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Redskins vs. Patriots injury report: Lots of question marks

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Redskins vs. Patriots injury report: Lots of question marks

Injury report for Redskins vs. Patriots

Redskins

Questionable (50% chance player will play)

CB Chris Culliver (knee)—Culliver has missed three games with an inflamed knee and things are looking pretty good, although he told me on Friday that it would be a last-minute decision.

CB DeAngelo Hall (toe)—He made it out onto the field for some limited practice this week for the first time since he suffered the toe sprain in Week 3. But close may not good enough for a cornerback, who needs to be able to cut, backpedal, and sprint to be able to do his job. Hall will be a game day decision.

C Kory Lichtensteiger (Neck): He got through the Falcons game with what Gruden described as a “disc area” injury but he was worse for wear after doing so. The veteran could now miss his third straight game. “I don’t know where he’s at exactly,” said Jay Gruden. “He’s working really hard, this is a sensitive issue that he has right now. It’s something that he’s doing everything he can to get his strength back but it’s just not quite there yet. Just a matter of determining how much can he play with the lack of it.” He did practice on a limited basis on Friday, which is promising.

WR DeSean Jackson (hamstring)—Jackson has been confident all that he would be able to get back on the field for this game. He has been close a couple of times but Gruden has said repeatedly that if Jackson doesn’t have 100 percent of his speed he doesn’t do the team any good on the field. It looks like he is there, or at least close enough to it to warrant giving it a go barring a setback.

CB Bashaud Breeland (hamstring)—He did not practice on Wednesday and was limited on Thursday and Friday. He will be a game time decision. If he and Culliver both are unable to go, the Redskins will be forced to start Quinton Dunbar or Deshazor Everett, both undrafted rookies, against Tom Brady.

LB Ryan Kerrigan (hand)—He has had his broken hand padded up during practice all week and will be outfitted with some sort of cast if he can play on Sunday. If he can’t go, rookie Preston Smith will get his first NFL start

LB Keenan Robinson (shoulder/rib/abdomen)—He was nursing rib and abdominal injuries and then something happened with his shoulder on Wednesday. It appears that they will be able to get him out there; if they can’t, Will Compton will start.

Probable (virtually certain will play)

RB Chris Thompson (back)—The third-down back sustained a back contusion when he jumped up trying to reel in an errant pass against the Jets and laded flat on his back on the MetLife Stadium field turf. Thompson has some swelling and the medical staff just wasn’t able to get him ready to play against the Bucs. Thompson got some additional padding for his back, something he says he wishes he had done before suffering the injury.

DE Jason Hatcher (Knee)—I detailed his program in a separate article this morning. It seems certain he will play but his snaps could be limited.

Also probable are C Josh LeRibeus (shoulder) and CB Quinton Dunbar (illness).

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Need to Know: Redskins looking for consistency from Preston Smith

Need to Know: Redskins looking for consistency from Preston Smith

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, December 9, two days before the Washington Redskins play the Philadelphia Eagles.

Timeline

Today's schedule: Practice 12:05; Jay Gruden and news conference and open locker room after practice approx. 2:00

Days until: Panthers @ Redskins 10; Redskins @ Bears Christmas Eve 15; Giants @ Redskins, New Year’s Day 23

Injuries of note vs. Cardinals:
Out:
G Long (concussion), S Blackmon (concussion), DE Baker (ankle), G Shawn Lauvao (groin)
Limited: TE Reed (shoulder), G Scherff (ankle), DE Jean Francois (knee/foot),
Thursday injury report

Around Redskins Park

—The Redskins’ third-down defense is the worst in the NFL in a long time. They are giving up first downs on 48 percent of opponents’ third downs. Since 2002 only one team, the 2011 Chargers, has been worse over the course of a full season. The Redskins have a chance to improve in the last four games of the season. Their remaining opponents rank 15th, 22nd, 26th, and 27th in converting third downs on offense. So, while the damage is done perhaps they can avoid historically bad territory.

—Perhaps one of the reasons why the Redskins haven’t done well on third down is because Preston Smith, a player they were counting on to generate pass pressure and rack up sacks, isn't getting that done. He has 3.5 sacks on the year, two of them coming into one game. What are they looking for out of Smith? “Consistency is the truest measure of performance,” said defensive coordinator Joe Barry. “You have got to show up every single week . . . Preston is giving great effort, he’s trying. He just has got to show up in the statistic column.”

—Barry was candid in admitting that they were taken by surprise when the Cardinals snapped the ball on the fourth and one play from their own 34 in the fourth quarter. “I think everyone was a little shocked that the ball actually was snapped and they ran a play, but that’s football,” Barry said. The center’s hand is on the ball, ball is ready, the ball can be snapped, we have got to be ready to execute.” Should the season go south from here that play will be remembered as the turning point.

—Although whether or not the season goes south will largely be dependent on the play of Kirk Cousins, he doesn’t think about the pressure. “I just go about my business. I think you take it one game at a time, that’s the best way to manage it, and just enjoy the process,” he said. “We’ll see where we are in a few weeks but I can’t play the game today, I can’t play next week’s game today. All I can do today is prepare and go to practice and have a great practice, and I thought today I had a great practice and that’s a good step.”

—Jay Gruden wants to see the defense improve in two specific areas in addition to third downs. “Turnovers the last couple of weeks and red zone,” he said. “Those are three big time areas of concern . . . We’ve been lacking in all three of those categories of late.” They have had just one takeaway in their last three games and in their last five games teams have punched it into the end zone on 14 of 17 red zone opportunities (82.3%).

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A little more left arm use by Reed on this catch. #Redskins

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Redskins injury report: Three return but still plenty of question marks

Redskins injury report: Three return but still plenty of question marks

The Redskins’ injury report is looking a little better today, three days away from their game against the Eagles. 

DE Chris Baker (ankle), CB Will Blackmon (concussion), T Ty Nsekhe (ankle), C Spencer Long (concussion) didn't practice today. That is a substantial reduction of the number of players who were out of practice on Wednesday.

Going from out yesterday to limited participants today were S Donte Whitner (illness), DE Ricky Jean Francois (knee/foot), and DE Anthony Lanier (leg).

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

A player moving from out of practice to limited is no guarantee that he will be able to participate come Sunday but it’s a step in the right direction.

On area of concern is the offensive line. Three players who started against the Cardinals have not practiced this week. One was Nsekhe and he already was headed to the bench after the return of Trent Williams from suspension.

RELATED: Five Redskins who need to perform vs. Eagles

According to Jay Gruden, the line will have enough bodies even if Long, Nsekhe, and Lauvao are out. Second year guard Arie Kouandjio would start at guard and John Sullivan, who finished up after Long left the game on Sunday, would be the starting center. They could activate Kory Lichtensteiger from injured reserve to back up guard and center and Vinston Painter would be the backup tackle.

It appears that Reed is making progress from the AC joint separation he suffered in his left shoulder on Thanksgiving Day in Dallas.

“He looked good out there today,” said Gruden. “He’s still a little sore. Right now I have absolutely no idea (if he will play).”