Here is what you need to know on this Monday, December 16, six days before the Washington Redskins host the Dallas Cowboys.
Five numbers and notes from the Redskins 27-26 loss to the Falcons.
1. Kirk Cousins passed for 381 yards. Add that to his 329 passing yards in his first career start last year against the Browns and he becomes the first Redskins quarterback of the Super Bowl era to pass for over 300 yards in each of his first two NFL starts.
2. Cousins’ 710 yards in his first two NFL starts combined is the fourth most of the Super Bowl era. Only Cam Newton (854), Mat Flynn (731) and Kevin Kolb (718) have more.
3. Twice this year the Redskins have outgained the opposition by 220 yards or more and lost the game. It happened in Week 6 against the Cowboys (+220 yards) and yesterday against the Falcons (+233). It has happened only two other times since the 1970 merger.
4. Pierre Garçon caught seven passes for 129 yards and a touchdown. He now has 96 receptions on the season, second most in team history. Garçon needs 11 receptions in the team’s last two games to break the team record for receptions in a season. That belongs to Hall of Fame receiver Art Monk, who had 106 catches in 1984.
5. The Redskins have now given up 434 points through 14 games this season. With two games left to play, that is already the most points the Redskins have given up in a full season. (Note: The 1954 team gave up 432 points in a 12-game season).
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—Days until: Cowboys @ Redskins 6; Redskins @ Giants 13; Opening Sunday 2014 season 266
—Today’s schedule: Mike Shanahan news conference 3:00, telecast on Comcast SportsNet
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The Redskins made a couple of roster moves just before departing for Arizona to play the Cardinals.
They signed cornerback Dashaun Phillips from the practice squad and cut offensive tackle Blaine Clausell. The Redskins also waived safety David Bruton Jr. off of injured reserve.
Phillips was the Redskins’ nickel corner for the first three games of the season, and he made four tackles and recovered a fumble. But they moved rookie Kendall Fuller up into the slot corner role in Week 4 and Phillips spent several weeks on the inactive list before being waived on November 12 and added to the practice squad three days later.
The moves became known after Redskins coach Jay Gruden had spoken to the media for the day so we can only speculate as to the reasoning behind them. Actually, the release of Clausell isn’t hard to figure out. He was signed after Trent Williams started his four-game suspension and with Williams set to return on Monday and the other options at backup tackle healthy there was no point in keeping him around.
Phillips is likely going to Arizona as an insurance policy. The Cardinals like to spread the field with a lot of wide receivers. They will want to have five cornerbacks active. They do have Josh Norman, Bashaud Breeland, Fuller, Quinton Dunbar, and Greg Toler. But Breeland is listed as questionable with an ankle injury and they Redskins don’t want to take any chance of being caught short-handed at cornerback if he suffers a setback. That’s especially true when they don’t need to bring an extra tackle along.
Depending on how things shake out injury-wise against the Cardinals there is a good chance that we could see Phillips on the waiver wire once again as a roster spot will be needed for Williams.
Bruton started the first four games of the season at safety before going on injured reserve with a concussion. This past offseason he signed a three-year, $9 million free agent contract with $3.4 million full guaranteed. There will be a deal cap hit of approximately $1.7 million in 2017 to account for the prorated bonus.
TE Jordan Reed (shoulder)—The word heroic is thrown around too often when talking about what athletes do, in light if what, say, first responders do every day. But Reed playing in the second half out of the Dallas game with a third-degree AC joint sprain certainly was remarkable. But Gruden said that Reed won’t have sufficient range of motion in the shoulder or range of motion to be able to go against the Cardinals.
DE Anthony Lanier (leg)—The reserve lineman missed the second half of the Dallas game with a leg contusion. Gruden said he was kicked in the lower leg against the Cowboys and the swelling is still an issue.
LS Nick Sundberg (back)—He tweaked his back in the weight room before the Packers game and missed that game and the one against the Cowboys. He was a full go in practice all week and will return against the Cardinals.
G Brandon Scherff (ankle)—He has been limited in practice during the week but it seems certain that he will go against the Cardinals.
T Ty Nsekhe (ankle)—Ditto comment on Scherff above.
CB Bashaud Breeland (ankle)—He suffered the injury in practice this week and he was limited in practice on Thursday.
RB Chris Thompson (illness)—He was limited in practice during the week but he said in the locker room he will have his usual role on Sunday.
Also questionable for the Redskins: ILB Terence Garvin (shoulder) and DE Ricky Jean Francois (knee)
Check back for the Cardinals injury update after they release their report later this afternoon.