injury report, he warned, “This will be a while.”

He was right, as he rattled off one the longest injury reports of the season.

Out were G Spencer Long (concussion), S Will Blackmon (concussion), DE Chris Baker (ankle), DE Ricky Jean Francois (knee/foot), DE Anthony Lanier (lower leg), G Shawn Lauvao (groin), OT Ty Nsekhe (ankle), and S Donte Whitner (illness).

Of that group, all but Jean Francois, Lanier, and Nsekhe are starters. Between them and the limited players listed below it was difficult for the Redskin to conduct a normal practice.

“It was a challenge,” said Gruden of getting through it. “Practice was modified quite a bit today. We did more walkthrough today than we ever have on a Wednesday.”

“Sometimes you have to taper back just a hair to make it through practice, try to get the mental reps in with walkthrough and then hopefully the physical part will come maybe tomorrow. Friday we can open them up a bit.”

Limited in practice were TE Jordan Reed (shoulder), OLB Preston Smith (groin), ILB Will Compton (hip), G Brandon Scherff (ankle), and TE Derek Carrier (knee).

READ MORE: FULL UPDATE ON JORDAN REED

Reed returned to practice for the first time since suffering a Grade 3 sprain to the AC joint in his left shoulder in the game against the Cowboys on Thanksgiving. He missed the game in Arizona. While his limited participation was a good sign for his return it’ is way too early in the week to say with any degree of certainty that he will be playing against the Eagles.

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Robert Griffin III set to start Sunday for Browns vs. Bengals

Robert Griffin III set to start Sunday for Browns vs. Bengals

RGIII is finally getting another chance to play.

Plagued by injury after injury — most recently breaking a bone in his left shoulder in the Brown’s 29-10 loss to the Eagles in their season opener — the former Redskin is set to start for Cleveland against the Bengals on Sunday, ESPN’s Dan Graziano reports.

Griffin was cleared for contact last week after missing the majority of the Browns’ 0-12 season, and the team is coming off a bye week after its last loss to the Giants over Thanksgiving weekend.

In 2015, Kirk Cousins replaced Griffin as starting quarterback, and the Redskins released him at the end of the season. He signed a two-year, $15 million contract with Cleveland in March.  

In Griffin’s absence, the Browns have relied on Cody Kessler and Josh McCown, who boast a 65.5 and 54.5 completion percentage, respectively. The two combine for just 12 touchdowns this season.

Will Griffin be the key to ending the Browns’ winless season? We’ll find out Sunday.

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