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Redskins have multiple scenarios at tackle

polumbus-practice.png

Redskins have multiple scenarios at tackle

RICHMOND—The depth chart at right tackle is perfectly clear. Well, sort of anyway.

“You take a look at our tackle situation and I think it is very obvious to everybody who is first, second and third team right now, but there’s a lot of different scenarios that can occur,” Mike Shanahan said this week.

So we have two different sets of scenarios there; who is lining up now and a different dynamic that may be at work when the roster is trimmed to 53.

Right now, as Shanahan said, it’s pretty simple. The starter is Tyler Polumbus, the same player who started 15 games in 2012. Taking snaps with the second team is Tony Pashos, an eight-year veteran who has played with four other NFL teams. And on the third team is Jeremy Trueblood, who spent six seasons with the Bucs before coming to Washington.

Then we get into the “different scenarios”. It seems likely that Polumbus will go into the season as the starter. It’s hard to see how Trueblood makes the team. He has been very stiff and ineffective in both position and team drills. There is still time for him to bounce back but it would take a major turnaround for him to be a serious contender for the 53-man roster.

What about Pashos? This is where it gets complicated. As of right now, Tom Compton is the backup left tackle. Here is what Shanahan had to say about his potential to play the right side.

“If you play the left side, usually you have the quickness to go to the right side – you have that type of athletic ability,” he said. “Usually the left tackle with a right-handed quarterback, is the better athlete, and, we think he has that type of ability.”

It could come down to two things—trust and numbers. Do they trust Compton, a second-year player out of South Dakota, to back up both tackle positions? And can they afford to keep four tackles, Compton, Pashos, Polumbus, and Trent Williams?

The wild card here is Maurice Hurt. He has been on the PUP list and Shanahan said on Wednesday that there is no timetable for his return. When Polumbus missed that one game with a concussion Hurt filled in and did not embarrass himself. Hurt also filled in at left guard in 2011 when Kory Lichtensteiger was out so he has versatility.

Hurt could squeeze out Pashos for the last spot. But it may all depend on if the coaches believe that Compton could be an effective swing tackle and handle the left side if Trent Williams misses a game, or even a series or two.

So, yeah, it’s complicated.

“It’ll be interesting to evaluate a lot of these offensive linemen situations and I’m looking forward to that,” said Shanahan.

We’re looking forward to seeing how it will play out, too.

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Redskins plan to 'spy' Cardinals' David Johnson with rookie Su'a Cravens, per source

Redskins plan to 'spy' Cardinals' David Johnson with rookie Su'a Cravens, per source

Facing one of the NFL's best running backs in Arizona's David Johnson, the Redskins plan to use rookie linebacker Su'a Cravens as a spy in nickel coverage to slow down the Cardinals' threat, per a source close to the team.

Johnson ranks third in the NFL with 921 rushing yards, but it's the variety of ways the Arizona offense uses their second-year running back that makes him so difficult to handle for opposing defenses. Johnson also has 55 catches for 613 yards, and that's just through 11 games.

Cravens comes into the game with momentum as perhaps the Redskins most dynamic defensive threat. With size to play linebacker and enough speed to play coverage, the 6-foot-1, 220 lbs. rookie out of USC will be put in a tough position covering Johnson. The reality of his assignment is to try and contain Johnson as the Cardinals offense is so reliant on the runner that he will get a number of chances.

In their last two games, Johnson has gone for more than 150 total yards in each contest and scored multiple touchdowns. For his part, Cravens has proved a playmaker in his rookie season. To go with 29 tackles in nine games, his stat sheet has sacks and an interception listed.

Getting to Carson Palmer is the best path for the Redskins defense - especially considering the Cardinals' offensive line woes - but using Cravens to try and limit Johnson is a smart course of action for the 'Skins.

One member of the Washington defense explained that Johnson is "going to make plays" but that the key is to limit the damage. If the running back catches a ball out of the backfield, Joe Barry's defense will be focused on making a stop after a five-yard gain, instead of a 20-yard gain.

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Redskins vs. Cardinals inactives: Reed out as expected

Redskins vs. Cardinals inactives: Reed out as expected

GLENDALE, AZ—As expected, the Redskins will be without star tight end Jordan Reed today against the Cardinals.

He is inactive due to a third-degree AC joint sprain in his left shoulder.

Reed gutted it out and played the second half on Thanksgiving Day in Dallas after being injured in the first but during the week he didn’t practice at all couldn’t regain the range of motion needed to play today.

Coach Jay Gruden said on Friday that the team is planning on having Reed play next week against the Eagles.

For this week, Vernon Davis will step into the starting role.

Also inactive is reserve defensive lineman Anthony Lanier, who was kicked in the lower leg in Dallas. Gruden said that the swelling was still too severe for him to be able to play.

LIVE BLOG: WEEK 13 REDSKINS VS. CARDINALS

The Redskins’ other inactive players today:

  • QB Nate Sudfeld
  • DL AJ Francis
  • RB Matt Jones
  • WR Rashad Ross
  • DB Dashaun Phillips