Quick Links

Need to Know: Tracking the lineup changes around Redskins Park

dunbar-int-vs-giants.png

Need to Know: Tracking the lineup changes around Redskins Park

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, September 30, two days before the Washington Redskins host the Cleveland Browns.

Timeline

Today's schedule: Practice 12:05; Jay Gruden and Sean McVay  news conference and player availability after practice, approx. 1:30 p.m.

Days until: Redskins @ Ravens 9; Eagles @ Redskins 16; Redskins vs. Bengals in London 31

Around Redskins Park

—It appears that the left side of the starting offensive line for Sunday is set. Trent Williams will stay at left tackle (the move that was the people’s choice), Arie Kouandjio will get is first NFL start at left guard and Spencer Long will play center. John Sullivan is likely to be active but he will play center only if Long can’t. I know that there is some trepidation about Kouandjio since he has only one NFL snap on his resume. But if a fourth-round pick can’t play guard after two offseason programs, two training camps, and a lot of practices and meetings something is very wrong.

—The Redskins have to find out if Kouandjio is a viable option at left guard for the long term. It will be surprising if both Shawn Lauvao and Kory Lichtensteiger are back next year and it’s possible that both will be gone. Week 4 is not necessarily the time for tryouts and experimenting but when two starters in the interior of the line go down you are forced to make moves that are less than ideal.

—It’s possible that 2015 draft pick Austin Reiter would be starting at center on Sunday if he was still on the team. But the Browns signed him off of the practice squad and he could start for them against his former team. They like the way he progressed over the offseason but it appears that he was on the first 53-man roster only because Long was dealing with an ankle injury and they wanted Reiter available. Gruden said that he was let go after Long was healthy because he was the third center and he didn’t play much guard.

—We will have to see how things shake out at cornerback with Bashaud Breeland (andkle) definitely out and Dashaun Phillips (hamstring) likely sidelined. Josh Norman (who is unlikely to follow Terrelle Pryor) obviously is the one starters but we may not find out what the rest of the lineup is until they line up for the first snap on Sunday. Greg Toler started against the Giants as the third CB so he might start opposite Norman. Or it could be Quinton Dunbar, who is best suited to play on the outside. Third-round pick Kendall Fuller will be active and he should see some snaps in the slot.

—The picture at safety seems to be clear with DeAngelo Hall out for the year. Will Blackmon is the starting free safety and David Bruton remains at strong. That’s not exactly a tandem that inspires a lot of confidence, with Blackmon still learning his spot after nine years as a cornerback and Bruton struggling to adjust to the defense. Should Duke Ihenacho play more? I think he should at some point but his injury history makes it hard for the team to have much hope that he can contribute long term. But it’s a long season and it seems likely that Ihenacho will get his shot somewhere along the line. The fourth safety, Deshazor Everett, is still viewed as primarily a special teams player.

Tandler on Instagram

Crowder with a nice grab. #Redskins

A video posted by Rich (@richtandler) on


In case you missed it 

 

Quick Links

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.

Quick Links

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.

MORE NFL: Trent Williams is back but shed little light on suspension