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Need to Know: Five Redskins who will have to step up to beat the Bills

Need to Know: Five Redskins who will have to step up to beat the Bills

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, December 18, two days before the Washington Redskins host the Buffalo Bills.

Five Redskins who will have to step up to beat the Bills

QB Kirk Cousins—He has played exceptionally well at home, posting a passer rating of over 100 in each of his last four games at FedEx Field with nine touchdowns and no interceptions. With a struggling running game unlikely to suddenly kick into gear, he will need to carry the offense.

RB Matt Jones—Even though Cousins will need to have a good day, he can’t do it without some help on the ground. Jones did a good job of powering for yardage against the Bears when there really wasn’t anywhere to run. We also could be do for a big gainer on the screen pass against an aggressive Rex Ryan defense.

C Josh LeRibeus—Yes, I know this is not a comforting prospect. But Trent Williams said today that Ryan will dial up cover zero blitzes at any point in the field in any situation. LeRibeus will have to be sharp on the line calls to keep Cousins upright.

ILB Will Compton—When he was with the Eagles LeSean McCoy had some great games with the Redskins and some no so great games. When the Redskins contained McCoy it was because they swarmed to him when he had the ball and made the tackles. It will be up to Compton to make sure that the front seven is where it’s supposed to be and he will need to make solid tackles.

CB Bashaud Breeland—Bills WR Sammy Watkins doesn’t have a ton of receptions (39) but he has made the most of them. The second-year player has averaged 18.4 yards per catch and has scored seven touchdowns. He has the size to go up and get passes in traffic and the speed to go long. Breeland is likely to be covering him most of the day and will need to prevent Watkins from making game-changing plays. Plus he has had his hands on the ball a few times over the last several games; holding on to one or two of them would help the situation.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Practice 11:55; Jay Gruden and Sean McVay news conferences and player availability after practice, approx. 1:00

Days until: Bills @ Redskins 3; Redskins @ Eagles 9; Redskins @Cowboys 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.