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Need to Know: The week that was at Redskins Park—Injuries complicate lineup vs. Cowboys

Jan 2, 2016, 4:31 AM EDT


Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, January 2, one day before the Washington Redskins travel to Dallas to play the Cowboys.

The week that was at Redskins Park

Cousins, Crowder closing in on Redskins records—Among the things at stake this week are individual records for Kirk Cousins (120 passing yards to break record for most in a season) and Jamison Crowder (5 to break Art Monk’s record for receptions in a rookie season). It will be interesting to see how Jay Gruden balances such considerations with making sure that the team emerges healthy for the game that really counts next weekend at FedEx Field.

Redskins are not NFC East’s Team Turmoil, for a change—As it turns out, the game last Saturday will end up being the last one that Chip Kelly will coach for the Eagles. And with the Giants contemplation a coaching chance and the Cowboys dealing with issues at quarterback (backup, at least) the Redskins are all of a sudden the model of stability in the division. Some Redskins players opined on why Kelly didn’t succeed. “It’s about the players. Players win ballgames,” said Jason Hatcher. “If they’re not happy, if they don’t like you as a coach, they’re not going to run through a wall for you.”

Redskins RB Matt Jones suffers a setback—Rookie running back Matt Jones is doubtful for Sunday’s game and it’s unclear if he will play any more this season. It appeared for a while that he would be a draft steal but it turns out that he has a longer learning curve. If he can refine his game, he could be a major asset.

Who on Redskins defense could rest on Sunday? —Resting starters is easier said than done. You still have to field 11 players on each side of the ball and each side will play about 70 snaps and you have 46 active players to get that done. The math doesn’t look too good for being able to sit 22 players, even if you want to. Most healthy starters will be in the lineup and play a majority of the snaps.

Injuries alter Redskins practice—Related to the item above, Jay Gruden had to alter the practice schedule because of injuries at defensive back. If you are handcuffed in practice you aren’t going to have a whole lot of flexibility in your lineup.

Full Redskins injury report: Two DB’s out, Jones, Riley doubtful—Dashon Goldson will sit out as will Quinton Dunbar. This will complicate the defensive backfield rotation against the Cowboys and it takes up two inactive spots.


Today’s schedule: AM walkthrough then travel to Dallas; no media availability

Days until: Redskins @Cowboys 1; start of NFL playoffs 7

In case you missed it

  1. colmac69 - Jan 2, 2016 at 7:19 AM

    Goldson/Dunbar/riley/jones/rgiii prob 5 inactives

    Win/lose just get out without any major injs

    Whoever we play nxt wknd we got fighting chance because I don’t think any three poss opponets are that much better than us

    • brucefan1 - Jan 2, 2016 at 6:17 PM

      ‘Win/lose just get out without any major injs”

      I’m down with that of course, but it seems that in more than just a few instances this year season-ending injures happened in PRACTICE!! Ouch!

      Maybe they hadda get the fellas to ratchet it back a click this week — and save the extra “enthusiasm”(?) for playoff preparation week??

  2. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Jan 2, 2016 at 7:44 AM

    I still have high hopes for Matt Jones.

    But so far, the RB steal seems to be the Cardinals with David Johnson, 9 picks ahead of us in the 3rd round.

    • goback2rfk - Jan 2, 2016 at 8:26 AM

      I thought Jones was very average this year. He had some explosive plays but nothing I would call spectacular.
      RB’s are such hit or miss and generally talented RB’s can be found late in the draft and in free agency.
      Look at what Pierre Thomas is already doing for us. I agree with Rich, if Jones refines his game he could be an asset but so far after such a promising start he appears to be a work in progress.

      • John - Jan 2, 2016 at 10:47 PM

        Jones has had his moments and has run with power. He still needs to be patient and let his blockers get into position. Remember, he was not the primary back in college and has a long way to go. I won’t be surprised if the Skins draft a shifty running back who can make 2 to 3 cuts in the early rounds (1st or 2nd round).

    • brucefan1 - Jan 2, 2016 at 6:26 PM

      “David Johnson, 9 picks ahead:

      Wonder if they’re in the Skins’ FO lamenting that THEY were gonna take Johnson at Smith’s spot if the Cards hadn’t beat ’em to it? LOL

      (Kinda like the Yankees letting it leak that were JUST about to to take Mike Trout if the Angels hadn’t suddenly swooped in on him — with a pick that was originally the NYYs, to boot!)

  3. John C - Jan 2, 2016 at 10:40 AM

    And with the Giants “contemplation” (contemplating) a coaching “chance” (change)….

    Happy new year!

    • sidepull - Jan 2, 2016 at 1:00 PM

      Maybe we will see Sean Peyton in the NFC East next year. Never know…

  4. bangkokben - Jan 2, 2016 at 11:19 AM

    Great point by Rich. This game has about as much meaning as a pre-season game but it is nowhere close to being the same. There isn’t an available 90 men roster to chose from – most of whom have to find real labor after training camp – to play in place of the starting 22. Imagine if the Redskins decided to rest the starters. Then there would be 24 available to play both ways and special teams. Which one of Dustin Hopkins, Nick Sundberg, or Tress Way plays on offense or defense? Sounds like a recipe for disaster. Furthermore, on defense in particular there are a number of non-starters that play significant snaps depending on the defensive packages. Should these guys get the day off? Where is that line of expendability? Terrance “Pot Roast” Knighton, according to Football Outsiders, played on only 27 snaps last week – 18 of which on defense. Who says that he shouldn’t play the same amount tomorrow? Isn’t he a starter? On the other hand, the defense will be required to make-up for the combined 202 snaps played (last week) by Goldson, Dunbar, and Hall with the likes of Jeron Johnson, Jeremy Harris, Deshazor Everett, and Dashaun Phillips. (Kyshoen Jarrett already played 78 snaps last week so he won’t be making up any snaps directly.) Final thought: We’d all like a win over Dallas with the minimal about of wear and tear on the Redskins. HTTR!

  5. Big daddy - Jan 2, 2016 at 11:37 AM

    A win over the turds would definitely be nice, but we have bigger fish to fry.
    We’ll need all hands on deck next week when it really matters.

  6. Mr.moneylover - Jan 2, 2016 at 12:05 PM

    If you wanna single out matt Jones single out Alfred morris as well…you can’t expect much out of a rookie …the O-line took a hit when we lost our left guard and center…matt Jones showed he can hold on to the ball with the lil rookie mistakes he had I think he had a decent year for a rookie…the question should be is that can we rely on Chris Thompson bein our third down back next year because he still show he can’t stay healthy for 10+ games…I think its the most stupidest thing to put your franchise QB out on the field when your center has been struggling and trent Williams not expected to play Greg hardy is licking his chops…Jordan should also sit he had health issues in the pass why risk getting your key players hurt is we chasing super bowls or is we chasing franchise records…

    • bangkokben - Jan 2, 2016 at 12:26 PM

      Man, you make no sense. THE RUN GAME has struggled since week three. Single out Matt Jones? The dude has missed more time in one season than Morris has missed in four. Still, he is the future and has shown enough flash to be the next Jordan Reed (i.e. if he can stay healthy, he could…). As for Cousins playing, he seemed to do “fine” physically without Trent Williams against the Jets and it’s not like he’ll play the whole game.

      • Mr.moneylover - Jan 2, 2016 at 6:16 PM

        Alfred morris is not the future the word around redskins park is that he will be gone next year….matt Jones is a rookie ummm did you forget that rookies don’t go to off-season workouts this off-season will be matt Jones and other rookies first off-season under the redskins health plan why you think Trent Murphy got bigger in year 2…matt Jones gonna get hurt he’s not use to bein in the NFL yet he will be far better next year

        • brucefan1 - Jan 2, 2016 at 6:43 PM

          “word around redskins park is that he will be gone next year”

          We’ve all been having this convo since last season and there’s still not an agreement.

          Is it that Alf’s washed up, with no burst or ability to get to the second level, or is it that Jay’s scheme is not ideal for his skill set? Does he need that stretch run, read & react type of run game to do his thing, or is his “thing” just a thing of the past. Probably a little of both … as usual. The answer may come with whatever team he ends up with next season.

          Of course the loss of Kory and Lavauo (who’da thunk it?) seemed to put a major dent in what had been a success up to that time. That didn’t help Alf one bit.

  7. Mr.moneylover - Jan 2, 2016 at 12:09 PM

    If our key weapon Jordan reed get injured in Dallas jay gruden can only blame his self when we lose in the wild card playoffs …its stupid to play the starters in a meaningless game…my fingers are cross that we don’t lose a key weapon on offense or defense

    • bangkokben - Jan 2, 2016 at 12:18 PM

      You sound softer than Jason Garrett.

      • sidepull - Jan 2, 2016 at 12:58 PM

        Guess we will see how it plays out after the game. A lot of speculation but if a key starter goes down to injury and is not available for the playoffs, a Reed, or Cousins etc…the decision is going to be questioned. There is no getting around it. I am on the side of resting our key playmakers. In any event, F Greg Hardy and I hope they kill the Cowgirls.

        And I have been hoping all along thye would have Pierre Thomas in a Redskin uni sine preseason. I know hes older but he can bring so much. I am glad I am no GM because I would cut bait with CT and roll with PT.

        • bangkokben - Jan 2, 2016 at 3:51 PM

          Of course, if any of our key guys gets injured there will be a mob of angry villagers ready to tar and feather Jay Gruden because he didn’t foresee the inevitability of Brandon Scherff twisting an ankle or that Mason Foster would be in the concussion protocol. IT’S NOT A PRESEASON GAME! There aren’t units of guys waiting around for playing time. Behind Compton, there is Keenan Robinson and then no one. Behind Foster, there is Karlos Fields and then an outside backer. It’s football. Someone will likely get dinged but hopefully not injured. You can’t rest everyone because the active roster doesn’t provide for that.

        • redskinsnameisheretostay - Jan 2, 2016 at 11:49 PM

          Bang, the next time Gruden passes gas, why don’t you tell us what he last ate.

    • Mr.moneylover - Jan 2, 2016 at 6:19 PM

      You soft punk…I’m just speaking facts witch you hate…get off my jock

      • redskinsnameisheretostay - Jan 3, 2016 at 12:14 AM

        I feel your frustration here Money. You can’t make a statement without some weak slight by a “so called” fan who should spend more time in a seat at the game for once and less time taunting other fans making comments in support of their team.

        • skinsgame - Jan 3, 2016 at 11:57 AM

          Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. No one on this board is as guilty of that as you.

        • redskinsnameisheretostay - Jan 3, 2016 at 10:20 PM

          proving you don’t understand the game of football is not a taunt

    • brucefan1 - Jan 2, 2016 at 6:49 PM

      “If our key weapon Jordan reed get injured in Dallas”

      I hear ya, money, but I dunno … it seems you can NOT play football like that.

      It may seem counter-intuitive, but they say being too injury conscious seems to only lead to a greater incidence of injuries.

    • John - Jan 2, 2016 at 10:19 PM

      Reed needs one catch to pass Cooley for the season reception record for Redskins tight ends. Play him then pull him around halftime.

      Enough whining about Gruden. Players risk getting hurt week in and week out. They know the risks. The good ones play hurt and don’t cry about it.

      You’ve moaned and groaned about Gruden and Cousins all season. Now they’ve locked up a spot in the playoffs and yet you continue to moan and groan.

      Face the fact that they can’t rest everyone and in the case of Reed, Cousins and Crowder, there are achievable records in reach.

      Kirk needs about 130 yards to have the most yards passing in a season for a Redskins QB.

      As mentioned before Reed needs 1 catch.

      Crowder needs 5 catches to pass Art Monk for most catches by a Redskins rookie WR.

      Play the starters for a half and pull them as they get the records.

  8. murphsman - Jan 2, 2016 at 12:12 PM

    Just let that second statement sink in for a minute. Have we really been able to say the Skins have been consistent at all since Danny boy bought the team? I may be wrong, but this may be the most stability we’ve had since JKC was still alive. Apart from the question of what to do with RG3, which apart his high cost, would be normal business in the NFL

  9. colmac69 - Jan 2, 2016 at 4:12 PM

    Just give morris/thompson/thomas 30+ carries even 40+if required….

    Personally I wouldn’t start cousins or Williams. …obviously dress them for game but only enter in emergency…..limit reed/jackson….that’s your four main guys we nd healthy

    Defense play starters with xception of hatcher….any chance in playoffs is gonna rest on how well offense plays this yr at least….so priority has to b offense resting up….but that’s just my opinion

    Just get game out way….hopefully we get packers nxt wk but I got feeling it b vikings

  10. skinsgame - Jan 2, 2016 at 4:13 PM

    It doesn’t appear people are understanding the basic mathematics of roster sizes and how many players can sit this one out. Starters are going to have to play quite a while. Rich should write a piece that sort of goes over the basic concepts of snap counts and depth chart stuff. Oh, wait….

  11. brucefan1 - Jan 2, 2016 at 7:04 PM

    “Some Redskins players opined on why Kelly didn’t succeed”

    I know this isn’t an Eagle blog, but seeing RT brought it up … who else felt that Kelly was one of the strangest guys to coach in the NFL in recent memory?

    I mean, to me the guy seemed to live in his own inner world; so detached from all else that was going around and all of the people that had to deal with him he almost seemed autistic. (Hope that doesn’t offend anyone. I know & appreciate the impact of autism.)

    If you’re gonna come off that aloof from those you need to work closely with, you better be darn good at what you do and have a LOT of success (a la his lone vocal defender, Bellycheck).

    But slip up even a little and Kelly’s fate is what awaits.

    • skinsgame - Jan 2, 2016 at 8:42 PM

      The problem he encountered was one that several big name coaches have encountered when they take over personnel authority. Only a couple have ever pulled that off. Parcells mostly flopped with it. Shanahan as well. Chump Kelly may have been disconnected from the locker room but he also took a few too many risks and almost all of them backfired. Some were just ridiculous like the Bradford trade and the huge contract to Murray. More than anything, that was what did him in I’d bet. I’m sorry to see him go. He was absolutely destroying the Eagles.

    • John - Jan 2, 2016 at 8:42 PM

      Kelly much like Steve Spurrier thought his system was all that. The first year, he had the players. Then he started shedding talent in favor of the system. Teams figured him out and then it all fell apart.

      His system needs a qb that provides the threat of the run. The system requires speed (got rid of DJax, still lost on that one?). Gave up solid guards (running game kaput!). Dumped McCoy a proven pro bowler for a linebacker that has injury problems.

      He authored his own demise. He wanted control of personnel in addition to being the coach. That never works. What coach has time to scout, much less watch college games during the season? Kelly’s system works on the premise of getting to the line and snapping the ball in 6 seconds. The idea is to give your offense more touches. Its all good until you go 3 and out and then the other team wears out your defense. Against the skins they got some quick scores but had 3 and outs and turnovers that killed them and the skins ran long drives that wore out the defense.

      Spurrier thought his system would work with Danny Weurfle and Shane ? Yeah, they beat the 49ers in Osaka in the preseason but those games don’t count. During the regular season, they sucked.

      • redskinsnameisheretostay - Jan 3, 2016 at 12:00 AM

        Steve Spurrier didn’t have a real system to run in the NFL. He was in over his head by game 3 and shouldn’t be compared to Chip. Chip has a talented football mind but yes much of what you say is correct to some degree. Spurrier was a joke of a coach when it came to scheming on the field. He only knew how to win with superior talent.

        • John - Jan 3, 2016 at 8:59 AM

          I guess everyone has forgotten how Spurrier was an innovator and was supposed to save this franchise. I guess we’ve forgotten about all the subpar Gators he insisted on playing qb for him. Spurrier was the Kelly of his time.

          All Kelly has done is run a spread with read option elements at an excessively high pace.

          Blow up the interior of his line and don’t get caught with your pants down in the secondary and you’ll slow them down.

          Kelly thinks that the more plays your offense has, the more opportunities to score. Good in theory but if you go 3 and out, if the other team runs sustained drives, his defense will get tired out and pushed around. The game last week was a perfect example of how to defeat Kelly.

        • redskinsnameisheretostay - Jan 3, 2016 at 10:46 AM

          “Spurrier was the Kelly of his time.”

          Another apples to oranges comparison when you are talking about both as NFL coaches! You are just trying to follow Tim Dahlberg’s lead. Let me put it this way to prove you’re wrong. Spurrier left the NFL knowing never to coach here again while Chip will get another opportunity. Spurrier’s “fun n gun” scheme was a disaster in the NFL playing faster defenders and better defensive schemes. Chip’s offense scheme transcended and excelled in the NFL. Chip was 10-6 in his first and second seasons resulting in a 26 and 21 record before the firing. He had some success while Spurrier was 12 and 20 overall, and it wasn’t long after the first season you could see Steve was over his head. Chip will need to reassess closely how he managers personnel which was his biggest failure as a first time NFL coach

      • redskinsnameisheretostay - Jan 3, 2016 at 12:05 AM

        “Kelly’s system works on the premise of getting to the line and snapping the ball in 6 seconds. The idea is to give your offense more touches. Its all good until you go 3 and out and then the other team wears out your defense. ”

        It was more complicated than what you describe. It wasn’t about getting more touches but setting the offense before the defense was ready to react. You’re right about him not finding the ideal QB and he did fail on thinking Bradford was that guy. However, Spurrier is no Chip when it comes to running an offense. Chip is a real talent. Again, he’ll get his shot again and Philly jumped too soon by firing him.

        • skinsgame - Jan 3, 2016 at 7:54 AM

          “It was more complicated than you describe…” and then you go and describe it exactly as he described it. Lol

        • redskinsnameisheretostay - Jan 3, 2016 at 10:54 AM

          Only a 10 year old level football minded person sees it as the same. Giving your offense more touches and keeping the defense off balance are not the same things.

        • skinsgame - Jan 3, 2016 at 11:30 AM

          Only a complete dipsiht tries to argue that Kelly is some kind of special coach while simultaneously admitting his scheme failed. Lol.. In one of your other mindless posts you berate Spurrier for only being able to win with “superior talent” and then claim Kelly simply needs to manage personnel better. You talk out of both sides of your pencil neck.

        • redskinsnameisheretostay - Jan 3, 2016 at 10:29 PM

          I admitted his personnel choices fail. Do you have understand anything you read? You are one of the biggest jokes on this board. Go mate with Gas and produce the ultimate troll but please train him to be a Cowboy fan which is a class you better belong.

    • redskinsnameisheretostay - Jan 2, 2016 at 11:56 PM

      You were on to one thing; Chip tried to be Bill before he was able. Chip wanted to prove the system is better than the player. He is a very good coach IMO but he relied too much on his system succeeding before allowing it to adapt with more talented players. Bill didn’t have great success his first time out either. Chip will have another shot at coaching again. I’d take him over Gruden quicker than a New York Minute.

      • skinsgame - Jan 3, 2016 at 7:51 AM

        You’d take a coach who’s claim to fame is having an offense run plays at a high clip, shedding a roster of proven talent, and losing in the pros? Ok.

        • redskinsnameisheretostay - Jan 3, 2016 at 11:10 AM

          A coach like Kelly who right now is 19 and 12 where at the same time Gruden was 12 and 19, yes I’d take. A coach in Kelly who had a #2 and #5 ranked offense in his first two seasons over one that is #13 and #17 in respective seasons, yes I’d take. A coach in Kelly that can delivered a successful passing and rushing team over a one dimensional coach in Gruden that has never been successful rushing the ball, yes I’d take. A very successful college coach over an Arena football coach, yes I’d take. Am I painting a good enough picture for you yet?

        • skinsgame - Jan 3, 2016 at 11:45 AM

          You have been painting a picture that you don’t like Gruden, Cousins, the Redskins, etc for months. And, in this instance, you compare them to the Meagles and Chump Kelly. Kelly, given the opportunity, single handedly dismantled a playoff roster. His brilliance on offense was to run plays as fast as the team could and, outside of college, that doesn’t work. (See the 90’s Buffalo Bills for trending) And, for all his brilliance, Kelly’s team dropped three straight to Grudens lowly Redskins.
          Hopefully for the rest of us, you follow Kelly or Griffin off to another team. Literally everything you have spouted, this team has done the opposite. And they’re in the playoffs. A case could be made that to be a successful coach in this league, one would need only follow your posts and do the opposite.

        • redskinsnameisheretostay - Jan 3, 2016 at 10:27 PM

          Barely getting by in a division full of losers doesn’t make a team playoff caliber, it makes them lucky! You can’t comprehend half I spout here since you are half troll and half fan. You and that Gas guy are the hall of losers here. When did you ever provide something insightful on this board?

  12. John - Jan 2, 2016 at 8:25 PM

    OK, since everyone is being a bunch of pussies, thinking we should hold everyone out, for fear of possible injury, including the waterboys, let’s go ahead and forefit the game and demonstrate true cowardice.

    • skinsgame - Jan 2, 2016 at 8:43 PM

      Who’s “everyone”?

      • John - Jan 2, 2016 at 10:57 PM

        Everyone on this blog that thinks the team needs to hold out every important player (Cousins, Reed, etc.). The players and coaches know the risk involved. They risk getting injured week in and week out. They play with pain every week. Its part of the game.

        • skinsgame - Jan 3, 2016 at 7:57 AM

          I agree. Play it like you’ve played the rest and, if you’re leading, bring in backups toward the end. Archives

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