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Redskins minicamp Fast Five: Defense has the edge

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Redskins minicamp Fast Five: Defense has the edge

A quick look at five highlights of the Redskins’ second and final minicamp practice.

—Will Compton picked off a Kirk Cousins pass during a two-minute drill, eliciting whoops and cheers from the defensive players.

—The team has been spending a lot of time practicing onside kicks. They would do it occasionally last year; this year it’s been almost every day that the media has been able to watch. Special teams coach Ben Kotwica said that they are practicing more special situations in general.

—I don’t think that anyone kept stats but it seems to me that the leading receiver during OTAs and minicamp was Jamison Crowder. He caught a touchdown from Cousins and has generally caught anything thrown near him throughout the helmets and shorts phase of preparations.

—There was a lot of trash talk going on between DeSean Jackson and Josh Norman whenever they lined up across from each other. It wasn’t loud but it was constant. It seems to be a friendly rivalry but we’ll find out for sure in six weeks when the pads go on in Richmond.

—The defense seems to be ahead of the offense; they got the better of things today. As they made plays and the offense committed some false starts, a chant of “De-fense, De-fense” came from the far side of the field where the defenders were. Even when that wasn’t going on there was plenty of chirping and trash talking by the defense.

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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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