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Practice report: Redskins in full pads

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Practice report: Redskins in full pads

RICHMOND—It was Fan Appreciation Day, it was crowded, and it was hot. And they had a lively two-hour practice to wrap up the week in Richmond.

—The Redskins practiced in full pads for the first time on Saturday. Under Mike Shanahan the team has usually practices in shorts but with new rules requiring players to wear knee and thigh pads, Shanahan wanted to get the players acclimated to the change. Some were already wearing them, others didn’t mind the change. A few others, well, one unidentified player spoke for them when he yelled “(Expletive) these knee pads!”

—Aldrick Robinson has been one of the stars of camp. If he truly “gets it” he could be a great weapon.

—Robert Griffin III was putting on quite a show for the fans during one on one drills. His first deep pass was on the money to Skye Dawson but the rookie’s knee hit the ball while he was trying to catch it and it popped out. Then Dez Briscoe dropped another deep ball. After that his receivers held on. His final pass was a perfectly thrown long bomb to Robinson, who made the catch. Griffin kept his follow through extended as the ball traveled in the air and gave a quick little “basket good” sign when Robinson hauled it in

—There were some real NFL officials on the sideline for today’s practice. On one deep pass during 11 on 11 a receiver made a catch on a deep pass near the sideline. The line judge, who was stationed near the line of scrimmage, signaled that the pass was complete. Jim Haslett yelled, with a smile, “How can you see that from where you are?” The zebra yelled back to Haslett, “How can you see it?” The official had a point; Haslett was stationed about 12 yards behind the line of scrimmage, further away from the play.

—Pat White took off running to the left and had some room to operate. About 20 yards downfield near the sideline, however, safety Jose Gumbs knocked the ball out of White’s hand. Gumbs recovered the fumble. White’s running ability is what is giving him a shot here and he just can’t make mistakes like that fumble, especially when it was the result of him holding the ball carelessly.

—I’m not sure who should have blocked Ryan Kerrigan on a running play but nobody did on a handoff to Roy Helu Jr. Had Helu been a player on another team, he would have been blown up.

—Fred Davis got his hands on a pass and almost immediately had it knocked out by Richard Crawford. Taking advantage of the striped shirts being there, we asked for a ruling. Catch and fumble, the line judge said. Davis had control and took two steps before he was stripped. The ball bounced back up into Davis’ arms anyaway.

—Santana Moss fielded a few punts during special teams drills but he is not going to do that during the season unless there is a dire emergency. He said the other day that he just wanted to stay in practice.

—Griffin was 13 for 17 in seven on seven work. His incompletions were a misfire on a short pass to Pierre Garçon, one near the sideline that was too high, a pass that was a bit too wide for Davis to lunge for and an apparent miscommunication on a pattern by Moss. He had a number of good throws including a dart to Leonard Hankerson over the middle (the receiver bobbled the ball before securing it) and a soft toss to Moss after a scramble. That pass had perfect arc and touch to it.

—In red zone 11 on 11, Kirk Cousins threaded the needle on a pass to Moss for a touchdown.

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Need to Know: Redskins look for fifth straight win over Eagles

Need to Know: Redskins look for fifth straight win over Eagles

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, December 5, four days before the Washington Redskins play the Philadelphia Eagles.

Timeline

Today's schedule: Practice 1:05; Jay Gruden and Kirk Cousins news conferences and open locker room after practice approx. 3:00

Days until: Panthers @ Redskins 12; Redskins @ Bears Christmas Eve 17; Giants @ Redskins, New Year’s Day 25

Injuries of note vs. Cardinals:
C Spencer Long (concussion), S Will Blackmon (concussion)
Long's concussion could force roster move

First look at Redskins vs. Eagles

The last time: The Redskins won 27-20 at FedEx Field in Week 6 in a game that was not really as close as the score indicated. The Redskins outgained the Eagles 493 yards to 239 and had the ball for 10 more minutes. Philly scored on a kickoff return and an interception return in a three-minute span in the second quarter and that was about all they had. The Redskins have now beaten the Eagles four straight times. 

The Eagles leaders: Quarterback Carson Wentz got off to a hot start, posting three passer ratings of over 100 in his first four games. In eight games since his passer rating is 70.1 and his high in a game is 91.4. Leading rusher Ryan Mathews had his first 100-yard game in Week 10; he shares the load with Wendell Smallwood and Darren Sproles. Jordan Matthews (57 receptions, 686 yards) is expected back after missing last week with an ankle injury. Sacks leader Brandon Graham (5.0) has only one sack in the last six games.

Be on the lookout: The Eagles have been getting it done on special teams for years. This year they have two kickoff return touchdowns and Darren Sproles averages 13.7 yards per punt return including a 66-yarder.

Hodgepodge: A Washington win would put them 2.5 games ahead of the Eagles with three to play. Barring a Philly win out/Redskins lose out scenario the Redskins would be out of last place in the NFC East in consecutive years for the first time since 2002-2003 . . . The Redskins already are ensured of avoiding double-digit losses in consecutive seasons for the first time since 2001-2002 . . . The Eagles have allowed over 400 yards of offense in two of their last three games.

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In case you missed it

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When will Jordan Reed return? Jay Gruden says he 'can't predict it'

When will Jordan Reed return? Jay Gruden says he 'can't predict it'

The Redskins best pass cacther did not play in a loss to the Cardinals, and it appears there is still no clear timeline for Jordan Reed's return to the field. 

"Jordan will be day-to-day," Washington coach Jay Gruden said. "You know, we just have to wait and see."

Gruden issued the same statement on Reed last week, and the tight end proceeded to miss all Redskins practices for the week and was announced out for the Arizona game on Friday. Reed's injury came on Thanksgiving in Dallas when he separated his shoulder diving in the end zone for a Kirk Cousins' pass during the first half.

Incredibly, Reed returned in the second half and caught two touchdowns while playing in immense pain. Gruden and Cousins used words like 'stunned' and 'surprised' talking about Reed's return in the Dallas game, but looking forward to Philadelphia, it's hard to know what to expect from the tight end's shoulder.

"Everybody is different with these types of injuries and hopefully he is a fast healer but we’ll take him day-to-day, get him his treatment and go from there," the coach said. "I can’t predict it."

For the season, Reed has 59 catches for 630 yards and five touchdowns in just nine games. Reed missed two games earlier this year after sustaining a concussion against the Ravens.

Without Reed in the lineup against the Cardinals, the Redskins offense dipped in production. Cousins threw for less than 300 yards for the first time in three games, though backup tight end Vernon Davis had five catches for 47 yards. 

If Reed practices Wednesday, even in a limited role, would be a good sign for the 'Skins tight end. 

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