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Need to Know: Trent Williams says 'I feel fine', expects to play

Need to Know: Trent Williams says 'I feel fine', expects to play

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, December 5, three days before the Washington Redskins host the Kansas City Chiefs.

Nickel coverage

Five notes from around Redskins Park:

1. Maurice Hurt moved from the PUP list to injured reserve with, according to Mike Shanahan, no specific injury. “I don’t think he really has one [injury] in particular but you’ve got activate somebody or deactivate somebody and we decided to go in that direction.” He had arthroscopic surgery on his knee during OTAs, started camp on the PUP list, and has been there ever since. Hurt, who started eight games at left guard as a rookie in 2011, has a year left on his contract and he presumably will be back to compete for a job in 2014.

2. For much of the season, the Redskins’ injury report was not much to look at. Many weeks there were perhaps a few players who were limited in practice but the list has rarely been long and the injures haven’t been very serious. The Wednesday list was eight names long with four starters—OT Trent Williams (foot), S Brandon Meriweather (chest), S Reed Doughty (concussion/shoulder), and TE Jordan Reed (concussion)—being held out.

3. Williams was reportedly in a walking boot yesterday but it was gone today. “I feel fine,” he said. “I had a bone bruise.” When asked if he would be able to play he said, “I think so.” Williams has not missed a start in the last two seasons.

4. Robert Griffin III said that he hopes to be able to work on some aspects of his game during the last four contests this season. But the goal remains the same as it has all year. “We still approach it the way we normally do – try to win the game,” said Griffin. “As a player, coaches can only coach so much. You have to be able to look at yourself and be hard on yourself, too. Those are the things that I’m probably not going to share but those are the things that I try to focus on myself to just get better each week.”

5. I asked Shanahan if there has been any common thread running through the pass protection issues the team has had lately. Griffin has been sacked 19 times in the last four games. His answer was expectedly vague. “You know if it’s the offensive line, you know if it’s the quarterback, you know if it’s the running back, that’s what you do,” he said. “So in an area if you do have five sacks or you do have four sacks you’re saying, ‘Hey, where did those sacks occur? Do we have to get rid of the ball quicker? Is the offensive lineman? Is it the left tackle, the guard, the center, did they miss an assignment?’”

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Stat of the day

—If Alfred Morris rushes for four yards on Sunday, he will become the sixth Redskin to gain 1,000 yards or more for two consecutive seasons (John Riggins and Clinton Portis each accomplished the feat twice). He will be the first Redskin to do it in his first two years in the league.  

Timeline

—Redskins Hall of Fame wide receiver Art Monk was born on this date in 1957

—Days until: Chiefs @ Redskins 3; Redskins @ Falcons 10; Cowboys @ Redskins 17

—Today’s schedule: Practice 11:50; Mike Shanahan, Kyle Shanahan, and Jim Haslett news conferences and player availability after practice (approx. 1:30)

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Redskins bring former starting center back to active roster

Redskins bring former starting center back to active roster

The Redskins officially brought Kory Lichtensteiger back to the active roster, and while the move is now for depth, it could have other ramifications down the road. 

The move is on the NFL's transaction report for Saturday. To make room for Lichtensteiger, the team released defensive lineman A.J. Francis. 

Dealing with injuries up and down the line of scrimmage, Lichtensteiger's return could give the offensive front more flexibility. When Lichtensteiger got injured Week 3 and sent to the injured reserve, third-year pro Spencer Long stepped in and performed well at center. Last week in Arizona, Long sustained a concussion.

That injury opened the door for John Sullivan, who will start this week in Philadelphia with Long ruled out. Sullivan was brought in as a backup to Long once Lichtensteiger was put on IR. With Long now in the NFL concussion protocol, the Redskins need another center should Sullivan get hurt. Alas, Lichtensteiger's return from the IR. 

Left guard Shawn Lauvao also sustained an injured groin, and that's where things could get interesting. Long is capable of playing guard, as is Lichtensteiger in a pinch. Should Lauvao's injury persist, Lichtensteiger might be able to help there.

Against the Eagles, the plan certainly appears to be second-year man Arie Kouandjio starting in place of Lauvao. Kouandjio made one earlier start this season - Week 4 against Cleveland - and the results were mixed.

If Kouandjio stumbles and Lauvao needs more time, Lichtensteiger's return to the roster gives Jay Gruden and Bill Callahan more flexibility, especially when Long returns from injury.

In fact, once the team has Long, Lichtensteiger and Sullivan healthy, there could be a bit of a logjam roster-wise on the offensive line, but considering all the injuries, bumps and bruises that are part of O-line life by the last four games of the season, the Redskins staff likely won't mind figuring that out. 

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

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Redskins vs Eagles Preview: 5 things to know as Washington gets desperate

Redskins vs Eagles Preview: 5 things to know as Washington gets desperate

Losers of two straight games and for the first time in a month outside of the playoff picture, a desperate Redskins squad travels to Philadelphia for a 1 p.m. game on Sunday. All the action kicks off on CSN with Redskins Kickoff at noon, but to get ready for the action, here are five storylines to watch:

  1. Getting back to good, or at least decent - Two weeks ago the Redskins seemed like a dangerous playoff squad with a strong offense and an improving defense. After two straight losses where Joe Barry's defense has given up 62 total points, the questions are mounting for Washington. Can the defense get stops on 3rd down? Generate a turnover? The good news for the Redskins is that the Eagles are struggggggling. Their offense has not score more than 15 points in three straight weeks. 
  2. Feed the fat one - After giving Rob Kelley just 28 carries in the last two games, Washington offensive coordinator Sean McVay owned up to the Redskins lack of run game, "I definitely feel like I could’ve been more patient on some of those early down and distances where you get a little bit pass-heavy. And that’s something that as a decision-maker and as a coordinator, I have to do a better job." In a Week 6 win Kelley and Matt Jones piled up more than 200 rush yards against the Eagles. The 'Skins offense likely won't feature Jones, but expect McVay to feed Fat Rob plenty on Sunday.
  3. Playing in pain - The Redskins offense features a number of dynamic playmaking threats, but arguably the best is tight end Jordan Reed. On Thanksgiving in Dallas, Reed separated his left shoulder, and though he finished that game he was forced out of action in Arizona. Expect Reed to be back Sunday, and expect Kirk Cousins to look for him early and often. On the season, Reed has more than 600 receiving yards and five TDs.
  4. If it ain't broke - Kirk Cousins has had more success against the Eagles than any other team in the NFC East. In four career games against Philly, COusins averages 336 yards per game passing to go with a 101.3 QB rating. He's thrown 10 touchdowns against the Eagles to just two interceptions. The biggest win of his career came last year when Cousins and the 'Skins clinched the NFC East title at Lincoln Financial Field. Cousins suceeds against the Eagles, and there's no reason it should stop Sunday. 
  5. Don't fly away - Rumors are starting to circulate that the Eagles would like to bring back DeSean Jackson next season. It's well known that Jackson will probably hit free agency after this season, and if Philly did pursuit their former playmaker, it would make sense. But between now and then, Jackson has another opportunity to torch his former team and help the Skins pursue a Wild Card bid at the same time. In his past two games, Jackson and COusins have connected on deep patterns, and there's little reason to tbink the same won't happen Sunday.

Numbers & Notes

  • If tight end Vernon Davis catches three passes he will become the 12th tight end in NFL history to record 500 career receptions.
  • With two more catches, wide receiver Jamison Crowder will set a single-season career high in receptions. He caught 59 passes in 2015.
  • If the Redskins win would mark five straight victories against the Eagles for the Redskins for the first time since a six-game winning streak in the series across the 1981-84 seasons.

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!