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Need to Know: Will the Redskins go running back by committee?

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Need to Know: Will the Redskins go running back by committee?

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, September 2, one day before the Washington Redskins cut their roster to 53 players.

Timeline

Today's schedule: Off day, no availability

—The Redskins last played a game that counted 236 days ago. It will be 10 days until they host the Steelers in their 2016 season opener.

Days until: Cowboys @ Redskins 16; Browns @ Redskins 30; Redskins @ Ravens 37

Stock up/stock down vs. the Bucs

—I like Mack Brown and I think he could be a helpful player to have on the roster. But I just don’t see a spot for him. If they do take on a fourth running back I think it will be someone from outside of the organization, a veteran or an experienced back cut by another team. But I’d say they should stick with three; a fourth running back is like a fifth wheel. Keep Brown on the practice squad in case someone gets injured.

—The bigger implication of Wednesday night at running back may be in the division of carries. It seems that the offseason plan has been to give Matt Jones the vast majority of the carries, upwards of 75 percent of them. But the way that Robert Kelley ran, and the way he ran throughout the entire preseason, may prompt Jay Gruden and company to call his number more often. Jones will still get most of the rushing attempts but it may be more like a 60/40 split with Kelley and maybe Chris Thompson getting the other carries.

—If I was making the decision I probably would put Nate Sudfeld on waivers and try to get him through to the practice squad. If he gets claimed, oh well, find another developmental quarterback. But I don’t make those decisions and I think that the people in the Redskins organization who do will keep Sudfeld on the 53. It’s a defensible position, certainly. For one thing, a few teams needed three quarterbacks last year. For another, they have invested a lot of time in training Sudfeld in their system and they don’t want to start from scratch with another QB with the regular season getting underway.

—As of this writing, Josh Doctson is on the PUP list. He won’t be when Saturday rolls around. He has not practiced yet but they are not going to put him on the shelf for six weeks. I would look for him to be limited in practice the week leading up to the Steelers game and then inactive for the game. That pattern will continue for a few weeks until he gets up to full speed.

—On my final projection I have the Redskins keeping seven defensive linemen and 10 defensive backs. They could change that to keep Deshazor Everett on the roster. I don’t think that they really like their D-linemen beyond Chris Baker and maybe Ziggy Hood. If they think that their best 11 defensive backs are better football players than their best six D-linemen, why not set up the roster that way and keep Anthony Lanier and Corey Crawford on the practice squad.

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The answer was yes, I made it out. But it was close.

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A possible trade destination for Redskins RB Matt Jones?

A possible trade destination for Redskins RB Matt Jones?

RICHMOND—The Redskins reportedly have been looking to trade running back Matt Jones since just before the draft. They may be able to find a partner just up I-95.

The Baltimore Ravens are in need of a running back after Kenneth Dixon suffered a season-ending knee injury earlier this week. Terrance West, who gained 774 yards on the ground last year, is healthy and returning but the Ravens want more depth at the position.

That is where Jones could come into play. The 2015 third-round pick of the Redskins was the unquestioned starter going into last season. But fumbling and other issues prompted Jay Gruden to make him inactive the last nine games of the season. Jones further fell out of favor by skipping OTAs this year, a move he made on the advice of his now-former agent.

RELATED: Is Cousins overrated?

Ravens coach Jim Harbaugh said last year that he liked Jones “a lot” in the 2015 draft and he could well still be intrigued by his size and speed. ESPN Ravens reporter Jamison Hensley said that Jones could be a good fit for the Ravens in their current situation.

It should be noted that Hensley seems to be engaging in informed speculation and not relaying anything he heard from the team’s decision makers. He also speaks of the possibility of Baltimore picking up Jones after the Redskins release him.

But there could be some incentive for the Ravens to talk trade with the Redskins rather than waiting for Jones to hit the waiver wire. For one thing, getting their new back in sooner rather than later would benefit the Ravens, allowing the player to get acclimated to his new quarterback and offensive line. While the Redskins are inevitably going to cut Jones, they have no incentive to do so before the final cuts just before the start of the season. Perhaps the Ravens will want to give up some minor compensation, something like a swap of sixth- and seventh-round picks, to get Jones in for the start of training camp.

MORE REDSKINS: Ranking the Redskins roster, the final update

Hensley also mentions the possibility that the Ravens will look at former Redskin Alfred Morris for depth at running back. He currently is buried on the Cowboys’ depth chart behind All-Pro Ezekiel Elliott and Darren McFadden. However, there is the possibility of a domestic-violence suspension on the horizon for Elliott. While the suspension is likely to be brief the Cowboys probably don’t want to depart with any running back depth until the matter has been settled.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Ranking the 2017 Redskins roster, the final update: 1-10

Ranking the 2017 Redskins roster, the final update: 1-10

At CSNmidatlantic.com we projected the Redskins’ 53-man roster (offense, defense) right after minicamp. Now we are taking it one step further and ranking the 53 players we think will make the team.

The rankings are determined by who we think will have the most impact on the 2017 Redskins. No consideration was given for past performance or for what a particular player might do down the road. We’ll be revealing the rankings over the next few weeks.

Today we’re updating the list with the players we ranked from 1-10. Here are some of the players in our latest update:

—A 2016 free agent who needs to make more big plays.

—A rookie expected to bolster one of the weakest units on the team.   

—Each of the five highest-paid players on the team.

—What you won’t find: Any players who will be over the age of 29 in Week 1.     

Go here to see our ranking of the 2017 Redskins, players 1-53.

Stay up to date on the Redskins! Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.