Five quick observations from today's minicamp practice at Redskins Park.
—Both Jordan Reed and Josh Doctson were watching practice. According to Jay Gruden, Doctson was held out due to the Achilles that has been bothering him; it was a close call but they decided to hold him out. Reed turned an ankle last week, according to Gruden. He won’t be on the field until training camp.
—Kirk Cousins paraphrased his signature saying after completing a long pass to DeSean Jackson. He ran down the field pumping his fist, yelling to the media gathered on the sideline, “Celebrate! You love that!” At his press conference later Cousins said, “We have a blast and we compete.”
—The defense had its share of good plays, too. Bashaud Breeland picked off a deep Cousins pass down the middle and rookie free agent Lloyd Carrington made a spectacular one-handed pick of a Nate Sudfeld pass in the end zone. Big plays by the defense got the rest of the defense yelling “you like that!” back at the offense.
—Rookie wide receiver Valdez Showers made a catch along the sideline and came down hard on his right shoulder. He has a sprained AC joint and is out until training camp.
—DeSean Jackson participated in today’s mandatory practice but he elected not to talk to reporters afterward despite the efforts of the PR staff to get him to talk.
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).
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.
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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