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Need to Know: Shanahan praises Redskins' defense

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Need to Know: Shanahan praises Redskins' defense

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, October 15, five days before the Washington Redskins play the Chicago Bears at FedEx Field.

Nickel coverage

Five quotes and notes from Mike Shanahan’s Monday news conference:

Shanahan was asked about the punt that bounced off of the legs of a Cowboys player and was awarded back to Dallas despite the fact that the Redskins pounced on the ball. The officials ruled that the player had been blocked into the ball so it’s al though he had not touched it. By the way, former NFL official Mike Pereira told Grant Paulsen of WFAN that he also thought it should have been the Redskins’ ball.

I saw it. It was a missed call. I saw it during the game, but if somebody makes a call incorrectly and that’s what they see, you can’t challenge it. So it’s just a missed call. We should have had the ball there.

Shanahan on the Redskins’ defense, which allowed a season-low 213 yards to the Cowboys.

I think I shared with you that I was very pleased with our defense. I thought it was their best game of the year by far. Any time you have that type of run defense and you go against a quarterback that’s had a lot of success and you play at that level, you feel very good. The defense gave us many opportunities to win that football game, but we didn’t take advantage of it offensively or [on] special teams. In order to win those games, you’ve got to play good in all phases, especially on the road.

David Amerson suffered a concussion on a special teams play, a kickoff that ended up being a 90-yard return for Dwayne Harris. Shanahan thinks that Amerson could have avoided the big hit and made a tackle on the play:

Well, it was definitely helmet-to-helmet. David, of course in that position, he’s going to learn in time that he’s got to hit that hole a little bit harder. He can’t wait. He’s got an excellent opportunity to go in there and make the play and that’s just a guy with a little inexperience. Next time he’s in that position, he’ll make the tackle.

On Robert Griffin III running more:

I think everybody saw that Robert did look more comfortable running the ball, making plays out of sequence. Really it’s a credit to him making some of those plays, but collectively we’ve got to get better as a team. Obviously the more he can do the better off we’ll be.

On losing long snapper Nick Sundberg for the season:

Anytime you lose a guy that you count on, it takes some work, takes some timing. If it’s on extra points and field goals, if it’s on punts, it does take some time. There’s a learning process that goes with it.


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Stat of the day

—Alfred Morris is on pace to have 230 rushing attempts this season. He had 335 attempts in 2012.

Timeline

—Days until: Bears @ Redskins 5; Redskins @ Broncos 12; Chargers @ Redskins 19

—Today’s schedule: Off day, no availability                                                                     

In case you missed it

Griffin sharper running, passing needs work

@Rich_TandlerCSN on Twitter
Been covering Shanahan since he got to DC, never remember him talking about a departed #Redskins player like this: http://t.co/JLlDgarToT

— Rich Tandler (@Rich_TandlerCSN) October 15, 2013

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Long injury list hampers Redskins practice

Long injury list hampers Redskins practice

As Jay Gruden stepped to the podium to read the injury report, he warned, “This will be a while.”

He was right, as he rattled off one the longest injury reports of the season.

Out were G Spencer Long (concussion), S Will Blackmon (concussion), DE Chris Baker (ankle), DE Ricky Jean Francois (knee/foot), DE Anthony Lanier (lower leg), G Shawn Lauvao (groin), OT Ty Nsekhe (ankle), and S Donte Whitner (illness).

Of that group, all but Jean Francois, Lanier, and Nsekhe are starters. Between them and the limited players listed below it was difficult for the Redskin to conduct a normal practice.

“It was a challenge,” said Gruden of getting through it. “Practice was modified quite a bit today. We did more walkthrough today than we ever have on a Wednesday.”

“Sometimes you have to taper back just a hair to make it through practice, try to get the mental reps in with walkthrough and then hopefully the physical part will come maybe tomorrow. Friday we can open them up a bit.”

Limited in practice were TE Jordan Reed (shoulder), OLB Preston Smith (groin), ILB Will Compton (hip), G Brandon Scherff (ankle), and TE Derek Carrier (knee).

READ MORE: FULL UPDATE ON JORDAN REED

Reed returned to practice for the first time since suffering a Grade 3 sprain to the AC joint in his left shoulder in the game against the Cowboys on Thanksgiving. He missed the game in Arizona. While his limited participation was a good sign for his return it’ is way too early in the week to say with any degree of certainty that he will be playing against the Eagles.

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Robert Griffin III set to start Sunday for Browns vs. Bengals

Robert Griffin III set to start Sunday for Browns vs. Bengals

RGIII is finally getting another chance to play.

Plagued by injury after injury — most recently breaking a bone in his left shoulder in the Brown’s 29-10 loss to the Eagles in their season opener — the former Redskin is set to start for Cleveland against the Bengals on Sunday, ESPN’s Dan Graziano reports.

Griffin was cleared for contact last week after missing the majority of the Browns’ 0-12 season, and the team is coming off a bye week after its last loss to the Giants over Thanksgiving weekend.

In 2015, Kirk Cousins replaced Griffin as starting quarterback, and the Redskins released him at the end of the season. He signed a two-year, $15 million contract with Cleveland in March.  

In Griffin’s absence, the Browns have relied on Cody Kessler and Josh McCown, who boast a 65.5 and 54.5 completion percentage, respectively. The two combine for just 12 touchdowns this season.

Will Griffin be the key to ending the Browns’ winless season? We’ll find out Sunday.

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