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State of the Redskins, Week 10: A shuffle coming in the secondary?

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State of the Redskins, Week 10: A shuffle coming in the secondary?

Here is where the Redskins stand in Week 10 of the NFL season.

Record: 3-5, 3rd in NFC East
vs. NFC East: 1-1
vs. NFC: 3-2
vs. AFC: 0-3
Home: 3-1
Away: 0-4

Key numbers changes from 2014-2015

 

Rankings (through Sunday’s games)

Offense (yards/game): 329.0 (29th)
Defense (yards/game): 272.9 (21st)
Passer rating offense: 82.6 (24th)
Opp passer rating: 97.6 (24th )
Yards/rush attempt: 3.6 (30th)
Opp. yards/rush attempt:
 4.8 (30th)
DVOA through Week 9 (Football Outsiders): -8.8% (19th)

Top three storylines:

Code Red redux—After the expected loss to the Patriots, the Redskins sit at 3-5, the same record they have at the midway point last year. In 2014 they promptly lost six straight games and rapidly fell out of competition for anything. They can get off to a good start to avoiding a repeat of last year by beating the 4-5 Saints on Sunday. A win could have them within a game of first place in the NFC East. A loss with a trip to Charlotte to play the undefeated Panthers coming up next could trigger another slide.

Still getting ground up—The Redskins have had problems both running the ball and stopping the run. Oh, wait, you’ve heard that before? Well, it will continue to be a storyline here until the results change.

Shuffle in the secondary—It looks like changes are coming to the secondary. Some, like the returns of Chris Culliver and DeAngelo Hall to the field, are health related. Others, like the possibility that Jeron Johnson will get a shot at string safety, are coaches’ decisions. In any case, if the secondary gets stronger maybe Joe Barry will feel more comfortable sending extra pressure at opposing quarterbacks and we may see more big plays.

Next three games

Sunday vs. Saints (4-5)—The Saints had a nice little winning streak going until the lost to the Titans (1-6 going into the game) at home, allowing rookie Marcus Mariota to throw four TD passes in the process. Historically they are not as good a team playing outdoors on grass; we will see.

November 22 @ Panthers (8-0)—They have let blowouts turn into close games in each of the last two weeks but they beat the Colts and Packers to remain unbeaten. Cam Newton isn’t lighting it up statistically in the passing department but he is in the MVP conversation because he is getting it done with his legs and in the clutch.

November 29 vs. Giants (5-4)—The Giants are just a bad matchup for the Redskins. New York has won six of the last seven games between the two teams and most of them haven’t been competitive. Home division games are always important and this one will be no exception, particularly if the Redskins lose at Carolina.

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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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