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Need to Know: Redskins' Hankerson will lose valuable time

Need to Know: Redskins' Hankerson will lose valuable time

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, November 21, four days before the Washington Redskins host the San Francisco 49ers.

Nickel coverage

Five things from Redskins Park

1. Even though Mike Shanahan said that he is a “very long shot” to be activated, Adam Carriker took to the practice field for the first time this year. He has been struggling to rehab a torn quad he suffered 14 months ago in St. Louis. There is absolutely no harm in letting him get onto the field and get in some work with his teammates, however limited it may be. Carriker’s future with the team is cloudy due to the injury and his $4.7 million 2014 salary. He could agree to a lesser amount, of course.

2. It’s too bad that Leonard Hankerson is going to end up this year on injured reserve. That will make twice in his three NFL seasons that he has missed a good chunk of the end of the season due to an injury. He missed the last half of his rookie 2011 season with a hip injury. This one, an LCL injury, doesn’t seem to be as serious. He lost virtually all of the 2012 offseason program while recuperating from the hip. The LCL issue shouldn’t cost him any offseason time but it does cost him regular season snaps that are invaluable for his development.

3. It’s hard to tell what to make of the whole RG3-Santana Moss-Mike Shanahan communicating through the media deal. On the one hand, it’s parsing words, a discussion over what pronouns get used. On the other hand, we have some media-savvy individuals throwing out words that are very easily taken in the way that they were. A win or two is probably the only thing that will make it all stop.

4. London Fletcher talked about his future on Wednesday. “I’ll evaluate it at the end of the season and see where it go,” Fletcher said, before adding with a laugh, “I don’t have a lot of football left in me.” How much he has left does not depend completely on what he thinks. It’s difficult to fathom the Redskins bringing him back for anything approaching the two-year, $10.75 million contract they gave him in 2012. They may want to start fresh at Mike linebacker. It will be interesting to see how things unfold if Fletcher wants to continue and the team wants to move on.

5. Perhaps the last six games of this season will lack playoff implications. But according to Shanahan they won’t lack meaning. With some 20 free agents to be on the roster and many more who could be released without a damaging cap hit, plenty of jobs will be at stake. “Are players being evaluated just like last year? Sure they are, and rightfully so,” said Shanahan. “We’ll see what kind of character they have, how they fight, how they play, and they better – we’re playing some good football teams.”

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Timeline

—Days until: Monday night 49ers @ Redskins 4; Giants @ Redskins 10; Chiefs @ Redskins 17

—Today’s schedule: Player availability 11:15; Jim Haslett news conference 12:00; Practice 1:00; Kyle Shanahan and Mike Shanahan news conferences after practice (approx. 3:00)

In case you missed it

Redskins return to locker room, say they are united

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Kirk Cousins had his eye on Kyle Shanahan's offense, but is there more to it?

Kirk Cousins had his eye on Kyle Shanahan's offense, but is there more to it?

Of course, Kirk Cousins is disappointed the Redskins didn’t make the playoffs, but among the various things he’s done in the offseason, one of them is a little curious.

Sunday, Cousins wasn’t just watching the Falcons dominate the Packers, 44-21, in the NFC Championship Game. He sent out a picture on Instagram from the stands of the Georgia Dome.

“Watching two of the best in the world do what they do & taking notes to make it to this game next year -score a lot of points!” Cousins wrote.

But — especially with rumors that Atlanta offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan will be offered the head coaching position with the 49ers — is there more to this post than the Redskins’ quarterback simply watching the game?

Shanahan was the Redskins’ offensive coordinator from 2010-2013 and was reportedly “integral” in the team selecting Cousins in the 2012 NFL Draft.

So if Shanahan makes the move out to San Francisco and if the Redskins don’t put a franchise tag on Cousins, could the pair be reunited?

It’s possible, according to NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport, who said, “don’t be surprised if the 49ers make a run at Kirk Cousins if the Redskins do not make him their exclusive franchise player.”

There’s a lot of if’s involved for that to happen, but it’s possible. It’s also possible Cousins was just enjoying the NFC Championship Game and decided to Instagram about it. 

MORE REDSKINS: Why Matt Cavanaugh makes sense for Washington

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3 reasons why Redskins promoting Matt Cavanaugh to offensive coordinator makes sense

3 reasons why Redskins promoting Matt Cavanaugh to offensive coordinator makes sense

Championship Sunday produced a flurry of Redskins news. A pair of internal promotions erased the team's vacant coordinator positions, as Greg Manusky landed the defensive coordinator spot and Matt Cavanaugh will take over as offensive coordinator. When Sean McVay left to coach the Rams, many expected Cavanaugh to take over his spot. Here are three reasons why:

  1. If it ain't broke, don't fix it - There was plenty to criticize from the Redskins the last two seasons, but not much of it came on offense. Cavanaugh joined the organization in 2015 as quarterback coach, and the offense has consistently improved in those two seasons. Though the team struggled to score TDs in the Red Zone, the 2016 version of the Redskins moved the ball at a team-record clip and ranked among the top offensive teams in NFL yardage. When something is working as well as the 'Skins offense, it's not wise to change it dramatically.
  2. Impressive work - Cavanaugh began coaching QBs for the Redskins in 2015. Kirk Cousins took over as Redskins starting quarterback in 2015. In two years working together, Cousins twice broke the Redskins franchise passing record and is now poised to get a mega-contract in free agency. Talking after the 'Skins loss to the Giants earlier this month, Jay Gruden said, "I think [Cousins'] really improved his game a lot in the last couple years. And a lot of it has to do with Matt Cavanaugh and Sean McVay."
  3. Make the call - The biggest question remaining for the Redskins - outside of the HUGE unknown surrounding Cousins - will be about play calling. All indications are that Jay Gruden will return to calling the plays from the Washington sideline, and obviously, that's a situation Cavanaugh understands. For two seasons now, Cavanaugh along with McVay, Gruden and offensive line coach Bill Callahan have had input on play calling. With McVay gone, Cavanaugh and Callahan will likely contribute even more in support of Gruden. 

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