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Need to Know: Injury to Redskins' Doctson appears to be no cause for concern

Need to Know: Injury to Redskins' Doctson appears to be no cause for concern

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, June 5, 53 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp in Richmond.

Timeline

—The Redskins last played a game 147 days ago. It will be 99 days until they host the Steelers in their 2016 season opener.

Days until: Redskins training camp starts 53; Preseason opener @ Falcons 67; Final roster cut to 53, 90

Hot topics from the Redskins week that was

I’m in catch-up mode after being on vacation last week. Here are a few observations on what I’ve learned while getting back up to speed.

—It doesn’t seem that Josh Doctson’s foot injury is anything to worry about. This group, like many teams out there, is ultra cautious when it comes to pushing players with even minor injuries at this time of year. They would rather have him watch now and not risk having him watching in July because the injury got worse. I don’t have access to the medical reports but this seems to be something that we might not even hear about if it happened in October.

—The CBA oddity that makes it harder to sign third-round draft picks than players selected in any other round ceased to be a concern for the Redskins when Kendall Fuller signed his four-year rookie contract. What took so long? Nobody really can explain the nature of the CBA quirk that gives room for negotiations in the rookie deals of third-round picks but it’s real. As of two days ago there was a total of 34 unsigned draft picks and 14 of them were third-round picks.

— While it’s good to have it done, there was no urgency to get Fuller signed. He had signed the waiver that allowed him to practice with the team and committed the Redskins to giving him a fair-value contract even if he had sustained further injury while practicing. An unsigned Fuller would not have missed anything until the start training camp.

—And we now know the full training camp schedule. The main takeaway from the schedule, which allows fans to watch 22 practice sessions, is that only the Redskins will be involved. Unlike the past two years, when the Patriots and Texans came to Richmond for joint practices, there will be no joint practices with other NFL teams. One of the disadvantages of holding camp in Richmond is that the team is committed to holding a minimum number of practices at the Bon Secours training facility. That means they can’t visit another team for joint practices, severely limiting their options.

—Probably because his season here were generally unsuccessful ones for the team, I don’t think that Stephen Bowen was appreciated by the fans here in Washington. He was a solid player from when he signed with the team in 2011 until about midway through the 2013 season, when knee issues pushed him to the sideline and eventually led to his release. He did not live up to the five-year, $27.5 million contract he signed with the Redskins as a free agent but that is more a lesson on the perils of free agency than it was any fault of the player’s. Bowen was a terrific presence in the locker room, almost always smiling and cracking jokes. He established Skyler’s Gift, a foundation that helps cover funeral expenses for families that have lost a child. I wish him well in the future.

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Need to Know: The top five running backs the Redskins will face in 2017

Need to Know: The top five running backs the Redskins will face in 2017

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, June 25, 32 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp in Richmond on July 27.

Timeline

The Redskins last played a game 175 days ago; they will open the 2017 season against the Eagles at FedEx Field in 77 days.

Days until:

—Franchise tag contract deadline (7/17) 22
—Preseason opener @ Ravens (8/10) 46
—Roster cut to 53 (9/2) 69

The top five running backs the Redskins will face in 2017

Here are the five running backs on the Redskins’ schedule who gained the most yards in 2017. We looked at the top QBs last week.

Ezekiel Elliott, Cowboys, 1,631 yards in 2016—The NFL’s leading rusher didn’t pop for a big day against the Redskins as a rookie last year. He still did plenty of damage in two games with a combined 180 yards and three touchdowns. We’ll find out in Week 8 just how much the Redskins’ rushing defense has improved.

David Johnson, Cardinals, 1,239 yards—Yeah, him again. He chewed up the Redskins in Arizona last year, picking up 84 yards rushing and another 91 yards receiving. I think I might pick Johnson over Elliott in a draft simply due to Johnson’s versatility.

LeGarrette Blount, Eagles, 1,161 yards—Blount picked up those yards with the Patriots last year and rushed for 18 touchdowns for good measure. He averaged 3.9 yards per carry, 27th among qualifying running backs. It should be noted that the Eagles probably have a better offensive line than the Patriots do. It’s safe to say Blount is one dimensional; none of the top 50 in rushing yards had fewer than his seven receptions.

Mark Ingram, Saints, 1,043 yards—While Ingram had a good year, the Saints apparently weren’t overly impressed. They signed Adrian Peterson as a free agent and they drafted RB Alvin Kamara in the third round. We’ll have to see who is healthy and on the field in Week 11

Melvin Gordon, Chargers, 997 yards—The 2015 first-round pick missed the last three games and most of another one with an injury. When healthy, he was very effective. His stats projected over 16 games come to over 1,300 yards.

Best of the rest: Carlos Hyde of the 49ers just missed the top five with 988 rushing yards last year Besides Kamara, the only running backs drafted in the first three rounds the Redskins will face are Dalvin Cook (Vikings) and Kareem Hunt (Chiefs). It will be interesting to see if new Rams coach Sean McVay can revive Todd Gurley, who followed a 1,100-yard rookie season with a 4.8 per carry average by gaining 885 yards with a paltry 3.2 average in 2016. Marshawn Lynch comes to town with the Raiders after spending a year in retirement; with the Seahawks, he picked up 111, 72, and 132 on the ground against the Redskins. 

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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In case you missed it

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Kirk Cousins shows off competitive spirit, soft touch - at Jenga (VIDEO)

Kirk Cousins shows off competitive spirit, soft touch - at Jenga (VIDEO)

After NFL minicamps end in mid-June, and before the grind of training camps start in late July, players are free to have a little bit of fun and try to relax. For Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins that evidently means a game of Jenga.

Fun at Kirk's 10 year high school reunion!!!

A post shared by Julie Cousins (@juliehcousins) on

The video comes from Cousins' wife Julie, and the caption explains that the couple were attending the quarterback's 10-year high school reunion. Looks like a fun scene, and the Michigan waterfront looks even better.

ROSTER BATTLES: Left guard | Tight end Nickel cornerback  | Inside linebacker | Running back

For anybody that has watched Cousins on the practice field or listened to him mic'd up during a Redskins game, the competitive outburst is no surprise. Cousins likes to win, period. Even at life-size Jenga during his 10-year high school reunion. 

Obviously, contract talks between Cousins' representatives and the Redskins continue, and likely will until the July 17th franchise tag deadline. Last season, Cousins threw for nearly 5,000 passing yards, completing 67 percent of his passes to go with 25 TDs and 12 INTs. He's allowed to have a little fun here and there.

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