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Need to Know: Safety in numbers for the 2016 Redskins?

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Need to Know: Safety in numbers for the 2016 Redskins?

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, March 17, 42 days before the NFL Draft.

Safety in numbers for the Redskins?

—The Redskins’ strategy at safety appears to be to throw numbers at it. They added David Bruton to DeAngelo Hall, Duke Ihenacho, and Kyshoen Jarrett. The door is still open to a return of Dashon Goldson at the right price. Another veteran could come on board. McCloughan certainly wouldn’t bypass the right one on the board in the draft. Joe Barry and Perry Fewell will have the flexibility to mix and match according to situations, there will be depth in case of injuries, and most will contribute on special teams. This might not be the ideal way to do it but with a lack of standout safeties available it’s what they have to do to get by.

—I have to laugh whenever fans get all riled up over things like Josh LeRibeus re-signing with the Redskins. The deal is for around minimum salary and the Redskins could afford to cut him at any time. He has been around for four years, they spent a draft pick on him, and they think he is worth keeping around. Scot McCloughan is not going to bypass a promising interior lineman in the draft because he has LeRibeus on the roster. If they don’t sign a veteran center like Stefen Wisniewski it won’t be because they have LeRibeus.

—After bringing back Junior Galette, will the Redskins move Trent Murphy to defensive end? That has been floated as a possibility and perhaps a final decision was pending Galette’s return. Murphy played as a 4-3 end in college and he has lined up with his hand in the dirt in pass rushing situations with the Redskins. But he would need to put on at least 20 pounds, line up more to the inside, and adjust to playing an entirely different kind of game. We will see what happens and we may not find out anything definitive until OTAs in late May.

—Is Galette the missing link on defense? He can help a lot if he’s healthy and motivated. With a one-year deal that would allow him to hit the free agent market at age 29 the latter seems to be a given. We won’t really know about how healthy he is until we see something we haven’t ever seen—Galette in full pads in a Redskins uniform rushing the passer in a game. Until then, there will be legitimate questions about his explosiveness. There are reasons to be confident that he will be 100 percent in training camp but seeing is believing.

Timeline

—The Redskins last played a game 67 days ago. It will be about 178 days until they play another one.

Days until: Redskins offseason workouts start 32; 2016 NFL draft 42; Redskins training camp starts 133

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Need to Know: Another big day on the ground on tap for the Redskins?

Need to Know: Another big day on the ground on tap for the Redskins?

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, December 11, eight days before the Washington Redskins host the Carolina Panthers.

Timeline

Today's schedule: Redskins vs. Eagles 1 p.m.

Days until: Panthers @ Redskins 8; Redskins @ Bears Christmas Eve 13; Giants @ Redskins, New Year’s Day 21

Injuries of note:
Out:
G Long (concussion), S Blackmon (concussion), DE Lanier (leg)
Limited: TE Reed (shoulder), G Scherff (ankle), DE Jean Francois (knee/foot), DE Baker (ankle), G Shawn Lauvao (groin)
Final injury report

Final thoughts on Redskins vs Eagles

—The Redskins have not stopped a team in a goal to go situation since September. The Eagles are good in such situations, converting TDs 84 percent of the time. If the Redskins can get a stop and force a field goal try when the first time the Eagles get down there that would be a big psychological boost for the visitors. Or, better yet, maybe they can just not let the Eagles get any first and goal opportunities. That’s what happened when the teams played in Week 6.

—In that Week 6 meeting the Redskins rushed for 230 yards, their best performance on the ground this season by 79 yards. Matt Jones picked up 135 yards on 16 attempts, Rob Kelley had 5-59, and Chris Thompson kicked in with 9-37. It’s unlikely that Jones will be active so it will be up to Kelley to get things rolling on the ground.

—For all the talk about Kirk Cousins having the Eagles’ number, he had one of his worst statistical games of the year against them in Week 6. He completed just 52.9 percent of his passes, his lowest completion percentage of the season. Cousins also threw perhaps his worst interception of the year, a pick six that tied the game at 14 in the second quarter. The bottom line was that he made some plays and the Redskins won but he likely will have to play better this time for his team to prevail today.

—Carson Wentz has six interceptions in his last three games, including three last week against the Bengals. Josh Norman is due to get an interception, overdue, in fact. Don’t know what will happen but the chances seem good that a Redskin will get his hands on a Wentz pass today.

—We saw last week that the Redskins are not a lock to go on the road and win against a team that is desperately fighting for its playoff life. Fortunately for the Redskins, the Eagles do not have players who are the equals of David Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald, and Patrick Peterson. While plenty can go wrong I think the Redskins come away with with the win.

Redskins 28, Eagles 24

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Redskins bring former starting center back to active roster

Redskins bring former starting center back to active roster

The Redskins officially brought Kory Lichtensteiger back to the active roster, and while the move is now for depth, it could have other ramifications down the road. 

The move is on the NFL's transaction report for Saturday. To make room for Lichtensteiger, the team released defensive lineman A.J. Francis. 

Dealing with injuries up and down the line of scrimmage, Lichtensteiger's return could give the offensive front more flexibility. When Lichtensteiger got injured Week 3 and sent to the injured reserve, third-year pro Spencer Long stepped in and performed well at center. Last week in Arizona, Long sustained a concussion.

That injury opened the door for John Sullivan, who will start this week in Philadelphia with Long ruled out. Sullivan was brought in as a backup to Long once Lichtensteiger was put on IR. With Long now in the NFL concussion protocol, the Redskins need another center should Sullivan get hurt. Alas, Lichtensteiger's return from the IR. 

Left guard Shawn Lauvao also sustained an injured groin, and that's where things could get interesting. Long is capable of playing guard, as is Lichtensteiger in a pinch. Should Lauvao's injury persist, Lichtensteiger might be able to help there.

Against the Eagles, the plan certainly appears to be second-year man Arie Kouandjio starting in place of Lauvao. Kouandjio made one earlier start this season - Week 4 against Cleveland - and the results were mixed.

If Kouandjio stumbles and Lauvao needs more time, Lichtensteiger's return to the roster gives Jay Gruden and Bill Callahan more flexibility, especially when Long returns from injury.

In fact, once the team has Long, Lichtensteiger and Sullivan healthy, there could be a bit of a logjam roster-wise on the offensive line, but considering all the injuries, bumps and bruises that are part of O-line life by the last four games of the season, the Redskins staff likely won't mind figuring that out. 

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