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Reading the tea leaves on Garçon

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Reading the tea leaves on Garçon

Ever since wide receiver Pierre Garçon was essentially shut down following the Redskins’ Week 5 game against the Falcons the thinking around Redskins Park has been that Pierre Garçon would return from his toe sometime between this upcoming game with the Eagles and the Monday night game against the Giants on Dec. 3.

As this week has unfolded, the consensus has been shifting towards Garçon returning sooner rather than later. There were some indications that the Redskins plan on playing their prize offseason free agent acquisition on Sunday.

For one thing, he seemed to be practicing harder than he has been. When he has been out there in recent weeks he has either been a spectator during the portion of practice that we can watch or running pass patterns without the sudden stops and cuts that are needed to play wide receiver in an actual game.

Things have been different this week. Garçon has been planting his foot and running patterns at something close to full speed.

“That’s a big plus because he hasn’t been doing that for a long time,” said Mike Shanahan on Garçon’s practices.

On Monday when asked if he would play against the Eagles, Garçon said the decision was up to the coach. Shanahan, as is his usual practice when talking about players coming back from an injury, would not say any definitive.

But Robert Griffin III may have let something regarding the receiver’s status slip. When asked if it looked like Garçon would be ready to play, Griffin first cautioned that he wasn’t the coach so it wasn’t his decision. But he continued in a vein that seemed to be telling.

“It will be good to have him back,” he said. “He’s looked good. Like I told him, we’re going to have many great seasons, many great games together. We might as well go ahead and start it now.”

Note the lack of “if” or other qualifiers in his statement.

The quarterback thinks that he and Garçon will pick up the chemistry they had going during the preseason and for the early phases of the season opener in New Orleans.

“The whole week we’ll work on our timing—getting that back,” said Griffin. “I threw to him all offseason, so it’s just a matter of getting that channeled back in. I think we’ll be able to do that.”

Even if he does play, that does not mean that Garçon is as good as new. He said that the toe was not 100 percent and that “it’s a pain all the time.”

“By no means is he 100 percent,” said Kyle Shanahan.

However, that doesn’t mean he will stay sidelined. “He does not have to be 100 percent to play,” said the offensive coordinator. “He still did some things in those games he played in that helped by just having him out there.

“We wanted to get him to 100 percent but now we’re not sure if he’ll get there and we’d definitely rather have him out here (at less that full capacity) than not at all because he can help regardless of where he is (in his rehab).”

Despite the way things look right now, there is no guarantee that the Garçon will suit up and play on Sunday. There could be a setback or they could decide that the toe isn’t quite ready to go. I am not much of one for giving fantasy advice but I would keep him on the bench unless you are out of alternatives.

But do not be surprised if Garçon ends up playing.  

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Need to Know: Twitter Redskins mailbag—Surprise cuts, improvement on defense

Need to Know: Twitter Redskins mailbag—Surprise cuts, improvement on defense

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, June 23, 34 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp in Richmond on July 27.

Timeline

The Redskins last played a game 173 days ago; they will open the 2017 season against the Eagles in FedEx Field in 79 days.

Days until:

—Franchise tag contract deadline (7/17) 24
—Preseason opener @ Ravens (8/10) 48
—Roster cut to 53 (9/2) 71

Fan questions—Twitter edition

I put up a tweet asking for fan questions and the questions I got required answers of the rapid-fire variety. So here we go (I answered some Facebook questions yesterday).

I think fans should be cautious about believing that new is necessarily better. That said, I would look for some modest improvement. If the pass rush delivers they should be better on third down. If the addition of Jonathan Allen upgrades the line they should be better against the rush. How fast can Allen and Ryan Anderson get up to speed? Enough pieces might come together to move them up from sub-mediocre into the middle of the pack. But a lot can go wrong.

Chances are that when they put out the first depth chart during training camp that rookie Chase Roullier, the sixth-round pick, will be the second-team center. If he is not ready, I think Roullier will be bound for the practice squad and the Redskins will find a veteran backup C on the waiver wire.

I’ve heard that floated around out there and it’s a pretty interesting proposal. There are some issues that would have to be worked out. For one thing, if the money is truly fully guaranteed then the Redskins would have to put every dime of it in escrow. They have a lot of cash but putting $88 million aside would create a cash flow pinch. And I’m not sure if it’s enough of a lure for Cousins. Big, long-term contracts are essentially guaranteed for at least three years because of the painful cap hit it would take to end the contract early so there wouldn’t be much added security.

That’s sort of a contradiction there, Chet. If a cut is “likely” in any way it’s not exactly a “surprise”. But to look at some who may go, I think that DeAngelo Hall could be in danger. His departure would surprise some. On the D-line, numbers may squeeze out Matt Ioannidis, a 2016 draft pick. There are a few more on the bubble but I don’t think any rise to the level of, say, Stephen Paea and Perry Riley getting cut in camp last year, something that in Junen few thought would happen.

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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In case you missed it

True or False: Rob Kelley will be Redskins leading rusher

Facebook Redskins mailbag—Media disrespect, Cousins risk

Redskins best chance at Kirk Cousins deal might be short-term

Picking 10 Redskins to protect in hypothetical expansion draft

Ex-GM outlines potentially staggering Cousins contract

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Oddsmakers give Kirk Cousins favorable shot at 2017 NFL MVP

Oddsmakers give Kirk Cousins favorable shot at 2017 NFL MVP

There continues to be a (ridiculous) debate on whether or not Kirk Cousins can continue to be a successful starting quarterback for the Washington Redskins.

In the betting industry, there is not much debate with Cousins being listed with 50/1 odds to win the NFL MVP award this upcoming season from Bovada. Among all the other players listed, he is in a tie for 14th. 

He is coming off back-to-back seasons with seven 300 yard passing games, a team record, and has an abundance of fresh, young wide receivers to compliment his passing style. Last year he was third in the league in passing yards with 4,917, trailing only Drew Brees (5,208) and Matt Ryan (4,944). 

The team may not be poised for a Super Bowl run in 2017-18, but if the team makes a post-season run, who will it be on the back of? Jordan Reed? Rob Kelley? Ryan Kerrigan?

No, it will be Kirk Cousins. 

RELATED: Ex-GM outlines staggering contract for Kirk Cousins

Entering this season at 40-years-old, and defending Super Bowl MVP, Tom Brady is the overall favorite at 4/1. He is closely followed by Aaron Rodgers, and young quarterbacks Derek Carr and Dak Prescott. 

BOVADA 2017-18 NFL MVP ODDS:

Tom Brady, NE — 4/1
Aaron Rodgers, GB — 7/1
Derek Carr, OAK — 9/1
Dak Prescott, DAL — 12/1
Ben Roethlisberger, PIT — 12/1
Russell Wilson, SEA — 12/1
Matt Ryan, ATL — 16/1
Ezekiel Elliott, DAL — 20/1
Drew Brees, NO — 25/1
Andrew Luck, IND — 25/1
Cam Newton, CAR — 25/1
David Johnson, ARI — 33/1
Marcus Mariota, TEN — 33/1
Sam Bradford, MIN — 50/1
Antonio Brown, PIT — 50/1
Kirk Cousins, WAS — 50/1
Julio Jones, ATL — 50/1
Eli Manning, NYG — 50/1
Carson Palmer, ARI — 50/1
Adrian Peterson, NO — 50/1
Philip Rivers, LAC — 50/1
Matt Stafford, DET — 50/1
Odell Beckham Jr., NYG — 66/1
Rob Gronkowski, NE — 66/1
Alex Smith, KC — 66/1
Ryan Tannehill, MIA — 66/1
J.J. Watt, HOU — 66/1
Jameis Winston, TB — 66/1
Blake Bortles, JAX — 100/1
Andy Dalton, CIN — 100/1
Joe Flacco, BAL — 100/1
T.Y. Hilton, IND — 100/1
Marshawn Lynch, OAK — 100/1
LeSean McCoy, BUF — 100/1
Von Miller, DEN — 100/1
DeMarco Murray, TEN — 100/1
Carson Wentz, PHL — 100/1

RELATED: After Derek Carr deal, Cousins' best option may be short-term