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Need to Know: Veteran Redskins looking over their shoulders after the draft

Need to Know: Veteran Redskins looking over their shoulders after the draft

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, May 4, nine days before the Washington Redskins hold their rookie minicamp.

Timeline

—The Redskins last played a game 115 days ago. It will be 131 days until they host the Steelers in their 2016 season opener.

Days until: Rookie minicamp 9; OTAs start 20; Redskins training camp starts 85

Hot topic

We’ve already seen the draft, along with the signing of Josh Norman, cost veteran Chris Culliver his roster spot. Here are some other veterans whose roster spots are in danger after the Redskins picked seven players in the draft.

WR DeSean Jackson—Unlike the others on this list Jackson isn’t in danger of being released before the 2016 season starts. But it’s clear that with Josh Doctson on board the organization will choose to keep either Jackson or Garçon. Keeping neither is also a possibility; keeping both is not. Although Doctson is not the same type of receiver that Jackson is that doesn’t mean that he can’t take his spot as a No. 1 receiver, sending Jackson into the free agent market at age 30.

S Duke Ihenacho—I’m not betting against Su’a Cravens being the Week 1 starting strong safety and that could prove to be problematic for Ihenacho’s job security. Cravens joins DeAngelo Hall, Will Blacksmon, and David Bruton on the safety depth chart with the status of Kyshoen Jarrett pending injury rehab. Ihenacho could be on the outside looking in.

DL Kedric Golston—It’s pretty clear that Matt Ioannidis is a threat to Golston’s position on the D-line rotation. Chris Baker, Stephen Paea, Ricky Jean Francois, and Kendall Reyes are safe. It appears that Trent Murphy will join the group, leaving one spot for Ioannidis, Golston, and Ziggy Hood. I think we know who will get the nod if that is the case.

RB Chris Thompson—When your calling card is speed and a GM who didn’t draft you takes another speedy running back you could be in trouble. Actually, Thompson doesn’t have to worry as much about Keith Marshall as he does about a veteran like Pierre Thomas getting signed. That could make the veteran Matt Jones’ tag team partner and have Marshall and Thompson competing to be the third-down back. I think you know who would be favored in a battle between a McCloughan draft pick and a Shanahan draft pick.

Stat of the day

In 2015 the Redskins recovered 16 opponents' fumbles, leading the NFL in that category.

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Need to Know: Another big day on the ground on tap for the Redskins?

Need to Know: Another big day on the ground on tap for the Redskins?

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, December 11, eight days before the Washington Redskins host the Carolina Panthers.

Timeline

Today's schedule: Redskins vs. Eagles 1 p.m.

Days until: Panthers @ Redskins 8; Redskins @ Bears Christmas Eve 13; Giants @ Redskins, New Year’s Day 21

Injuries of note:
Out:
G Long (concussion), S Blackmon (concussion), DE Lanier (leg)
Limited: TE Reed (shoulder), G Scherff (ankle), DE Jean Francois (knee/foot), DE Baker (ankle), G Shawn Lauvao (groin)
Final injury report

Final thoughts on Redskins vs Eagles

—The Redskins have not stopped a team in a goal to go situation since September. The Eagles are good in such situations, converting TDs 84 percent of the time. If the Redskins can get a stop and force a field goal try when the first time the Eagles get down there that would be a big psychological boost for the visitors. Or, better yet, maybe they can just not let the Eagles get any first and goal opportunities. That’s what happened when the teams played in Week 6.

—In that Week 6 meeting the Redskins rushed for 230 yards, their best performance on the ground this season by 79 yards. Matt Jones picked up 135 yards on 16 attempts, Rob Kelley had 5-59, and Chris Thompson kicked in with 9-37. It’s unlikely that Jones will be active so it will be up to Kelley to get things rolling on the ground.

—For all the talk about Kirk Cousins having the Eagles’ number, he had one of his worst statistical games of the year against them in Week 6. He completed just 52.9 percent of his passes, his lowest completion percentage of the season. Cousins also threw perhaps his worst interception of the year, a pick six that tied the game at 14 in the second quarter. The bottom line was that he made some plays and the Redskins won but he likely will have to play better this time for his team to prevail today.

—Carson Wentz has six interceptions in his last three games, including three last week against the Bengals. Josh Norman is due to get an interception, overdue, in fact. Don’t know what will happen but the chances seem good that a Redskin will get his hands on a Wentz pass today.

—We saw last week that the Redskins are not a lock to go on the road and win against a team that is desperately fighting for its playoff life. Fortunately for the Redskins, the Eagles do not have players who are the equals of David Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald, and Patrick Peterson. While plenty can go wrong I think the Redskins come away with with the win.

Redskins 28, Eagles 24

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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. 

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