Here is what you need to know on this Friday, September 30, two days before the Washington Redskins host the Cleveland Browns.
—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.
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In case you missed it
- Doesn't seem Redskins intend for Josh Norman to shadow Terrelle Pryor
- Many changes in Redskins secondary but David Bruton healthy
- Redskins Playbook: Nothing certain for Redskins at LG
- Duke Ihenacho: Obviously I want to be playing
- Josh Gordon headed to rehab
- NTK: Are the Redskins committed to the run?
- Sullivan says he'll be ready quickly
- Redskins have been protecting Cousins well
- Once with Redskins, Browns new center could start Sunday
- Gruden presser wrapup: Jackson should be ready for Browns