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Need to Know: Plenty of questions remain for Redskins 21 days from opener

Need to Know: Plenty of questions remain for Redskins 21 days from opener

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, August 17, one day before the Redskins host the Browns on preseason Monday night football.

Four downs

The Redskins starting lineup seems to be pretty well set but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t some big personnel questions that need to be answered. Here is a look at the top four lingering questions.

Who will be the kicker? The winner between Kai Forbath and Zach Hocker will be in and the loser will be cut. Jay Gruden has said repeatedly that the competition will be decided in preseason games. If that’s the case, the rookie Hocker has a big edge as Forbath was short and wide on a 46-yard field goal and booted a kickoff out of bounds against the Patriots. But there still are three more games to go.

Who will be the nickel back? Tracy Porter and E. J. Biggers have switched off there through camp except when Porter was not fully participating as he finished rehabbing his shoulder. Bashaud Breeland was also taking some first-team nickel snaps before his brush with the law on Monday. It appears that Breeland will be the guy eventually but what happens in the short term is up in the air.

Who will return punts and kickoffs? As of right now Andre Robert sits atop the unofficial depth chart at both spots. It’s possible that he will remain there when the season starts but it might be tough to do if he is going to play 40-50 snaps a game at wide receiver. If he can get healthy, Chris Thompson should get a shot at kickoff returns and Richard Crawford may get a crack at punts.

Who is the fourth wide receiver? The other day Gruden said that as of right now Ryan Grant and Aldrick Robinson are playing the best out of the receiver outside of the big three. Where does that leave Santana Moss and will Leonard Hankerson come off of the PUP before the season starts.

If you have any questions about what's going on at Redskins Park, hit me up in the comments. I'll answer all questions as soon as I can get to them. And I'm always on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Timeline

—Redskins linebacker Akeem Jordan was born on this date in 1985

Today’s schedule: Closed walkthrough at Redskins Park, no availability.

—It’s been 231 days since the Redskins played a game; in 21 days they play the Texans in their 2014 season opener.

Days until: Redskins at Ravens 6; Final cuts 13; Home opener vs. Jaguars 28

Tandler and Tarik look at Monday's game

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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