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Need to Know: Light workload for starters on Saturday

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Need to Know: Light workload for starters on Saturday

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, August 23, one day before the Redskins take on the Bills at FedEx Field.

Nickel coverage

Five items from Redskins Park:

1. The dress rehearsal will feature a lot of understudies. Mike Shanahan said that the starters will play about 20 snaps on Saturday. That’s considerably fewer than most teams around the league will have their front-line players in. And although he did leave himself some wiggle room, it looks like the starters will sit out the fourth preseason game as they usually do. That means that the starters will play a total of about a single game’s worth of football in practice games.

2. Maurice Hurt is still on the PUP list and it doesn’t look like he’ll be off of it anytime soon. “We’re just going to keep on working him,” said Shanahan. He’s got a knee. We’re trying to get him in football shape. I’m afraid if we put him in there too quick there will be a setback, especially with a short week, so we’re constantly evaluating him day-by-day.”

3. The annual Welcome Home Luncheon is today at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center. It’s always a nice event with some alumni and all of the players there and some awards given out. I wonder who is the favorite to win offensive player of the year?

4. Nick Barnett has yet to play a down but he may have locked up the award for the best quote of the year: “If they let the lion off the chain, I’ll be out there roaming the jungle.” Jim Haslett said that he should be let off the chain, rather, that he should play, on Saturday.

5. It sounds like Robert Griffin III is doing more than he did last week in Richmond. “It has been a full practice for him,” said Shanahan. “He’s had two excellent days, same thing he would have during the regular season.

Stat of the day

The Redskins were the worst defense in the league on third down last year, allowing conversions 44.2 percent of the time. So far in the preseason they have allowed just five of 20 third downs to be converted, a rate of 25 percent. Of course there is huge caveat in the quality of the opposition. They faced Charlie Batch Bruce Gradkowski and Landry Jones for a good chunk of Monday’s game, not Big Ben. But it’s a step in the right direction if they can get into a habit of shutting teams down on third down.

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Timeline

One week from today the Redskins will be done with their preseason and a day away from having their 53-man roster finalized.

Days until: Bills @ Redskins 1; Final cuts 8; Eagles @ Redskins 17

Today’s schedule—No availability, Bills at Redskins tomorrow at 4:30 p.m., Comcast SportsNet

Tandler and Tarik talk about the Bills game

In case you missed it

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Final injury report: Three Redskins out for Sunday

Final injury report: Three Redskins out for Sunday

Redskins

Out

C Spencer Long (concussion)—He missed the second half of the Cardinals game and has been in the concussion protocol this week. John Sullivan will start in his place.

S Will Blackmon (concussion)—Blackmon also has been in the concussion protocol and has not practiced all week. Donte Whitner and Duke Ihenacho will handle the safety position.

DE Anthony Lanier (leg)—The reserve lineman missed the Arizona game with a leg contusion. Gruden said he was kicked in the lower leg against the Cowboys and the swelling is still an issue.

Questionable

G Shawn Lauvao (groin)—It was a surprise to see him watching practice on Wednesday as no injury had been reported for him. But he came in for treatment and did not practice on Wednesday and Thursday. If he can’t go, Arie Kouandjio will start at left guard.

OT Ty Nsekhe (ankle)—Fortunately Trent Williams is back from his suspension; Nsekhe was the starter while he was out. If Nsekhe is out, Vinston Painter will be the swing backup tackle.

TE Jordan Reed (shoulder)—After missing last week’s game with a third-degree separation of the AC join in his left shoulder, Reed was able to practice on a limited basis this week. If range of motion is still an issue he could sit or play very limited snaps. If it’s a matter of pain tolerance he will be a full go.  

G Brandon Scherff (ankle)—He has been limited in practice during the week but it seems certain that he will go against the Eagles.

DE Chris Baker (ankle)—Baker missed some practice this week but he should be able to go against the Eagles although his level of effectiveness will bear watching.

Also questionable for the Redskins: DE Ricky Jean Francois (knee), OLB Preston Smith (groin), ILB Will Compton (hip), TE Derek Carrier (knee)

Eagles

Questionable

WR Jordan Matthews (ankle) and RB Ryan Matthews (knee) were full in practice all week and it seems likely that the Eagles’ leading receiver and rusher, respectively, will play on Sunday. Up in the air is the status of WR Dorial Green-Beckham (oblique), who missed practice on Wednesday and Thursday.

RT Halapoulivaati Vaitai (knee) will miss his third straight game. He had a rough start in his NFL debut against the Redskins in Week 6 but he remained the starter until getting injured in Week 11. Since then the Eagles have moved LG Alan Barbre to right tackle with Stefen Wisniewski going in at left guard.

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New #RedskinsTalk Podcast - WR Ryan Grant opens up about good and bad of NFL life

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USA Today Sports

New #RedskinsTalk Podcast - WR Ryan Grant opens up about good and bad of NFL life

Ryan Grant generates a ton of reaction from Redskins fans - and it's not always postive. The third-year wideout sat down with JP Finlay to talk about the ups and downs of life in the NFL. 

Click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates