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Need to Know: Will DeSean Jackson be 100-percent for the Redskins?

Need to Know: Will DeSean Jackson be 100-percent for the Redskins?

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, November 15, the day the Washington Redskins host the New Orleans Saints.

PSA: If you’re attending the game today be sure that you take a look at the NFL’s statement on stadium security issued yesterday.

Five final thoughts on Redskins vs. Saints

—Despite pronouncements by Jay Gruden and Sean McVay that DeSean Jackson is 100 percent, or very close to it, I’ll believe it when I see it. I’m not a fantasy football player but I think that if you have a reasonable alternative and can’t afford to gamble you might want to consider leaving Jackson on the bench. There is the possibility you could miss out on 110 yards and a touchdown from Jackson but you could also see another five-point performance from him as well.

—The defense is going to be shaken up in an effort to be able to stop the decline that has seen the unit go from being ranked in the top 10 earlier this season into the 21st ranked in terms of yards per game. Will Compton will start at inside linebacker. If Keenan Robinson is healthy, Compton will start in place of Perry Riley. If Robinson is inactive it will be Compton in his place. And Trenton Robinson, who has been playing almost 100 percent of the plays at strong safety, will yield many of his snaps to some combination of Jeron Johnson and Kyshoen Jarrett. Those aren’t huge upgrades but they re improvements.

—Here’s a not-so-bold prediction—the Redskins’ status as one of three NFL teams that has not allowed an opposing quarterback to throw for over 300 yards this year will come to an end. Drew Brees will throw for something around 325. The key to slowing him down will be getting him on the ground (he has taken 22 sacks, a rate of 5.5 percent, 19th in the NFL) and making tackles to limit yards after the catch.

—For yet another game the No. 1 question going in from the standpoint of the Redskins offense is can they get their running game going. They are in the worst four-game rushing stretch in team history, with just 172 yards. Can they break out of it in a big way? Just about any way you want to measure it, the Saints have one of the worst rushing defenses in the NFL. Look for Matt Jones to possibly start at running back and for the Redskins to get things rolling, at least to a respectable extent.

—The Redskins are 3-1 at home and the Saints are 1-3 on the road. New Orleans’ only road win came in the retractable dome in Indianapolis. As I noted in a post earlier this week, Brees does not play as well outdoors as he does in a dome. If Kirk Cousins can protect the ball—in the last nine quarters he has one interception and that pass that bounced out of Pierre Garçon’s hands—the Redskins should put up enough points to win this one and go into the last seven games of the season with four wins under their belts for the first time since 2010.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Redskins vs. Saints 1 p.m., FOX

Days until: Redskins @ Panthers 7; Giants @ Redskins 14; Monday night Cowboys @ Redskins 22

In case you missed it

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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).

READ MORE: FULL UPDATE ON JORDAN REED

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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