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Need to Know: The top five running backs the Redskins will face in 2015

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Need to Know: The top five running backs the Redskins will face in 2015

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, July 11, 19 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.

Nickel coverage

Earlier this week I looked at the top five quarterbacks the Redskins will face this season. Here are the top five running backs on the schedule according to yards gained in 2014:

1. DeMarco Murray, Eagles (1,845 yards, 1st in NFL)—He ran up a good chunk of his rushing total last year at the expense of the Redskins, rolling for 241 on 39 carries in two games with the Cowboys. Was it that Dallas O-line that was mostly responsible? We’ll get some insight into that when we see Murray twice this year in a new uniform.

2. LeSean McCoy, Bills (1,319 yards, 3rd)—This thorn in the Redskins’ side (807 yards rushing vs. them in 11 games) was traded to the other conference but the luck of the schedule draw has the Redskins facing Buffalo this year. Washington actually did a better job against him last year than they have in the past, yielding 110 yards on 41 carries in two games to the Eagles back, an average of just 2.7 yards per carry.

3. Matt Forte, Bears (1,038 yards, 12th)—His 3.9 yards per rushing attempt average was the lowest of any back who finished in the top 20 in yards. But he was quite dangerous as a receiver, catching 102 passes for 808 yards (7.9 avg.). He will test the coverage skills of the Redskins’ linebackers when the teams meet in December.

4. Mark Ingram, Saints (964 yards, 14th)—The Saints traded away their 2012 first-round pick to move up to take Ingram in the first round in 2011. It appeared to be a mistake as he never gained more than 602 yards in any of his first three seasons. It still may prove to have been a bad move but his career could be on track after a solid 2014 season.

5. Chris Ivory, Jets (821 yards, 18th)—His carries in New Orleans dried up when they brought in Ingram, so the Saints shipped him to the Jets in 2013 in exchange for a fourth-round pick.

Timeline

—It’s been 195 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be 64 days until they play the Dolphins at FedEx Field.

Days until: Redskins training camp starts 19; Preseason opener @ Browns 33; final cuts 56

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Jay Gruden presser recap: Enough is on Chris Thompson's plate already

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Jay Gruden presser recap: Enough is on Chris Thompson's plate already

Here is a recap of Jay Gruden’s press conference on Wednesday:

—The injuries are covered in a separate post here. Jordan Reed was the only non-participant. Gruden said his status is “wait and see.”

—Gruden doesn’t see them playing Chris Thompson more than they do now. He noted that in addition to being the third-down back he also returns kicks and comes in on second and long plays. “It’s important for us to keep him healthy,” said Gruden. “He’s not a guy that I personally want to give him 30 carries a game.”

RELATED: MUST-SEE PHOTOS FROM REDSKINS' WIN IN LA

—In a year, Matt Ioannidis has gone from being on the practice squad to being a key member of the defensive line. Gruden was impressed with his play against the Rams. “Against the Rams, he played very well,” he said. “He had pressured the quarterback four or five times, he hawked down Tavon Austin on a jet sweep, which was a big play on the first play of the game. If he gets out of there, it could’ve been a 70-yard touchdown.” Gruden said that work in the weight room with help from fellow DL Ziggy Hood helped in Ioannidis’ transformation.

—Gruden said that the Rams game might have been the best of Jordan Reed's career despite gaining just 48 receiving yards on six catches. “Yeah, Jordan was awesome,” he said. “I thought he had the best all-around game he’s had in a while. I think, not just route-running, but blocking. He was outstanding in blocking. Had a key block on the touchdown Chris Thompson had on the second series of the game, was physical and did a great job.”

MORE REDSKINS: FIRST LOOK AT REDSKINS VS RAIDERS

—The Su’a Cravens situation was dismissed rather quickly. The Redskins will not be adding another safety to the roster. “No, we have Fish [Smithson] already as our fifth guy on the practice squad and he’s doing a good job, so we’re OK at safety spot,” said Gruden. “As far as Su’a’ is concerned, we just have to put it behind us, move forward and let him take care of his personal life and let us take care of this season.”

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Redskins injury report: Jordan Reed out of practice, six are limited

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Redskins injury report: Jordan Reed out of practice, six are limited

There were a lot of wounded Redskins on the practice field on Wednesday as the team started preparations for their game against the Raiders on Sunday.

One injured player was not on the field. Jordan Reed was out with a chest injury. Obviously, there is concern but Jay Gruden said that it is too early to rule him out of the game.

A half dozen players were limited: RB Rob Kelley (rib), S Montae Nicholson (shoulder), CB Josh Norman (shoulder), OT Morgan Moses (ankle), S Deshazor Everett (knee), and LB Mason Foster (shoulder).

RELATED: MUST-SEE PHOTOS FROM REDSKINS' WIN IN LA

While none of the injuries seems particularly serious, they still could affect each player’s status for the game.

Foster suffered a separated shoulder during the game, popped it back in, and continued without missing a snap. He said that said that he was letting the athletic trainers handle it. “I’m going in, getting my treatment, doing what they tell me to do,” he said.

Kelley suffered a rib cartilage injury in the second quarter on Sunday. He said that the pain was very high that day but that it has subsided since.

MORE REDSKINS: FIRST LOOK AT REDSKINS VS RAIDERS

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.