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Redskins roster breakdown: Going into stretch run, roster still churning

Dec 22, 2015, 12:00 PM EDT

Redskins line stretch camp 2015

The Redskins are heading into the stretch run and are in first place in the NFC East. As the injuries have mounted it sometimes it seems like this team is held together with duct tape and chewing gum.

Here’s a look at the 53-man roster (actually at the moment it’s 52 players with one opening pending) followed by some roster stats that will interest you.

Starters in bold.

Quarterback (3): Kirk Cousins, Colt McCoy, Robert Griffin III

Last year the depth chart seemed to change on a weekly basis with injuries and ineffective performances forcing Jay Gruden to shuffle the deck. In 2014 it has not changed a bit as Cousins has taken firm control.

Running backs (5): Alfred Morris, Matt Jones, Chris Thompson, Pierre Thomas FB Darrel Young

None of them are playing well except in flashes here and there. Sometimes it’s the blocking, sometimes it’s them. But it’s been a disappointing group.

Wide receivers (5): Pierre Garçon, DeSean Jackson, Jamison Crowder (slot receiver), Ryan Grant, Rashad Ross

The move to place Andre Roberts on injured reserve doesn’t have much of an effect on the group as he was often a healthy inactive and wasn’t very productive when he was in (11 receptions).

Tight end (3): Jordan Reed, Alex Smith, Je’Ron Hamm

Smith was signed last week and immediately moved ahead of Hamm on the depth chart; Smith played 16 snaps against the Bills while Hamm was inactive.

Offensive line (9): LT Trent Williams, LG Spencer Long, C Josh LeRibeus, RG Brandon Scherff, RT Morgan Moses, G Arie Kouandjio, T Ty Nsekhe, T Tom Compton, C Brian De La Puente

Center Kory Lichtensteiger is eligible to start practicing this week and he could be activated if the Redskins reach the playoffs. With LeRibeus not exactly lighting it up in the middle of the line it seems likely that Lichtensteiger will go back to his starting job when he is ready.

Related: Bye week Redskins roster breakdown

Defensive line (6): Jason Hatcher, Terrance Knighton, Chris Baker, Ricky Jean Francois, Frank Kearse, Kedric Golston

Free agent disappointment Stephen Paea was put on injured reserve with a toe injury. Nobody was added; Kearse will simply go from being inactive every week to being active.

Linebackers (9): OLBs Trent Murphy, Ryan Kerrigan, Preston Smith, Houston Bates; ILBs Perry Riley (injured, foot), Will Compton, Keenan Robinson, Mason Foster, Carlos Fields

Compton has supplanted Robinson as the starter at Mike linebacker, a move that was prompted by both performance and nagging injuries to Robinson. Riley will be out at least another week with a broken bone in his foot but Foster has played well in his place.

Defensive backs (9): CBs Bashaud Breeland, Will Blackmon, Deshazor Everett, Quinton Dunbar, Dashaun Phillips; Safeties Dashon Goldson, DeAngelo Hall, Jeron Johnson, Kyshoen Jarrett

If anyone had told you at the beginning of the year that Quinton Dunbar would be lining up against the likes of Beckham, Bryand, and Watkins during critical late season games you would not have believed them. But Dunbar has done that and has held his own pretty well.

Specialists (3): K Dustin Hopkins, LS Nick Sundberg, P Tress Way

Hopkins replaced Kai Forbath in Week 2 and the Redskins haven’t looked back.

Breakdown: 24 defense, 25 offense, 3 specialists

Roster changes since the bye week (15 total transactions):

Moves off the roster (8): WR Andre Roberts (IR), TE Derek Carrier (IR), TE Anthony McCoy (waived), C Kory Lichtensteiger (IR-return), DL Stephen Paea (IR), OLB Jackson Jeffcoat (waived-injured), CB Chris Culliver (IR), S Trenton Robinson (waived-injured)

Additions to roster (7): RB Thomas, TE Smith, TE Hamm, C De La Puente, OLB Bates, ILB Fields, CB Phillips

Others added to 53-man roster after season opener and prior to the bye (5):

ILB Foster, CB Blackmon, CB Dunbar, CB Phillips, CB Everett


  1. goback2rfk - Dec 22, 2015 at 12:05 PM


  2. theismann7 - Dec 22, 2015 at 12:45 PM

    You forgot Niles Paul and Logan Paulsen

    • rtcwon - Dec 22, 2015 at 2:37 PM

      The post is mostly about the current 53 but does note changes since the bye and opening day.

      Both those guys were IRed prior to opening day. Not forgotten but not relevant to changes since opening day.

  3. Mr.moneylover - Dec 22, 2015 at 2:33 PM

    They just sign TE Marcel jensen 6’6 270 pounds tight end he was a standout at Fresno state was one of the best TE coming out of college in 2014 he gets after it blocking in the run game and have good hands and surprising speed for a TE…in one game he had 1 catch for 8 yards…had the best vertical jump among TEs coming out of college as well due to small injury he went undrafted

  4. Skulb - Dec 22, 2015 at 3:17 PM

    I’m just so impressed with the way the ramshackle secondary has performed this season. Even before the injuries I was worried that they might be a potential weakness on this team. Little did I know that it was the healthy running back team who would have that distinction while wide receiver Dunbar would be catching a potentially game winning interception from Manning.

    Weird season. I guess success and good coaching is just a bit hard to adjust to for some Redskins fans.

    • brucefan1 - Dec 22, 2015 at 4:56 PM

      “I guess success and good coaching is just a bit hard to adjust to for some Redskins fans”

      I always like it when deposed coordinators are hired as position coaches (like DB coach Fewell and OL guru Callahan).

      I always feel that while they may be examples the Peter Principle for those higher level jobs, we pretty much know they should excel at the lower-level ones they were originally promoted from.

      (That make any sense?)

  5. Mr.moneylover - Dec 22, 2015 at 3:18 PM

    I think next year jeRon hamm will be cut depending on how well the tight ends we have now play and develop Alex smith not a long term answer…jay gruden love running a two or three tight end stretch plays witch is hard to defend if you got the right players…marcel Jensen is a good pickup they sign him to the 53 man roster is because hes to good to be on the practice squad the kid has a lot of potential to be something special

  6. Mr.moneylover - Dec 22, 2015 at 3:26 PM

    All I know is they plan on getting bigger on the offensive side of the ball…look at the guys they signing to they practice squad or the guys they sign to the 53 man roster…adding big WRs and Big TEs….scot m. Is truely building a bully…i agree with b-mitch I can’t wait to see the team next year or two years from now because they only gonna get better and better

  7. tracingerror - Dec 22, 2015 at 4:02 PM

    GM’s best move in terms of value: dropping Forbath. We have suspect return teams (though he worked on that too) and switching Hopkins in has double our percentage of touchbacks, keeping us out of harms’ way. Our kickoff efficiency DVOA according to Football Outsiders is up 14 points vs. last year, part of an overall special teams improvement of ten points vs. last year (I used weighted for this year to discount the Forbath games). He’s a bit better at FGs too.

    Almost half the team’s total DVOA improvement is special teams, and the biggest part of that is Hopkins. And he cost us nothing.

    From scrimmage, we are greatly improved in the passing game and worse in the running game (on both sides of the ball).

    Since the secondary talent is still poor given (minus the games Culliver suited up) I have to say that Barry’s more conservative approach is mainly responsible for the 13 point improvement in defending the pass. I wouldn’t put that on the pass rush given the Adjusted Sack Rate is down (though with less blitzing, so maybe that is down to talent).

    On offense, the change in run scheme has exposed our lineman as poor, and shown how much of an effect Griffin’s threat of running had on opening the running game. But the 34 point rise in passing DVOA has obviously been worth it. Still, this is a below average offense, despite being 7.6 points of DVOA better than last year.

    What’s amazing is how little it took to improve special teams by just getting a guy who’d kick off into the end zone.

    • brucefan1 - Dec 22, 2015 at 6:21 PM

      “What’s amazing is how little it took to improve special teams by just getting a guy who’d kick off into the end zone.”

      Very true … as simple as that. Now every kickoff isn’t a white-knuckle adventure — for them or US! And don’t forget that he’s a MUCH more dependable PK, to boot. (Bad pun) With even PATs being more difficult these days, that is so key. Can’t tell you how gleeful I was when the Skins had Hopkins for that N.O. game, and the Saints had to trot out Killer Kai!

      (A couple minor discrepancies, tho; 1) I’m not yet sure about Culliver as a top CB. For whichever reasons (and maybe there were good ones), I didn’t think he performed like one this year — when he played at all, and B) while I think the O-line did often struggle with their run blocking, I was fairly well-satisfied with their pass blocking. But that’s just me.)

    • John - Dec 22, 2015 at 6:24 PM

      Our kickoff efficiency has nothing to do with coverage and everything to do with Hopkins kicking the ball out of the end zone on kickoffs.

      The running game is not performing because of a change to a power scheme. The linemen are setting the blocks correctly. It ha much to do with Alfred being indecisive, Jones not being patient (rookie who did not run much in college) and tight ends that either hold, miss or block the wrong guy. See Cooley’s film breakdowns.

      • brucefan1 - Dec 23, 2015 at 12:18 AM

        “Our kickoff efficiency has nothing to do with coverage and everything to do with Hopkins kicking the ball out of the end zone on kickoffs.”

        Hey! All the votes are in; it’s unanimous!

  8. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Dec 22, 2015 at 6:48 PM

    With LeRibeus not exactly lighting it up in the middle of the line…

    I’d say he HAS lit it up, Rich. Just not in a good way.

  9. goback2rfk - Dec 23, 2015 at 12:21 AM

    Congrats to Trent Williams making his 4th Straight Pro Bowl Appearance. Way 2 go dude! Archives

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