Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, July 2, 22 days before the Redskins start training camp.
Three and out
What are the chances that the Redskins line up in Houston on Sept. 7 with the same line that has been the first unit during OTAs and minicamp? Let’s take a look.
—The more I think about it, the more I think that Spencer Long has a decent shot at beating out Chris Chester for the starting right guard job. Although Jay Gruden dished out a few platitudes about the line that has been in place the last two seasons I don’t think he was really happy with what he saw from it. It’s difficult to see him getting the Redskins’ new beginning underway by starting four of the five members of that line. Besides the departed Will Montgomery, Chester was the weak link on the line last year. It’s easy to see Gruden going with Long, assuming that he can show he is close to Chester’s equal.
—Does tackle Morgan Moses, who was drafted before Long, have a shot at starting opening day? Although I wouldn’t rule it out I don’t think that Moses’ chances of starting are nearly as good as Long’s. Tackle is a more complex position to learn and I get the impression that Moses was drafted with the idea that he is a project, that he’ll be good but not right away. Tyler Polumbus’ experience the last two years has been the opposite of Chester’s; the tackle was better last year than he was in 2012. Still, the courting of Donald Penn showed that the Redskins would like to replace Polumbus and it’s hard to rule out them doing that sooner rather than later.
—Looking at the other potentially vulnerable holdover, what are the chances that Kory Lichtensteiger gets bumped from his center position? Gruden could pick from veteran Mike McGlynn or third-year lineman Adam Gettis if he wanted to replace Lichtensteiger in the lineup. McGlynn is the bigger player and has 48 career starts under his belt; Gettis is more athletic and could fill the position for the long term. Lichtensteiger is the safest of the three veterans discussed here but not quite a sure thing.
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—It’s been 185 days since the Redskins played a game; in 67 days they play the Texans in their 2014 season opener.
—Days until: Training camp 22; Preseason opener vs. Patriots 36; Home opener Jaguars @ Redskins 74
Doug Williams is happy to be back
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In case you missed it
The Redskins made a roster move just before departing for Arizona to play the Cardinals.
They signed cornerback Dashaun Phillips from the practice squad and cut offensive tackle Blaine Clausell. The Redskins also waived safety David Bruton Jr. off of injured reserve.
Phillips was the Redskins’ nickel corner for the first three games of the season, and he made four tackles and recovered a fumble. But they moved rookie Kendall Fuller up into the slot corner role in Week 4 and Phillips spent several weeks on the inactive list before being waived on November 12 and added to the practice squad three days later.
The moves became known after Redskins coach Jay Gruden had spoken to the media for the day so we can only speculate as to the reasoning behind them. Actually, the release of Clausell isn’t hard to figure out. He was signed after Trent Williams started his four-game suspension and with Williams set to return on Monday and the other options at backup tackle healthy there was no point in keeping him around.
Phillips is likely going to Arizona as an insurance policy. The Cardinals like to spread the field with a lot of wide receivers. They will want to have five cornerbacks active. They do have Josh Norman, Bashaud Breeland, Fuller, Quinton Dunbar, and Greg Toler. But Breeland is listed as questionable with an ankle injury and they Redskins don’t want to take any chance of being caught short-handed at cornerback if he suffers a setback. That’s especially true when they don’t need to bring an extra tackle along.
Depending on how things shake out injury-wise against the Cardinals there is a good chance that we could see Phillips on the waiver wire once again as a roster spot will be needed for Williams.
TE Jordan Reed (shoulder)—The word heroic is thrown around too often when talking about what athletes do, in light if what, say, first responders do every day. But Reed playing in the second half out of the Dallas game with a third-degree AC joint sprain certainly was remarkable. But Gruden said that Reed won’t have sufficient range of motion in the shoulder or range of motion to be able to go against the Cardinals.
DE Anthony Lanier (leg)—The reserve lineman missed the second half of the Dallas game with a leg contusion. Gruden said he was kicked in the lower leg against the Cowboys and the swelling is still an issue.
LS Nick Sundberg (back)—He tweaked his back in the weight room before the Packers game and missed that game and the one against the Cowboys. He was a full go in practice all week and will return against the Cardinals.
G Brandon Scherff (ankle)—He has been limited in practice during the week but it seems certain that he will go against the Cardinals.
T Ty Nsekhe (ankle)—Ditto comment on Scherff above.
CB Bashaud Breeland (ankle)—He suffered the injury in practice this week and he was limited in practice on Thursday.
RB Chris Thompson (illness)—He was limited in practice during the week but he said in the locker room he will have his usual role on Sunday.
Also questionable for the Redskins: ILB Terence Garvin (shoulder) and DE Ricky Jean Francois (knee)
Check back for the Cardinals injury update after they release their report later this afternoon.