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Need to Know: Redskins PUP list decisions still up in the air

Need to Know: Redskins PUP list decisions still up in the air

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, July 22, two days before the Redskins start training camp.

Three and out

—Jay Gruden said during minicamp that he planned to spend a lot of the time in between the end of the offseason program and training camp planning out the time in Richmond. There are a lot of details to cover—meeting times, how much free time for the players, what drills to run on the field, media responsibilities, and so on. He will find out if he planned enough starting on Thursday.

—One thing that Gruden likely does not have planned out in much detail is how much contact there will be in practice on a given day. I asked him about this when he visited the Bon Secours training center in May and he indicated that it’s something he would plan on a day-to-day basis. It makes sense to do it that way. You can’t say that you are going to do a lot of hitting on Wednesday and then that day comes around and you have a dozen guys banged up and several more who are practicing but probably shouldn’t be. It’s better to go into the day, assess how the team is doing in terms of health and energy and make your decision then. Flexibility is the key and it sounds like Gruden is going to take that approach.

—We still have no definitive word on the status of four injured Redskins for the start of training camp. Physicals will be given on Wednesday and the doctors will give the thumbs up/thumbs down for Jason Hatcher, Stephen Bowen, Leonard Hankerson, and Richard Crawford. Coincidentally, all of them are recovering from knee injuries. Judging from what was seen and heard during the last several weeks, it would be surprising if Hatcher isn’t ready but we can’t rule out the possibility that he will start off on the PUP list. It’s the other side of the coin for Hankerson, Bowen, and Crawford. It would be a mild upset if those three are cleared to start practicing on Thursday. Players on PUP (physically unable to perform) can’t practice, they can only do rehab drills off to the side. Those on the list count against the 90-man roster limit and they can be removed from the list at any time. Once off the list they can’t go back on it. Only players who were on the PUP list at the start of training camp can be put on in-season PUP, which allows them to return to the roster after six weeks.

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Timeline

—It’s been 205 days since the Redskins played a game; in 47 days they play the Texans in their 2014 season opener.

Days until: Preseason opener vs. Patriots 16; Final cuts 39; Redskins @ Eagles 61

Who will step up on the O-line?

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Redskins plan to 'spy' Cardinals' David Johnson with rookie Su'a Cravens, per source

Redskins plan to 'spy' Cardinals' David Johnson with rookie Su'a Cravens, per source

Facing one of the NFL's best running backs in Arizona's David Johnson, the Redskins plan to use rookie linebacker Su'a Cravens as a spy in nickel coverage to slow down the Cardinals' threat, per a source close to the team.

Johnson ranks third in the NFL with 921 rushing yards, but it's the variety of ways the Arizona offense uses their second-year running back that makes him so difficult to handle for opposing defenses. Johnson also has 55 catches for 613 yards, and that's just through 11 games.

Cravens comes into the game with momentum as perhaps the Redskins most dynamic defensive threat. With size to play linebacker and enough speed to play coverage, the 6-foot-1, 220 lbs. rookie out of USC will be put in a tough position covering Johnson. The reality of his assignment is to try and contain Johnson as the Cardinals offense is so reliant on the runner that he will get a number of chances.

In their last two games, Johnson has gone for more than 150 total yards in each contest and scored multiple touchdowns. For his part, Cravens has proved a playmaker in his rookie season. To go with 29 tackles in nine games, his stat sheet has sacks and an interception listed.

Getting to Carson Palmer is the best path for the Redskins defense - especially considering the Cardinals' offensive line woes - but using Cravens to try and limit Johnson is a smart course of action for the 'Skins.

One member of the Washington defense explained that Johnson is "going to make plays" but that the key is to limit the damage. If the running back catches a ball out of the backfield, Joe Barry's defense will be focused on making a stop after a five-yard gain, instead of a 20-yard gain.

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

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Redskins vs. Cardinals Live Updates: Score, stats, highlights, analysis, video

Redskins vs. Cardinals Live Updates: Score, stats, highlights, analysis, video

The Redskins and Cardinals highlight the Week 13 schedule with a showdown in the desert with heavy NFL playoff implications on the line.

If the Redskins (6-5-1) can score a victory over the Cardinals (4-6-1), the team can move closer to solidifying one of the top two Wild Card spots in the NFC playoff race.

Depite the Redskins' difficult Week 12 loss to the Cowboys, Kirk Cousins is playing the best football of his career as of late, and earned the NFC Player of the Month honors for his efforts.

While running back Robert Kelley did have a slip-up against the Cowboys, the team's run game still looks vastly improved from the early season, which allows the passing game to thrive even more. Jamison Crowder continues to impress, and although Jordan Reed will miss the Cardinals game with an injury, Vernon Daivs has proven to be an excellent option for Cousins.

The most entertaining matchup of Week 13 might be Redskins DB Josh Norman vs. Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald, but the most important matchup will undoubtedly be the Redskins defensive line vs. Cardinals RB David Johnson. 

RELATED: NFL PLAYOFF SCENARIOS HEADING INTO WEEK 13

Johnson trails just DeMarco Murray and Ezekiel Elliott -- who finished with 83 yards and one TD in Week 12 -- in total rushing yards with 920 and trails just Elliott and Legarrett Blount in rushing touchdowns with 10. The Redskins rank 25th in rushing defense, and have given up an average of 108 rushing yards in their last five games.

Redskins vs. Cardinals kicks off at 4:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, Dec. 4 on FOX. Redskins Kickoff gets things started at 3:00 p.m. ET on CSN Mid-Atlantic. (Channel Finder)

CSN is providing all the live updates, stats, scores, highlights, videos and analysis from Redskins vs. Cardinals. Got a comment on the game? Be sure to let us know in the comment section and join Santana Moss and Sebastian Salazar at halftime for the Facebook Live Q&A.

RELATED: BEST & WORST REDSKINS ALTERNATE UNIFORMS

Redskins vs. Cardinals Live Updates

PREGAME:

10:30 AM: Game Preview: The five things you need to know before Redskins vs. Cardinals.

1. Keep it moving
2. Missing in action
3. Consider the source
4. Problems don't go away
5. Harder they fall

10:15 AM: Be sure to follow CSN Insiders J.P. Finlay and Rich Tandler, who are at University of Phoenix Stadium in Phoenix, Ari. Also, give our CSN Redskins Twitter account too. Come for the analysis, stay for the dank memes.

10:00 AM: Welcome to CSNMA's live updates blog of Week 13 Redskins vs. Cardinals. As always, I am Troy Machir and today I will be your online guide to Redskins vs. Cardinals football in the painted desert of the southwest. If you have an issue with me, you can cuss me out on Twitter, 140 characters at a time. It's fun.