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Need to Know: Spotlight on RG3 but Morris could be the key

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Need to Know: Spotlight on RG3 but Morris could be the key

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, September 9, the day the Redskins open up their season against the Eagles at FedEx Field.

Nickel coverage

1. Explain to me why at 6-feet-2, 223 Robert Griffin III is somehow too fragile to get hit too often but Adrian Peterson, who is listed at 6-2, 217, can carry the ball 348 times and it’s not an issue. I know that generally speaking a quarterback will take more direct shots than a running back. Still, the level of worry over Griffin getting hit 100 or so times at his size is way over the top compared to the concern over Peterson.

2. Since Mike Shanahan came to the Redskins they have rushed for at least 130 yards in four of their six meetings with the Eagles. They are 3-1 in those games. The spotlight on Monday night will be on RG3 but maybe it should be on Alfred Morris.

3. A Redskins win on Monday night would tie Mike Shanahan with Tom Landry for the most opening day wins by a coach since the NFL merger. Six more wins this season will move Shanahan past Bill Parcells and into top 10 in all-time regular season wins as a head coach (currently 167-125).

4. If the Eagles open up in a three wide receiver set, the Redskins likely will be starting two rookie defensive backs. Bacarri Rambo will be at free safety and David Amerson will be the nickel back. There is plenty of cause for concern there but one thing you have to figure is that they have faced the kind of offensive attack we expect to see from Chip Kelly’s team a lot more recently than most of the veterans have.

5. I’ll probably say this more than once this year but if you’re complaining about either anti-Redskins bias or not enough Redskins on your choice of NFL pregame shows and you’re not watching Redskins Kickoff on Comcast SportsNet with Chick Hernandez, Trevor Matich, Brian Mitchell and others, I can’t help you.

Stat of the day

—Last year against the Eagles RG3 completed 77 percent of his passes, averaged 10.2 yards per attempt, and threw six touchdowns to one interception.

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Timeline

—One year ago today Robert Griffin III made his NFL debut by completing 19 of 26 passes for 320 yards and two touchdowns as the Redskins defeated the Saints 40-32.

—It’s been 243 days since the last Redskins game; the next one is today

—Days until: Redskins @ Packers 6; Lions @ Redskins 13; Redskins @ Raiders 20

—Today’s schedule: Redskins Kickoff on Comcast SportsNet 6:00; Eagles at Redskins ESPN 7:10; Redskins Post Game Live on Comcast SportsNet immediately after the game.

Tarik previews Redskins-Eagles

In case you missed it

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Redskins promote CB Phillips from practice squad, waive Bruton Jr. and Clausell

Redskins promote CB Phillips from practice squad, waive Bruton Jr. and Clausell

The Redskins made a roster move 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.

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Redskins-Cardinals injury report: Reed out, seven questionable

Redskins-Cardinals injury report: Reed out, seven questionable

Redskins

Out

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.

Questionable

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)

Cardinals

Check back for the Cardinals injury update after they release their report later this afternoon.