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Unusual for QB's to play with no preseason

Unusual for QB's to play with no preseason

Robert Griffin III is going to start the regular season opener at quarterback without having played in a preseason game. That’s unusual for a quarterback coming off of a torn ACL; in fact, it may be unprecedented in recent times.

Jordan Raanan of NJ.com looked at the returns of five other NFL starting quarterbacks from torn ACLs—Tom Brady, Carson Palmer, Daunte Culpepper, Donovan McNabb, and Phillip Rivers. All of them saw two or three games of preseason action in their comeback seasons.

Griffin’s injury did come later in the season than those of Brady, Culpeper, and McNabb. But both Rivers and Palmer were injured later in January than was Griffin and they both played the following preseason. So recovery time is not necessarily an impediment to Griffin playing in August

Raanan also has the stats on each quarterback’s first game back and their stats that season. It’s a mixed bag; some had solid seasons while Culpepper was benched by the Dolphins.

Griffin went back and forth on the importance of preseason games over the course of training camp.

“I don’t think preseason actually matters that much when it comes to that,” he said the day before camp started. “I think if you talk to a lot of the vets, they don’t even like the preseason. I think that’s a well-known fact. Even I know that and I’ve only been in the league one year. I think you can get that timing, those reps in practice and that’s what I’m going to get later in the preseason.”

A few weeks later he was singing a different tune. He was asked if he was going to ask Mike Shanahan if he could play in a preseason game. “You know me too well. I’m going to, definitely,” he said. “I want to play, let’s get that straight. I want to play in the preseason.”

So who was right, Griffin in late July or Griffin in mid-August? I suspect that he might have benefited from a few exhibition snaps but in the long run it won’t make much difference. The risk him playing may not have been worth the marginal gains.

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There's lots of talk about Trent Williams at guard instead of tackle. Don't listen to it.

There's lots of talk about Trent Williams at guard instead of tackle. Don't listen to it.

With Trent Williams eligible to return to the Redskins after serving a four-game suspension, much chatter has emerged about the All Pro left tackle moving inside to play left guard.

Don't listen to that chatter.

Williams made the move inside to guard once this season, during a win in New York when injuries decimated the Redskins offensive line. He played well, especially considering Williams said after that game that he had never played guard in his life. 

For Washington moving forward, some fans want Williams at left guard and Shawn Lauvao sent to the bench. That would mean Ty Nsekhe stays at left tackle. 

A few problems with this plan: 1) Trent Williams is the best left tackle on the team, and maybe in the NFL. 2) Injuries are mounting up for Nsekhe and right tackle Morgan Moses, not to mention the rest of the offensive line.

RELATED: Nsekhe could move to left guard with Trent Williams back

Nsekhe left the locker room in Arizona with a walking boot on his foot. Moses has dealt with a severely sprained ankle since Halloween. A healthy Williams returning to the team allows Nsekhe or Moses sit and get the rest they need for their injuries. 

Further, on Sunday in a loss to the Cardinals, center Spencer Long sustained a concussion. His backup John Sullivan came in and handled the center duties well. 

Some might suggest that Long move to guard, Sullivan stay at center, and Lauvao go to the bench. That move has more merit than moving Williams inside, but still seems like it would be a reach. And now with Long forced to enter the NFL concussion protocol, it's unclear when he will be back on the field at all.

Another suggestion has been to move Nsekhe inside to left guard. Consider that Nsekhe has been a development project; he's bounced around lower professional football leagues and at age 31 only has six career NFL starts. Couple that with his size - he's 6-foot-8 - and it's a tall task to move from tackle to guard. 

Lauvao played poorly against the Cardinals, that's indisputable. But as much as some fans believe a reworked offensive line is the answer, moving those pieces is not very simple. Coaches and players like and respect Lauvao, and his play can only improve with Trent Williams back standing next to him. 

Like all things in sports, the situation will remain fluid. More injuries could force more changes, but speaking with folks that know the situation, do not expect to see Williams at guard when he returns to the field next week in Philadelphia. 

MORE: Gruden says Redskins "not even close" to thinking about playoffs

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Redskins vs. Eagles: Date, time, TV channel, how to watch, online stream

Redskins vs. Eagles: Date, time, TV channel, how to watch, online stream

Coming off their loss to the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday, the Washington Redskins will face the Eagles in Philadelphia in Week 14.

The Redskins (6-5-1) fell to the Cardinals, 31-23, last week and will try to avoid losing their third straight game this week against the Eagles. 

The Redskins offense struggled to get going in the first half against the Cardinals, and the defense had some trouble getting stops on third down.

The Eagles are coming off a 32-14 loss last week to the Bengals, and they'll attempt to stop a losing streak of their own. Philadelphia has lost three games in a row.

The Redskins beat the Eagles by a touchdown when they played them in October. With only a few weeks left and the NFC playoff race looking tight, both teams need a win here. 

Here's everything you need to know about how to watch the game:

Week 14 Eagles vs. Redskins game information:

Who: Philadelphia Eagles vs. Washington Redskins

What: Week 14 of the 2016 NFL Season 

Where: Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

When: 1:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, December 11

TV Channel: FOX

How to Watch: Redskins Kickoff begins at noon ET on CSN Mid-Atlantic (Channel Finder)

Live Stream: NFL GamePass

Radio: ESPN 980, Redskins Radio Network

Point Spread: Redskins -1 (oddshark.com)

Over/Under: 47.5

 

WASHINGTON REDSKINS 2016 SCHEDULE: 

Week 1 (Mon. 9/12): 16-38 loss, Pittsburgh Steelers (0-1)

Week 2 (Sun. 9/18): 27-23 loss, Dallas Cowboys (0-2)

Week 3 (Sun. 9/25): 29-27 win, New York Giants (1-2)

Week 4 (Sun. 10/2): 31-20 win, Cleveland Browns, (2-2)

Week 5 (Sun. 10/9): 16-10 win, Baltimore Ravens, (3-2)

Week 6 (Sun. 10/16): 27-20 win, Philadelphia Eagles (4-2)

Week 7 (Sun. 10/23): 17-20 loss, Detroit Lions (4-3)

Week 8 (Sun. 10/30): 27-27 tie, Cincinnati Bengals (4-3-1)

Week 9 (Sun. 11/6): BYE WEEK

Week 10 (Sun. 11/13): 26-20 win, Minnesota Vikings (5-3-1)

Week 11 (Sun. 11/20): 42-24 win, Green Bay Packers (6-3-1)

Week 12 (Thurs. 11/24): 31-26 loss, Dallas Cowboys (6-4-1)

Week 13 (Sun. 12/4): 31-23 loss, Arizona Cardinals (6-5-1)

Week 14 (Sun. 12/11): at Philadelphia Eagles, 1:00 p.m. — FOX

Week 15 (Mon. 12/19): vs. Carolina Panthers, 8:30 p.m. — ESPN

Week 16 (Sat. 12/24): at Chicago Bears, 1:00 p.m. — FOX

Week 17 (Sun. 1/1): vs. New York Giants, 1:00 p.m. — FOX