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Need to Know: Team issues overshadow RG3 vs. Kaepernick

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Need to Know: Team issues overshadow RG3 vs. Kaepernick

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, November 24, one day before the Washington Redskins host the San Francisco 49ers.

What they’re saying

Here is a look at what some NFL media types are saying about tomorrow’s Eagles-Redskins game:

Elliot Harrison NFL.com goes chalk

49ers 27, Redskins 17—“ We tried looking at this game through the prism of the Redskins turning their season around, but we're just not seeing it. The quarterback matchup is close, as are the teams' running games. The issue for Washington is defense, where about the only thing going for the Redskins is the pass rush (which has been strictly mediocre). It doesn't help much that Kai Forbath has missed some very makeable kicks.”

Comment: That last part hasn’t really come back to haunt the Redskins yet but it could on Monday.

From the MMQB.com, Andy Benoit says to look for a right-handed run game

For Washington, running effectively usually involves running behind left tackle Trent Williams, who might be the most athletic blocker in the NFC. (It’s either him or the Cowboys’ Tyron Smith.) This season, 403 of Morris’s 918 rushing yards have come on “wide left” runs. However, don’t be surprised Monday night if Morris runs more to the right. Not only would he avoid San Fran’s menacing run-anchor, Justin Smith, he’d also get a chance to attack either banged-up end Ray McDonald, who is playing with a biceps injury and sat last week with a sprained ankle, or backup end Tony Jerod-Eddie, who is not great at the point of attack.

Comment: Justin Smith is good but I still have Morris go in Williams’ direction until they stop it.

They guys at Pro Football Talk both picked the Niners by 10:

Michael David Smith: “San Francisco’s offense is slumping, but a trip to Washington is just the thing to fix an offensive slump. 49ers 30, Redskins 20.” Mike Florio: “The 49ers have more talent and motivation to get back on the right track, or risk sliding into third place in their division. 49ers 23, Redskins 13.”

Comment: The Redskins defense has been a slump buster all year. If Colin Kaepernick can bust out of his yearlong slump, it will be a long night for the Redskins.

On ESPN.com, Hoge goes out on a limb.

Of the 13 NFL.com analysts and talking heads, only Merrill Hodge picks the Redskins to win on Monday night.

Mike Tanier of Sports on Earth laments the lack of focus on RG3 vs. Kaepernick

49ers 27, Redskins 16: “Robert Griffin called the Redskins' too-predictable gameplan against the Eagles "disheartening." He then handed his thesaurus off to Colin Kaepernick to describe a 49ers offense that produced one 20-yard pass play in two weeks and deploys practice squad tight ends as slot receivers. Dejecting, demoralizing, dispiriting, appalling, consternating . . . Two of the most electrifying, dynamic young athletes on the American sports scene face off on Monday night, but all we can talk about is predictable offenses and inappropriate language. Disheartening. Disheartening.”

Comment: I’ll bet that both Griffin and Kaepernick do something that is worth the price of admission.

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Timeline

Days until: Monday night 49ers @ Redskins 1; Giants @ Redskins 7; Chiefs @ Redskins 14

Today’s schedule: No availability, walk through at Redskins Park

In case you missed it

Sunday 11.17

Monday 11.18

Tuesday 11.19

Wednesday 11.20

Thursday 11.21

Friday 11.22

Saturday 11.23

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Jordan Reed one of four Redskins to begin training camp on PUP list

Jordan Reed one of four Redskins to begin training camp on PUP list

RICHMOND - Jordan Reed will start Redskins training camp on the Physically Unable to Perform list. 

The team's PR informed the media that Reed is experiencing pain and soreness in one of his big toes. The move to PUP was characterized as precautionary and they want to ensure that issues don't linger into the regular season. 

DeAngelo Hall, Houston Bates, and practice squadder Kendal Thompson will join Reed on the PUP list. 

RELATED: RANKING THE REDSKINS ROSTER

For Reed, an integral part of the Redskins offense, there is a long history of injuries. In 2016, he missed time with a separated shoulder and a concussion.

Before Redskins fans freak out, remember Reed took part in minicamp and looked dominant. The PUP list also allows the Redskins to activate Reed once he's capable of practicing. 

Reed did not take part in voluntary OTAs with the Redskins in May, but was a full participant with the team at June's minicamp. 

Asked about injured players taking part in practice during Wednesday's press conference, head coach Jay Gruden opened up:

I think the injured guys are injured guys. We’re never going to change how we treat them. It’s the trainers’ job to tell us when they can go. I’m not going to keep a guy out of practice just because I think he might be injured. It’s up to the trainers and up to that player to let me know whether they can go or not. But like you said, we do have a luxury of having 88 or 87 healthy bodies where we can practice and function without somebody who is injured. That’s the trainers’ job​.

Expect much more on this development.

UPDATE:

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Expectations won't change for Kirk Cousins, regardless of contract status

Expectations won't change for Kirk Cousins, regardless of contract status

RICHMOND - Jay Gruden expects the same effort and production from Kirk Cousins, regardless of the now two-year long contract saga between the quarterback and the Redskins.

"The thing about Kirk is you’re never worried about his preparation. It’s not going to vary from day in to day out," the coach said. "He’s not going to come in and be a different guy every day. He’s the same guy every day. [He’s] a great competitor, wants to get better."

Talks between Cousins' represenatives and the Redskins seemed more congenial this offseason, though the result remained the same. Cousins will be paid $24 million this year on the franchise tag, after making $20 million in 2016 on the same tag. 

ROSTER BATTLES: Left guard | Tight end Nickel cornerback  | Inside linebacker | Running back

Redskins team president Bruce Allen explained in a statment that his organization made an offer to Cousins that included $53 million guaranteed. Considering the funny money nature of NFL deals, the offer really only guaranteed another season at about $28 million for Cousins before a series of advantageous terms for the franchise. The deal had no chance of completion considering Cousins' leverage.

Still, Gruden thinks his quarterback will deliver. 

"He has a lot of room for improvement and he wants to be coached and it’s fun to coach him."

If Gruden sounds confident in Cousins' ability to compartmentalize, he should. The quarterback did just that last season, passing for nearly 5,000 yards with 25 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. 

The Redskins, and Cousins, struggled in the red zone in 2016, and that's something Gruden wants to see improved. 

"The contract status will take care of itself eventually, hopefully, but right now it is what it is and we’re happy to have him for 2017."

Long-term deal, or not, it's time for Gruden to coach and Cousins to quarterback.

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