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Six wide?

Six wide?

What was thought to be one of the higher-profile, higher stakes training camp battles may not ever happen.

After the Washington Redskins drafted receivers Devin Thomas and Malcolm Kelly in the second round, it appeared that James Thrash and Anthony Mix were headed towards a showdown for the fifth and final WR roster spot behind the two rookies, Santana Moss, and Antwaan Randle El.

It was to be a classic competition between a cagey veteran who makes up for the loss of a step or two with hustle and smarts and a raw youngster with great size and potential. One would get a high-paying gig with the Skins, the other would have to start looking for work, either in the NFL or in—shudder—the real world.

However, after listening to comments that Jim Zorn made on Tuesday morning, it appears that the fifth receiver spot may not be the final spot. He indicated that he might go with six at the position.

Carrying six WR's is unusual but not unheard of. Steve Spurrier's first Redskins team had six receivers on the opening-day roster. Teams that run a lot of four-wide sets sometimes will carry six.

If both Mix and Thrash make it, of course, that means that the Redskins will have to keep one fewer player at another position. Do you run with, say, six linebackers despite the still-shaky health of Rocky McIntosh and H. B. Blades' recent knee injury?

Maybe you trust Mike Sellers to be the only fullback on the roster and run with an extra tight end or with Lorenzo Alexander as a third tackle if he goes out.

A handful of teams keep just two quarterbacks on the roster to free up a spot, but it's hard to imagine Zorn doing that.

Certainly carrying six receivers still is just a possibility and Thrash and Mix may well still have a battle brewing. But the offhand way Zorn mentioned "the fourth, fifth, and sixth guys" when talking about the receivers would reasonably lead one to believe that six is the number he has penciled as of now.

Depending on the health at some other positions, I wouldn't be opposed to such a roster configuration. It's hard to get rid of Thrash; he does too much and if you ask him to do more, he'll gladly do it. At 6-5, Mix has the potential to be a great red-zone target and he can play some decent special teams to boot.

Rian Wallace or Nehemiah Broughton, two players who could be cut to make way for a sixth receiver, likely would disagree.

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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).


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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