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Need to Know: Who's in-out for Redskins-Steelers

Need to Know: Who's in-out for Redskins-Steelers

RICHMOND—Here is what you need to know on this Monday, August 19, five days before the Redskins take on the Bills at FedEx Field.

Game chat tonight

We had a great turnout for our first game chat of the year so tonight should be a lot of fun as well. Tarik, JP, and I will all be at FedEx Field for Redskins vs. Steelers. We'll get the chat going right here at 7:30 getting ready for the 8:00 kickoff.

See you there!

Playing time estimate roundup

Mike Shanahan is well known for keeping estimates for playing time in preseason games a closely guarded secret. He has, however, been more forthcoming lately. Here is the information I’ve been able to glean from various comments by players and by Shanahan.

Starters: “Normally, going into the second game, we double the reps of the first game,” said Shanahan. This might be a little bit more depending on how the game goes but in that 25-30 play range is what we normally do in the second game. We’ll just have to kind of get a feel as the game goes, but it’ll be somewhere in that area.”

For reference/comparison purposes, the Redskins ran 35 snaps on offense against the Titans while Tennessee ran 26.

Here is what was said about some specific players:

Brian Orakpo: Missed practice with a bruised quad but Shanahan said he could play “barring a setback”.

Rookie running backs Chris Thompson and Jawan Jamison: Shanahan gave a somewhat vague answer when asked if these two would play. “A lot has to do with kind of the flow of the game, how the game’s going,” he said. “Yeah, we’re going to try to evaluate all our players over the next three games, get everybody a chance, but it’s kind of hard to tell you exactly what’s going to happen because I’m not positive at this time.” Thompson did tell Tarik El-Bashir that he will play.

QB Kirk Cousins: Shanahan said that Cousins, who is both the No. 1 and No. 2 QB for the time being, will play a half, which could carry him beyond the 25-30 snaps the starters are schedule to play.

QB’s Rex Grossman and Pat White: Shanahan said both are likely to play, depending on how many snaps the offense runs.

RB Roy Helu Jr.: After having a strong game against the Titans, Helu will get some more snaps this week. “He’ll get some playing time this week,” said Shanahan.

TE Fred Davis: Might play past when the other starters exit. “He will probably play close to half,” said Shanahan.

TE Jordan Reed: It looks like Reed will make his debut on Monday. “I think so,” Shanahan said when asked.

WR Donte Stallworth (hamstring): He did not practice all week. “He’s getting a little bit better, but not good enough to play,” said Shanahan.

ILB Rodderick Muckelroy (shoulder): “Muckelroy right now, his shoulder is still sore,” said Shanahan. “We’ll see how it is over the next couple of days. It’s probably a long shot.”

CB Ryan Mouton (hamstring): “Mouton is a longshot as well,” Shanahan said.

LB Nick Barnett: The in-camp signee is still working his way into shape and recovering from offseason knee surgery. “He will not play” against the Steelers on Monday night, Shanahan said. “Hopefully there is an outside chance that he might take a few reps against Buffalo.”

Reports out of Pittsburgh indicate that the Steelers will play their first offensive unit for about a quarter but their starting offensive line may play the entire first half, depending on snap counts.

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Today’s schedule

Steelers at Redskins, FedEx Field, 8 p.m., ESPN

Minnifield turning heads in camp

In case you missed it

Days until: Bills @ Redskins 5; Final cuts 12; Eagles @ Redskins 21

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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!