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Need to Know: The five best quarterbacks the Redskins will face in 2016

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Need to Know: The five best quarterbacks the Redskins will face in 2016

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, June 21, 37 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp in Richmond.

Timeline

—The Redskins last played a game 163 days ago. It will be 83 days until they host the Steelers in their 2016 season opener.

Days until: Redskins training camp starts 37; Preseason opener @ Falcons 51; Final roster cut 74

Top five QBs the Redskins will face in 2016

The Redskins will face five on the top 10 quarterbacks in the NFL in terms of Football Outsiders’ DVOA metric.

Carson Palmer, Cardinals 34.4% (1st)—Every year I wonder if this will be the season that Palmer falls off but it hasn’t happened yet. He did end the season on a decidedly down note, throwing four picks in a blowout NFC title game loss to the Panthers. But he got them that far and he was solid week in and week out getting into that game.

Andy Dalton, Bengals 31.7% (2nd)—You have to think that Jay Gruden will spend some extra time with the defensive coaches since he knows Dalton as well as anyone, having coached him his first three years in Cincinnati. He was having by far the best year of his career last year when he suffered a broken thumb in Week 13. The Redskins will see Dalton on neutral ground in London.

Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers 22.1% (4th)—Big Ben is the only one on this list who is a future Hall of Fame enshrinee (in my opinion, anyway, feel free to debate that in the comments). He is usually left off of the list of elite quarterbacks but he’s just below that level. The Redskins will have a handful in Week 1 with Ben and WR Antonio Brown, his favorite target.

Jay Cutler, Bears 8.6% (9th)—You may be as surprised as I was to see Cutler considered a top 10 quarterback but there he is (FYI, Cutler was 16th in passer rating at 92.3). He put a scare into the Redskins in Chicago last year throwing for 315 yards and two touchdowns but Washington managed to hold on for the win.

Matt Stafford, Lions 8.0% (10th)—I think Stafford is an underrated quarterback. I think what hurts his reputation with the fans is that he throws so many passes that some of them are bound to go wrong and they show up on highlights. There also is the fact that’s he’s made a ton of money without a playoff win thanks to the old rookie pay system. But last year he completed 67.2 percent of his passes with 32 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. It seems like he’s been around for a long time but he’s just 27.

Cam Newton is not on this list because quarterback DVOA doesn’t take into account running stats and making plays with his feet is a bit part of his game. I wouldn’t argue if you put him at the top of it. He ranked 12th in DVOA.

[Edit]: Seeing some comments asking where Aaron Rodgers ranks. He is 17th with a DVOA of -1.0%. He's certainly better than that and should be in the top five but the numbers are what they are. He did not have a great 2015.

For purposes of comparison, Kirk Cousins ranked sixth with a DVOA of 19.7%.

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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).

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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