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Need to Know: Will Thompson remain in the mix for the Redskins?

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Need to Know: Will Thompson remain in the mix for the Redskins?

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, October 8, one day before the Washington Redskins play the Atlanta Falcons.

Saturday mailbag

Some good questions from Twitter and the Real Redskins Facebook page this week so let’s dive right in.

Johnson came in thinking he would be handed the starting job at strong safety. That was his first mistake. He got a strong challenge from Duke Ihenacho and he never really responded to it. A hamstring injury in training camp clinched the job for Ihenacho and let Trenton Robinson get past him on the depth chart, in position to get the job when Ihenacho went out for the season with a wrist injury. And it seems that Johnson simply has not responded well to his situation. We still have a long way to go in the season so perhaps Johnson will be heard from.

Chris Thompson is definitely in the plans to get touches on a regular basis. He’s not going to get 20 carries a game, or even 15. But they would like to get him three to five carries per game and target him four or five times in the passing game. Thompson could perhaps earn a few more touches if he does well but as long as Matt Jones and Alfred Morris are playing well it will be hard to get many more touches for Thompson.

There are no free agents out there in October who would be of legitimate help. They are as rare as unicorns. A trade? Maybe but the Falcons aren’t dealing Julio and no team with a similar weapon is going to cut an in-season deal, either. The Redskins are going to have to get along in the red zone with what they have. Although he is not huge, I think Pierre Garçon can help there as he showed against the Eagles. I also think they might get the ball to Matt Jones on a few passes out of the backfield.

I think that for starters, Morris’ numbers need to stop their annual decline we’ve seen since his big debut in 2012. He would need to become a better receiver out of the backfield and break some long runs. Right now, Morris is a very good runner but not an “elite” running back if you want to use the true since of the word. There are only a few of them, by definition—Peterson, Forte, Charles, Lynch. Morris is who he is, very good and a major asset to this team. But he is not an elite running back.

Grant is not going to be fast in and out of breaks because he’s not very fast. He is an outstanding route runner and that is how he will survive in the league. He will get chances for the next week or so while DeSean Jackson is out. When Jackson is back, however, it looks like Jamison Crowder will continue to be the slot receiver so Grant’s snaps, and so his chances, will be limited.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Walkthrough and travel to Atlanta; no availability

Days until: Redskins @ Falcons 1; Redskins @ Jets 8; Bucs @ Redskins 15

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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]