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Need to Know: Five Redskins who will be under the most pressure in 2014

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Need to Know: Five Redskins who will be under the most pressure in 2014

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, April 8, 30 days before the NFL draft.

Nickel coverage

Here are five Redskins who will be under pressure to perform in 2014:

Robert Griffin III—If you need an explanation here, you need to turn in your football fan card.

David Amerson—If a second-round pick can’t step into a vacant starter position in his second season something is wrong. Amerson played over 700 snaps as the nickel back last year so he had a solid apprenticeship.

Brian Orakpo—Word is that there was a lot of internal debate over whether the team should tag Orkapo or save that $11.4 million in cap room and address multiple other needs. They cast their lot with Orakpo and now it’s up to him to prove those who advocated his return right.

Kai Forbath—In the field goal department he started off slowly but finished the year on a pretty good hot streak. But his kickoffs were mediocre at best and he bears part of the blame for the Redskins’ awful showing on special teams last year.

Whoever they draft with the 34th pick—This player is likely to be in a position where he will be expected to either start immediately (if they take, say, a right tackle) or contribute from the beginning and take over the starting job at some point during the season (safety). On a team with a lot of needs the top pick can’t afford the luxury of easing in to the NFL.

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Timeline

—It’s been 100 days since the Redskins played a game; it will be about 152 days until they play another one.

Days until: NFL Draft 30; Training camp starts 106

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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