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State of the Redskins, Week 9: Getting healthy

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State of the Redskins, Week 9: Getting healthy

Here is where the Redskins stand in Week 9 of the NFL season.

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

Key numbers changes from 2014-2015

Rankings (through Sunday’s games)

Offense (yards/game): 340.3 (25th)
Defense (yards/game): 360.4 (17th)
Passer rating offense: 84.7 (21st)
Opp passer rating: 97.9 (24th )
Yards/rush attempt: 3.7 (28th)
Opp. yards/rush attempt:
 4.9 (30th)
DVOA through Week 8 (Football Outsiders): -5.6% (18th)

Top three storylines:

Returning to health—It looks like wide receiver DeSean Jackson will be back for Sunday’s game against the Patriots, although we still have to see how much he can participate in practice this week. Cornerbacks Chris Culliver and DeAngelo Hall appeared on the field this week for the first time in a while. Center Kory Lichtensteiger was wearing a helmet during Monday’s workout for the first time in a couple of weeks. It’s unlikely that they will go into New England at full strength but they should be there at some point later this month.

Tall tasks ahead—This team has struggled on the road and they have two road games with undefeated teams coming up in the next three weeks. The Patriots are dominating while the Panthers are just getting by. The odds are very much against the Redskins winning either game but how resilient they are will tell us a lot about how they may do the rest of the season.

Get a running back going—Jay Gruden said that both Matt Jones and Alfred Morris would get touches. But he has to find a hot hand to get a rushing attack that is now ranked 30th in the NFL in terms of average yards per carry going.

Next three games

Sunday @ Patriots (7-0)—It’s no insult to Gruden or Kirk Cousins to say that this one is a big mismatch at both head coach and quarterback with Bill Belichick and Tom Brady on the other side.

November 15 vs. Saints (4-4)—The Saints look a whole lot better than they did a few weeks ago, after they handed the Falcons their first loss and then moved the ball at will against the Giants as Drew Brees threw a record-tying seven touchdown passes. Historically they are a different team playing outdoors on grass; we will see.

November 22 @ Panthers (7-0)—They lost a 17-point fourth-quarter lead to the struggling Colts so the strength of their vaunted defense has to be questioned. But Cam Newton seems to be able to move the chains whenever he really needs to and that has helped to keep them spotless in the loss column.

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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).

READ MORE: FULL UPDATE ON JORDAN REED

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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