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Need to Know: Will Matt Jones have a big role for the Redskins?

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Need to Know: Will Matt Jones have a big role for the Redskins?

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, May 8, 82 days before the Washington Redskins open training camp in Richmond, VA.

Three and out

Thoughts on the Redskins as they continue to tinker with their roster in preparation for OTAs starting later this month.

1. Scot McCloughan was quite effusive in his praise of Matt Jones on Thursday, comparing his third-round draft pick to Marshawn Lynch. I don’t know about that, but the high praise does hint at a big role for Jones, at least in relation to the very light role that tailbacks not named Alfred Morris have had in the last three years. I’ll put the top end at 115 carries, 500 yards. If Morris’ production returns to what it was in 2013 (276 carries/1275 yards) the Redskins would have quite the potent running attack.

2. If Adam Hayward, Martrell Spaight, and Will Compton are battling for two jobs as inside linebacker reserves, I’m not so sure I’d write off Hayward’s chances of sticking around. He was the special teams captain before getting injured last year and he was instrumental in getting some of the younger players to buy in to what they were doing. The special teams improved from historically awful to merely bad last year and if they are going to continue to get better I think that Hayward needs to stay. So it could be Spaight against Compton for the remaining reserve spot.

3. Free agency may not be over for the Redskins. You’d have to think that they are looking for a free safety to back up Dashon Goldson after not getting a long-term solution in the draft. Teams are adjusting their rosters now but there doesn’t appear to be anyone out there who they would be comfortable with. Keep an eye on the waiver wire; the backup free safety could arrive on the roster anytime between now and a week before the season starts.

Out: The Redskins already have some of their draft picks under contract (as of this writing, Austin Reiter and Tevin Mitchel) and all of them are likely to be under contract before rookie camp starts on Friday. The lockout of 2011 was a drag but the rookie pay scale is the best thing to come out of it. Rookie training camp holdouts were dumb since most of the time the offers didn’t budge and the draft pick signed for the same money he would have had before missing a week or more of valuable camp time.

Timeline

—It’s been 132 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be 127 days until they play another one.

Days until: Redskins minicamp starts 38; Redskins training camp starts 82; Redskins @ Giants 138

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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In case you missed it

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Updating Redskins' injury list after loss to Cardinals

Updating Redskins' injury list after loss to Cardinals

GLENDALE, AZ—The Redskins went into today’s game against the Cardinals somewhat banged up and they exit with a couple of additional injury concerns in the form of concussions.

Center Spencer Long left the game in the second quarter. Initially it was announced that he had been evaluated for a concussion but that he had been cleared. But after halftime the word came down that he had been retested and it was determined that he does have a concussion. Long has entered the concussion protocol.

Veteran John Sullivan, picked up earlier this season when Kory Lichtensteiger went on injured reserve, filled in a center the rest of the way. He is a capable fill-in but if Long is out he would be the only available center. The Redskins might have to sign a center if it looks like Long will be out of action against the Eagles.

In the fourth quarter safety Will Blackmon left the game. According to Redskins coach Jay Gruden he was being evaluated for a concussion and a stinger. His exact status is unknown. Gruden will give more information during a conference call with reporters on Monday.

[MORE: JOSH NORMAN ON HIS CRUCIAL FOURTH-QUARTER PENALTY]

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Josh Norman on his crucial fourth-quarter penalty vs. Larry Fitzgerald

Josh Norman on his crucial fourth-quarter penalty vs. Larry Fitzgerald

GLENDALE, AZ—The Redskins had a couple of chances to stop what would eventually turn into the Cardinals’ game-clinching drive in the fourth quarter. The first one came when they went for it on fourth and one at their own 34. It was a gutsy call by Arizona coach Bruce Arians and David Johnson make him look smart by popping off a 14-yard run.

The Cards earned that one. But it looked as though they got something of a gift a few plays later when Josh Norman was flagged holding receiver Larry Fitzgerald. It was a borderline call, granting Arizona a gift third and five conversion. Two plays later Carson Palmer went in for the kill, throwing a 42-yard touchdown pass to J.J. Nelson.

On the field, Norman seemed to be none too pleased with the penalty flag. He said after the game that he thinks that Fitzgerald may have stolen a flag.

“He [Fitzgerald] was within five yards. Larry is a wily vet,” said Norman. “I'd been doing it all game, kind of . . . He breaks out and I go for the ball and the flag got thrown. We'd like to see that not happen in that situation because there was some good position, some good leverage. And a flag came out.

“It is what it is. You can't blame a call on that, blame a call on this. It's whatever, man.”

Norman is right. The Redskins blew plenty of chances to take control of the game and the blame can be spread around on both sides of the ball. But the flag will loom large as the Redskins try to shake off this loss and get ready for the Eagles next week.

[MORE: ANGRY JAY GRUDEN SAYS REDSKINS 'NOT EVEN CLOSE' TO THINKING ABOUT PLAYOFFS]