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Skins put two to the test

Skins put two to the test

After months of grading, ranking, interviews, workouts, medical examinations, and meeting, the Washington Redskins' draft board is no longer on a dry erase board. It's in permanent ink, or at least it will be after they evaluate the results of today's workouts with Clemson DE Phillip Merling and Oklahoma WR Malcolm Kelly.

The timing of the Kelly workout is of interest. Merling hasn't been able to show his stuff since the Tigers' season ended as he has been recovering from a sports hernia, so multiple teams went to the session in South Carolina.

The workout with Kelly was private, with only the Redskins' brain trust (a term I use loosely here) in attendance.

That would seem to indicate that the Skins have a very high level of interest in Kelly. To take a contingent that included quarterback Jason Campbell out to Oklahoma 72 hours before the draft starts isn't something that you do on a lark.

It is kind of odd as this is one of the most publicized "private" workouts ever. The organization wanted to make sure that everyone knew where they were going and why. I think they even took along a beat reporter. Often, the moves you talk about the most are the ones that you are the least likely to make.

It could be a smokescreen, but I don't think it is. First, that gives Snyder and Cerrato too much credit. Second, it's a lot of time in effort invested in a ruse considering that they could accomplish the same thing with a well-placed leak to any of the dozens of reporters eager to broadcast any tidbit of draft info that might be fed to them.

That said, I would be surprised if the Redskins drafted Kelly. If they were sold on him, they wouldn't have gone to see him. Perhaps what they saw blew them away, but I doubt it.

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Redskins promote CB Phillips from practice squad, waive Bruton Jr. and Clausell

Redskins promote CB Phillips from practice squad, waive Bruton Jr. and Clausell

The Redskins made a roster move just before departing for Arizona to play the Cardinals.

They signed cornerback Dashaun Phillips from the practice squad and cut offensive tackle Blaine Clausell. The Redskins also waived safety David Bruton Jr. off of injured reserve.

Phillips was the Redskins’ nickel corner for the first three games of the season, and he made four tackles and recovered a fumble. But they moved rookie Kendall Fuller up into the slot corner role in Week 4 and Phillips spent several weeks on the inactive list before being waived on November 12 and added to the practice squad three days later.

The moves became known after Redskins coach Jay Gruden had spoken to the media for the day so we can only speculate as to the reasoning behind them. Actually, the release of Clausell isn’t hard to figure out. He was signed after Trent Williams started his four-game suspension and with Williams set to return on Monday and the other options at backup tackle healthy there was no point in keeping him around.

Phillips is likely going to Arizona as an insurance policy. The Cardinals like to spread the field with a lot of wide receivers. They will want to have five cornerbacks active. They do have Josh Norman, Bashaud Breeland, Fuller, Quinton Dunbar, and Greg Toler. But Breeland is listed as questionable with an ankle injury and they Redskins don’t want to take any chance of being caught short-handed at cornerback if he suffers a setback. That’s especially true when they don’t need to bring an extra tackle along.

Depending on how things shake out injury-wise against the Cardinals there is a good chance that we could see Phillips on the waiver wire once again as a roster spot will be needed for Williams.

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Redskins-Cardinals injury report: Reed out, seven questionable

Redskins-Cardinals injury report: Reed out, seven questionable

Redskins

Out

TE Jordan Reed (shoulder)—The word heroic is thrown around too often when talking about what athletes do, in light if what, say, first responders do every day. But Reed playing in the second half out of the Dallas game with a third-degree AC joint sprain certainly was remarkable. But Gruden said that Reed won’t have sufficient range of motion in the shoulder or range of motion to be able to go against the Cardinals.

DE Anthony Lanier (leg)—The reserve lineman missed the second half of the Dallas game with a leg contusion. Gruden said he was kicked in the lower leg against the Cowboys and the swelling is still an issue.

Questionable

LS Nick Sundberg (back)—He tweaked his back in the weight room before the Packers game and missed that game and the one against the Cowboys. He was a full go in practice all week and will return against the Cardinals.

G Brandon Scherff (ankle)—He has been limited in practice during the week but it seems certain that he will go against the Cardinals.

T Ty Nsekhe (ankle)—Ditto comment on Scherff above.

CB Bashaud Breeland (ankle)—He suffered the injury in practice this week and he was limited in practice on Thursday.

RB Chris Thompson (illness)—He was limited in practice during the week but he said in the locker room he will have his usual role on Sunday.

Also questionable for the Redskins: ILB Terence Garvin (shoulder) and DE Ricky Jean Francois (knee)

Cardinals

Check back for the Cardinals injury update after they release their report later this afternoon.