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Need to Know: Redskins expect the best out of Morgan, Davis

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Need to Know: Redskins expect the best out of Morgan, Davis

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, November 22, three days before the Washington Redskins host the San Francisco 49ers.

Nickel coverage

Five items of interest from Redskins Park:

1. Many fans and some in the media tend to assume that if a player is benched or otherwise has his playing time cut he will simply pout and be unhappy and useless for the rest of the season. That is usually not the case. Often a player who gets a second chance goes out and tries to make the most of it. Josh Morgan and Fred Davis both could get a chance to show the Redskins what they have missed by reducing their roles this year and perhaps could put some good film down for teams shopping for free agents in 2014. "I think those guys are man enough to deal with it,” said Kyle Shanahan when asked about the possibility of the two of them being active this Monday. “We need those guys to help us this week."

2. Each day that goes by the more it looks like the Redskins will need to rely on Davis with Jordan Reed having missed both practices so far this week with a concussion. “You don’t know about a concussion,” Shanahan said. “If you’ve ever had a concussion, you really don’t know until the next day. You wake up and see how you feel and the doctors will go through their tests.” As usual with such an injury, it’s day by day, minute by minute.

3. Lance Lewis made a few nice plays running after the catch during the preseason and that earned him a spot on the practice squad. His work there—Shanahan said he liked his consistency—plus Leonard Hankerson’s knee injury landed him a spot on the 53. That’s good for his bank account; he’ll go from making the practice squad salary of $6,000 per week to making the NFL rookie minimum salary, which will be about $28,235 per week. He will be the No. 6 wide receiver on a team that usually dresses five on game day so he might not get much playing time but making it to the 53 is a start.

4. Jim Haslett said there was a “blown assignment” on the play where LeSean McCoy caught a 49-yard pass from Nick Foles to set up an Eagles touchdown last Sunday. With Ryan Kerrigan in futile pursuit of Philly’s star back, it was widely assumed that Kerrigan was in single coverage on McCoy. But, apparently, he should have had some help.

5. Nick Williams did not exactly dazzle in his NFL debut as a punt returner. He almost mishandled on kick and let another one bounce late in the game, giving the Redskins terrible field position to start their final, desperate drive to try to tie the game. Shanahan was unclear on whether or not Williams would get another chance this week. “No, I’m not going to tell you if Nick Williams is returning punts on Monday night, but good try,” Shanahan said when asked.

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Timeline

—Days until: Monday night 49ers @ Redskins 3; Giants @ Redskins 9; Chiefs @ Redskins 16

—Today’s schedule: Practice 11:50; Player availability and Mike Shanahan news conference after practice (approx. 1:15)

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Rob Jackson: “We still gotta come together”

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One stat that should make DeSean Jackson very dangerous against Eagles

One stat that should make DeSean Jackson very dangerous against Eagles

The Eagles defense is on a big-play streak, but not one that defensive coordinators will like very much, and it could be very good news for the Redskins and DeSean Jackson. 

At this stage of his career, Jackson is a well-known deep threat. While much of the 2016 season has been disappointing for Jackson, in back-to-back weeks, the vertical passing attack has worked. In Arizona last Sunday, Jackson only caught one pass, but it went for 59 yards. On Thanksgiving in Dallas, Jackson hauled in a 67-yard touchdown pass from Kirk Cousins as part of his season-high 118 receiving yards.

"What he brings to this football team, he brings something that not a lot of people can bring, and that’s obviously the speed and the big play ability," 'Skins head coach Jay Gruden said of Jackson.

The last two games moved Jackson's yards-per-catch average back in normal range with the rest of his career at 16.5. Halfway through this season, Jackson was averaging below 14 YPC, which would have been by far the worst of his career.

"A lot of people think that we haven’t utilized his speed quite like we should, but I think he has had a major impact on this football team," Gruden said. "His deep threat has an impact on the defense. It opens up areas for Jordan Reed and Jamison Crowder and the backs sometimes. He’s been a major influence for this football team in a good way."

Beyond just the big plays, the Eagles defense has given up 645 passing yards in their last two games. Cousins has historically played well in Philadelphia, and should be in good position to do the same this weekend.

And based on the Eagles' past six games, expect Jackson to have another big game at Lincoln Financial Field. 

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