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Need to Know: Look for lots of vanilla from Redskins in Atlanta

Need to Know: Look for lots of vanilla from Redskins in Atlanta

RICHMOND—Here is what you need to know on this Monday, August 7, four days before the Washington Redskins open their preseason in Atlanta against the Falcons.

Timeline

Today's schedule: Walkthrough 10:30; Jay Gruden press conference 2:45; practice 3:00; player availability after both practices

—The Redskins last played a game 211 days ago. It will be 35 days until they host the Steelers in their 2016 season opener.

Days until: Preseason vs. Jets @FedEx Field 11; Final roster cut 26; Cowboys @ Redskins 41

Outlook for Atlanta: A lot of vanilla

If you want to know how much preparation the Redskins are putting into their first preseason game against the Falcons, read what Jay Gruden had to say on the subject.

“We won’t start that preparation until later in the week,” he said on Friday, the day before a Saturday off day. “Sunday will still be a training camp day, probably Monday will be, too. Probably Tuesday we’ll start looking at Atlanta and maybe put together a plan for them then.”

The game, in case you don’t know, is Thursday. They will travel to Atlanta on Wednesday. So that leaves just Tuesday, and perhaps a quick walkthrough before going to the airport on Wednesday, to “prepare” for the Falcons.

In other words, don’t look for much in the way of game planning or anything other than the dreaded “vanilla” on both sides of the ball. Although Gruden hasn’t announced anything, it’s like that the starters will play a series or two before giving way to the second and third teams. The object will be to keep it simple and see how well the players execute the fundamentals and carry out their assignments.

The Redskins may get a little deeper into the playbook in the second preseason game against the Jets and game No. 3 against the Bills. But when most coaches try to balance executing what they are going to do during the regular season against real competition and keeping their concepts under wraps, they usually err on the side of keeping it a secret.

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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.