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Need to Know: Which Redskins could rise up the depth chart in 2015?

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Need to Know: Which Redskins could rise up the depth chart in 2015?

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, March 3, seven days before the Washington Redskins and the rest of the NFL start free agency.

Question of the day

We’re going back to the NTK format we’ve been using since last month. Every day I’ll give an in-depth answer to a question submitted by a fan on my Twitter feed, via the Real Redskins Facebook page, or in the comments section here. On Twitter address the questions to me at @Rich_TandlerCSN with the #NTK hashtag. There will be a comment thread set up on the Facebook page and if you’re asking your question here, put “for NTK” at the start of the comment.

Today’s question is from Twitter:

Let’s revive an tradition here on Need to Know and look at five backups and practice squad players who could have prominent roles in 2015. Of course, a lot of this could depend on who the team acquires in free agency and in the draft:

G Spencer Long—Starting with the one who has been talked about the most. It’s still uncertain if Chris Chester will be on the team much longer or, if he is, if he will be the unchallenged starter. Long is his likely successor and many would like to see that happen sooner rather than later.

S Phillip Thomas—Right now he is the only player on the roster with a substantial number of NFL snaps at strong safety. Both the free agent group and the draft class are weak at the position so Thomas could get at least a chance to compete for the starting job.

NT Robert Thomas—He was on the practice squad last year. With Barry Cofield gone and Chris Neild a free agent, Thomas could move up into the backup nose tackle spot. At 6-3, 325 he has the classic nose tackle build and he looked good in spots as a rookie in training camp.

RB’s Chris Thompson/Silas Redd—I’m putting them together here because I’m not sure if there are roles for both of them even though they are different kinds of backs. But if Roy Helu one could step into a more prominent role. Redd needs to overcome fumbling problems and Thompson needs to avoid the injury butg.

OLB Jackson Jeffcoat—He was inconsistent but flashed some when he got some snaps late in the year. Jeffcoat, who starred at Texas as a senior in 2013, is a candidate to take the next step and take a regular role on defense and contribute on special teams.

Timeline

—It’s been 65 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be about 194 days until they play another one.

Days until: NFL free agency starts 7; Redskins offseason workouts start 48; 2015 NFL Draft 58

If you have any questions about what's going on at Redskins Park, hit me up in the comments. And I'm always on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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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).

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.

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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.

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