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Need to Know: Health not an issue for the Redskins

Nov 2, 2013, 6:29 AM EST

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Orakpo-vs.-TEN

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, November 2, one day before the Washington Redskins host the San Diego Chargers.

Nickel coverage

Five notes and quotes from Redskins Park:

1. The Redskins certainly can’t complain about their health. They did list nine players on their injury report on Friday but only one, safety Jose Gumbs, is listed as questionable. The rest are probable. While some have missed games here and there, no projected starters are on injured reserve. This team has 99 problems but health ain’t one.

2. Safety Reed Doughty was an injury concern last week and he ended up missing the game in Denver due to a concussion. He is one of those listed as probable after he practiced in full all week. “He’s had a good week. There’ve been no setbacks,” said Mike Shanahan. “He gets tested every day, so right now he’s listed as full-go. Unless something happens in the next 24 hours, which I don’t anticipate, he’ll be ready to play.”

3. What a difference some takeaways can make. The perception is that the Chargers’ offense is humming along efficiently with Philip Rivers completing nearly three-fourths of his passes while the Redskins are sputtering with Robert Griffin III trying to get his season together. But the Redskins have outscored the Chargers 174-168 this year. The difference, of course, is four defensive touchdowns scored by the Redskins. San Diego, on the other hand, has just four takeaways at all this year and not return touchdowns. It will be tough to get a pick six off of Rivers (only 5 INT thrown all year) but that would go a long way towards helping the Redskins’ cause on Sunday.

4. Some will be concerned when a Chargers player catches a pass and Brandon Meriweather comes streaking into the picture. Did he learn his lesson on illegal hits after the NFL suspended him for last week’s game? Shanahan isn’t worried. “I think sometimes people get a little carried away with that,” he said. “We understand what the rules are and he’s been penalized for it. We’ve been penalized as a team as well. So he knows where the emphasis is and he wants to play football for a long time. When he does get that hit, he’s going to try to hit in the right area. Hopefully he does.”

5. What’s missing from the Redskins’ passing game this year? Success using play action is way off. From the number crunchers at ESPN via my man John Keim we learn that last year the Redskins led the NFL in play action yards per game (118.5) and per attempt (11.8). This year they’ve slipped to sixth in yards per game with 68 and a lowly 23rd per attempt at 6.7.

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Stat of the day

—The Redskins lead the league with an average of 4.98 yards per rushing attempt.

Timeline

—Days until: Chargers @ Redskins 1; Redskins @ Vikings 5; Redskins @ Eagles 15

—Today’s schedule: No availability, Chargers at Redskins Sunday 1:00 p.m.

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