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NFC East roundup: Giant pains for New York?

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NFC East roundup: Giant pains for New York?

Not that Redskins nation will have any sympathy, but the Giants have their own batch of walking wounded, most notably running back Ahmad Bradshaw (neck), right tackleDavid Diehl (knee) and Hakeem Nicks (foot). Then again, at this point neither starter is at this moment out for the season, hence the no sympathy from the Orakpo-Carriker loving locals (not to mention, hello, we're talking about an NFC East team).Both Bradshaw and Diehl missed the Giants' Tuesday morning practice as the team prepares for Thursday's game at Carolina. Diehl's MCL injury likely keeps out of action, especially on a short week, meaning the Panthers would go with31-year-old ex-Redskin Sean Locklear. After tweaking his previously injured right foot against the Bucs, Nicks also skipped practice, butis expected to play against Carolina. Fellow receiver Domenik Hixon (concussion) may not be as fortunate.As for those fantasy folk wondering what to do should Bradshaw sit out, the easy answer is pickup free agent Andre Brown, who took over in the win over Tampa Bay. However, Brown, the Giantsthird down, isa rather ordinary talent while the other option, David Wilson, was the Giants first-round pick this year. Unfortunately for the former Virginia Tech star, he found his way into coach Tom Coughlin's doghouse after fumbling in the season opener and has yet to make his way out. Should you own Bradshaw but not Wilson, grab Brown has a hedge if you have roster space, but realize the Giants want Wilson to emerge. That makes both risky plays for Week 3 and thus avoid if you have other options.Speaking of season-ending injuries, the Eagles suffered a key one in Sunday's thrilling win over Baltimore. Philadelphia officially placed center Jason Kelce on injured reserve Tuesday after fully tearing his MCL and partially tearing his MCL, CSNphilly reported.Kelce went from being a sixth round last season to Philadelphia starting center and not in a "well someone has to" sort of way. Now the Eagle, already without Pro Bowl left tackle Jason Peters for the season, turn to first-year player Dallas Richmond as the guy Michael Vick takes snaps from. Left tackle King Dunlap, Peters replacement,missed chunks of Week 2 with a hamstring injury.Philadelphia next faces fellow undefeated squad, Arizona. The Cardinals put repeated pressure on Tom Brady during last week's upset win over the Patriots.Felix Jones already lost his starting running back job to explosive second-year stud DeMarco Murray. Now, he mightbe saying adios toremaining primary gig. That's what happens when you're the kick returner and promptly fumble the opening kickoff on the road.Jones's gaffe against Seattle led directly to a Seahawks field goal, putting Dallas into an early hole that only got deeper. Cowboys coach Jason Garrett intimated after the loss that he would ponder other return menoptions.Forget just losing another job; some observers are suggesting the under-achievingJones should flat out lose his roster spot.

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Jay Gruden views Chris Thompson as the NFL's best third-down running back

Jay Gruden views Chris Thompson as the NFL's best third-down running back

In 2016, Chris Thompson simply needed to prove to Jay Gruden that he could handle 16 NFL games.

Now, looking ahead to 2017, the fifth-year running back hopes to show his head coach he can shoulder 16 NFL games and a larger workload.

"I have a feeling that I might get a little more this year," Thompson said on Monday at the Redskins Charitable Golf Foundation.    "[Gruden] knows now that I'm healthy and I can stay healthy, which I think that was one of his biggest concerns. So now he sees that I can handle the load, I think that I'll get a lot more opportunities this year."

Last season was by far the best in the 26-year-old's career. He played a full slate of games after playing in just 19 over his first three seasons combined, and he set career highs in rushing attempts (68), yards (356), receptions (49), receiving yards (349) and total touchdowns (5).

MORE REDSKINS: TEAM IS AHEAD OF SCHEDULE WITH PLANS FOR NEW STADIUM

He also held up well in pass protection, a key duty for him as the team's third-down running back. And it's all of those qualities — being able to contribute on handoffs and with catches while also providing help in keeping Kirk Cousins upright — that make him an excellent fit for a popular NFL duty.

The most excellent in that duty, actually, if you ask Gruden. 

"I think Chris Thompson's role is big," he said. "When you're talking about third downs, that's the most important down in football. There's nobody better as a third-down back in my opinion than Chris. He's got a huge role on this football team." 

Gruden went on to indicate that an increase in Thompson's responsibilities is likely coming, though No. 25 will still do the majority of his work when the offense needs him most.

"Whether he does some more stuff on first- and second-down will be determined," he said. "I'm sure he will. But he's so valuable on third-down that I gotta keep him in that role for now."

A 2013 fifth-round pick who came into the league with a history of injuries, Thompson has now fully gained the trust of his coaches and teammates. The 5-foot-8 running back may be small in stature, but the Redskins know he's not small in importance.  

RELATED: RANKING THE TOP ROOKIE QBS FOR FANTASY FOOTBALL

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Fantasy football: Ranking the top eight rookie quarterbacks in 2017

Fantasy football: Ranking the top eight rookie quarterbacks in 2017

Rookie camps are in the books as teams now move to organized team activities. Does that mean it's too early for fantasy football rankings? 

Probably, but seeing as the rookies are new to the scene, we might as well start projecting where and how they fit. 

CLICK HERE FOR CSN'S 2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL ROOKIE QB RANKINGS

Ezekiel Elliott, Dak Prescott, Sterling Shepard and Michael Thomas were among the rookies who produced and then some in 2016.

Based on the early rounds of the 2017 NFL draft, there’s hope for even more first-year standouts.  

Starting with the Bears selecting quarterback Mitch Trubisky second overall, 19 skill players were drafted in the first and second round.

That includes fellow first-round quarterback selections Pat Mahomes and Deshaun Watson. Several sleeper candidates followed. 

Here’s my look at the Elite Eight quarterbacks with the 2017 fantasy football season -- and beyond -- in mind.

CLICK HERE FOR CSN'S 2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL ROOKIE QB RANKINGS

2017 Fantasy Football Rookie Rankings:

Running Backs - No. 1, Leonard Fournette, Jaguars

* Wide receivers - No. 1, Corey Davis, Titans