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Who’s in--offense

Who’s in--offense

If you go here and to a few other sites, you can read plenty about who isn't going to play against the Colts on Sunday as the Washington Redskins open their five-game grind of a preseason schedule.

What's left for us to figure out, then, is who will play. Here's a position by position breakdown for the offense:

Quarterback

Out: None

That leaves: Jason Campbell, Todd Collins, Colt Brennan, and Derek Devine. Campbell will start and go one series, two if the first one is brief. Collins has been struggling in practice, he may get the rest of the first half before Brennan and Devine—not necessarily in that order—mop up in the second half.

Running back

Out: Clinton Portis, Ladell Betts

That leaves: Rock Cartwright, Marcus Mason—Since Eric Shelton was released awaiting a possible injury settlement, the Redskins are thin here for the time being. Cartwright will start and he and Mason could spell each other the whole way. Nehemiah Broughton, a fullback, may be called on to take some carries as a halfback.

Fullback

Out: None

That leaves: Mike Sellers, Broughton—You don't want to pound Sellers too hard, so Broughton could get a ton of action. They may go to a two-tight end set if necessary.

Wide receiver

Out: Devin Thomas, Malcolm Kelly, Anthony Mix

That leaves: Horace Gant, Maurice Mann, Billy McMullen (?), Santana Moss, Antwaan Randle El, James Thrash, Burt Toler—There's a question mark next to McMullen as they're not quite sure if he'll go. He, Gant, Mann and Toler would be happy to take all the snaps they can get in order to get on film. Don't blink or you'll miss Moss and Randle El. Thrash should play more than those two, but not much more.

Offense line

Out: Chris Samuels

That leaves: Devin Clark, Andrew Crummey, Jason Fabini, Justin Gresinger, Pete Kendall, Chad Reinhardt, Todd Wade, Tavares Washington, Randy Thomas, Jon Jansen, Stephon Heyer, Casey Rabach—It's always a delicate balancing act here; you don't want to run the starters and top reserves for too long, but you also don't want your quarterback to get killed and you want the running backs to have a fighting chance. Moves here often depend on what the other team does on its defensive line. As the Colts need this fifth preseason game even less than the Redskins do, look for both sides to be deep into the depth chart early on.

Later today, who's in on defense.

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Jordan Reed one of four Redskins to begin training camp on PUP list

Jordan Reed one of four Redskins to begin training camp on PUP list

RICHMOND - Jordan Reed will start Redskins training camp on the Physically Unable to Perform list. 

The team's PR informed the media that Reed is experiencing pain and soreness in one of his big toes. The move to PUP was characterized as precautionary and they want to ensure that issues don't linger into the regular season. 

DeAngelo Hall, Houston Bates, and practice squadder Kendal Thompson will join Reed on the PUP list. 

RELATED: RANKING THE REDSKINS ROSTER

For Reed, an integral part of the Redskins offense, there is a long history of injuries. In 2016, he missed time with a separated shoulder and a concussion.

Before Redskins fans freak out, remember Reed took part in minicamp and looked dominant. The PUP list also allows the Redskins to activate Reed once he's capable of practicing. 

Reed did not take part in voluntary OTAs with the Redskins in May, but was a full participant with the team at June's minicamp. 

Asked about injured players taking part in practice during Wednesday's press conference, head coach Jay Gruden opened up:

I think the injured guys are injured guys. We’re never going to change how we treat them. It’s the trainers’ job to tell us when they can go. I’m not going to keep a guy out of practice just because I think he might be injured. It’s up to the trainers and up to that player to let me know whether they can go or not. But like you said, we do have a luxury of having 88 or 87 healthy bodies where we can practice and function without somebody who is injured. That’s the trainers’ job​.

Expect much more on this development.

UPDATE:

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Expectations won't change for Kirk Cousins, regardless of contract status

Expectations won't change for Kirk Cousins, regardless of contract status

RICHMOND - Jay Gruden expects the same effort and production from Kirk Cousins, regardless of the now two-year long contract saga between the quarterback and the Redskins.

"The thing about Kirk is you’re never worried about his preparation. It’s not going to vary from day in to day out," the coach said. "He’s not going to come in and be a different guy every day. He’s the same guy every day. [He’s] a great competitor, wants to get better."

Talks between Cousins' represenatives and the Redskins seemed more congenial this offseason, though the result remained the same. Cousins will be paid $24 million this year on the franchise tag, after making $20 million in 2016 on the same tag. 

ROSTER BATTLES: Left guard | Tight end Nickel cornerback  | Inside linebacker | Running back

Redskins team president Bruce Allen explained in a statment that his organization made an offer to Cousins that included $53 million guaranteed. Considering the funny money nature of NFL deals, the offer really only guaranteed another season at about $28 million for Cousins before a series of advantageous terms for the franchise. The deal had no chance of completion considering Cousins' leverage.

Still, Gruden thinks his quarterback will deliver. 

"He has a lot of room for improvement and he wants to be coached and it’s fun to coach him."

If Gruden sounds confident in Cousins' ability to compartmentalize, he should. The quarterback did just that last season, passing for nearly 5,000 yards with 25 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. 

The Redskins, and Cousins, struggled in the red zone in 2016, and that's something Gruden wants to see improved. 

"The contract status will take care of itself eventually, hopefully, but right now it is what it is and we’re happy to have him for 2017."

Long-term deal, or not, it's time for Gruden to coach and Cousins to quarterback.

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