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Redskins camp countdown: 20 kickoffs inside the 20

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Redskins camp countdown: 20 kickoffs inside the 20

We’re counting down to the start of training camp here by looking at some numbers that will be keys to the Redskins’ 2014 season.

20—Kickoffs inside the 20

While Kai Forbath will get some serious competition from Zach Hocker for the job as the Redskins’ kicker, it seems likely that when all is said and done Forbath will be lining up to kickoff when the Redskins open the season on Houston on September 7. Unless Forbath gets a bionic leg installed between now and then it is unlikely that he will consistently pound balls into the end zone for touchbacks. He was 31st in the NFL last year with 14 touchbacks and that isn’t going to improve significantly.

The Redskins will have to work with Forbath’s limitations but that doesn’t mean that they have to give up field position every time they kickoff. There are other ways to get the job done like directional kicks with solid coverage that pins the other team inside the 20 yard line.

A goal of 20 kickoffs inside the 20 is an ambitious one. Last year Forbath had nine in 13 games. Only one kicker, Phil Dawson of the 49ers (23), had more than 20 kickoffs inside the 20. But eight kickers had more than 15 such kicks so it’s not unrealistic.

Camp countdown

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Long injury list hampers Redskins practice

Long injury list hampers Redskins practice

As Jay Gruden stepped to the podium to read the injury report, he warned, “This will be a while.”

He was right, as he rattled off one the longest injury reports of the season.

Out were G Spencer Long (concussion), S Will Blackmon (concussion), DE Chris Baker (ankle), DE Ricky Jean Francois (knee/foot), DE Anthony Lanier (lower leg), G Shawn Lauvao (groin), OT Ty Nsekhe (ankle), and S Donte Whitner (illness).

Of that group, all but Jean Francois, Lanier, and Nsekhe are starters. Between them and the limited players listed below it was difficult for the Redskin to conduct a normal practice.

“It was a challenge,” said Gruden of getting through it. “Practice was modified quite a bit today. We did more walkthrough today than we ever have on a Wednesday.”

“Sometimes you have to taper back just a hair to make it through practice, try to get the mental reps in with walkthrough and then hopefully the physical part will come maybe tomorrow. Friday we can open them up a bit.”

Limited in practice were TE Jordan Reed (shoulder), OLB Preston Smith (groin), ILB Will Compton (hip), G Brandon Scherff (ankle), and TE Derek Carrier (knee).

READ MORE: FULL UPDATE ON JORDAN REED

Reed returned to practice for the first time since suffering a Grade 3 sprain to the AC joint in his left shoulder in the game against the Cowboys on Thanksgiving. He missed the game in Arizona. While his limited participation was a good sign for his return it’ is way too early in the week to say with any degree of certainty that he will be playing against the Eagles.

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Robert Griffin III set to start Sunday for Browns vs. Bengals

Robert Griffin III set to start Sunday for Browns vs. Bengals

RGIII is finally getting another chance to play.

Plagued by injury after injury — most recently breaking a bone in his left shoulder in the Brown’s 29-10 loss to the Eagles in their season opener — the former Redskin is set to start for Cleveland against the Bengals on Sunday, ESPN’s Dan Graziano reports.

Griffin was cleared for contact last week after missing the majority of the Browns’ 0-12 season, and the team is coming off a bye week after its last loss to the Giants over Thanksgiving weekend.

In 2015, Kirk Cousins replaced Griffin as starting quarterback, and the Redskins released him at the end of the season. He signed a two-year, $15 million contract with Cleveland in March.  

In Griffin’s absence, the Browns have relied on Cody Kessler and Josh McCown, who boast a 65.5 and 54.5 completion percentage, respectively. The two combine for just 12 touchdowns this season.

Will Griffin be the key to ending the Browns’ winless season? We’ll find out Sunday.

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