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Need to Know: Is Tevin Mitchel a lock for the Redskins' 53?

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Need to Know: Is Tevin Mitchel a lock for the Redskins' 53?

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, June 19, 41 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.

State of the Redskins

Here are a few more thoughts on the state of the Redskins as they head into their summer break (here’s what I had yesterday):

—It may be premature to call Tevin Mitchel a lock to make the roster but I’m betting he is in. The sixth-round pick made a few nice plays in practices open to the media including an interception of a Colt McCoy pass on Wednesday. They have been working him in the slot but he could probably play outside if necessary, or at least develop into that job. Jay Gruden has been highly complimentary of his play. I don’t see Mitchel making a big impact this year but if he shows that he can help on special teams it’s hard to see him not being on the 53.

—When we think of Redskins coming into their contract years it’s usually about Trent Williams, Ryan Kerrigan, or Alfred Morris. But Keenan Robinson is an important part of the defense and he also will be a free agent in 2016. He has looked just fine in the short and helmets portion of preparation. During minicamp he got angry with Tom Compton over what he perceived to be holding and he and Darrel Young had some sharp words for an unknown reason. He’s ready.

—I’ll have posts on both Bill Callahan and Matt Cavanaugh in the coming days. They were both entertaining during their media sessions on Wednesday. Cavanaugh talked about the difference between dealing with a QB room with all experienced starters like he has now and one with a quarterback who has never taken a snap and is anxious to get his turn. Callahan appreciates history as one of the first things he did after taking the job here was to put a picture of the Hogs up in his office at Redskins Park. These are two impressive additions to the coaching staff.

—Pierre Garçon is a very solid professional. He doesn’t get written about much this time of year because he just goes about his business preparing for the coming season. When he makes a tough catch, reporters don’t always make a not of it because it’s what we’ve come to expect. He is the perfect role model for younger receivers, or young players at any position, for that matter.

—I think some fans should tamp down expectations for Preston Smith in terms of having an immediate impact. Many were disappointed when Trent Murphy was just OK last year and I see higher expectations for Smith than I saw for him. He’ll be fine, he’ll make some plays and he’ll make some mistakes. Don’t look for him to dominate right off the bat.

Timeline

—It’s been 173 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be 86 days until they play the Dolphins at FedEx Field.

Days until: Redskins training camp starts 41; Preseason opener @ Browns 55; final cuts 79

If you have any questions about what's going on at Redskins Park, hit me up in the comments. And I'm always on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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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).

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.

MORE NFL: Trent Williams is back but shed little light on suspension