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Jay Gruden takes some blame for Jamison Crowder's slow start, numbers tell different story

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USA Today Sports

Jay Gruden takes some blame for Jamison Crowder's slow start, numbers tell different story

Through four games last season, Jamison Crowder had nearly 200 receiving yards on 18 catches and two touchdowns. 

Through four games this season, Jamison Crowder has just over 100 receiving yards on 14 catches with zero touchdowns. 

In his third season with the Redskins, many expected a breakout campaign for Crowder this year after the departure of Pierre Garçon and DeSean Jackson from the 2016 offense. So far, it hasn't happened, and Washington head coach Jay Gruden took some of the blame. 

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"I think you’ll see more of Jamison Crowder hopefully. He is one of our best skill players. We have got to get him more involved in the offense. That is partly my fault, to get more balls targeted for him," the coach said.

Injuries might be a factor, too, in Crowder's slow start. The wideout has dealt with a hamstring strain as well as a hip issue in the early parts of the season, and his name has popped on and off injury reports for a few weeks. Gruden said injuries could be a part of Crowder's production, "a little bit, possibly," but the coach also wants to get more passes his way. 

"Whether it’s quick game, whether it’s getting the ball out in space somehow, bubble screen, whatever it might be, I have got to get the ball to him in space more often and get him in the flow early," Gruden said. 

It's also worth pointing out the Redskins offense has shown a renewed commitment to the run game this year. 

In their first four games last season, the Redskins ran the ball 85 times for 372 yards. 

In their first four games this season, the Redskins have run the ball 116 times for 520 yards. 

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In turn, Kirk Cousins has thrown the ball much less. In four games this year, Cousins has 121 pass attempts. In the first four games last season, Cousins threw the ball 151 times. 30 fewer throws in four games, that works out to almost eight less pass plays per game. 

Looking at all the factors, it's good of Gruden to shoulder some blame for Crowder's slow start. That's what good coaches do. But it doesn't seem particularly accurate. 

The Redskins have been running more, throwing less, and Crowder is fighting through nagging injuries as well. Much of that could change Sunday against the Niners.

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Josh Norman out against Eagles in Monday night matchup, plus full injury report

Josh Norman out against Eagles in Monday night matchup, plus full injury report

The Redskins will be without one of their top defenders when they take on the Eagles on Monday night.

Jay Gruden announced that CB Josh Norman is out for the second straight game with a broken rib. Norman was able to practice on a limited basis earlier this week but he did not practice today. Gruden said that the recovery from the injury just had not progressed to the point where the doctors would clear him to play.

Bashaud Breeland, the other starting cornerback, is listed as questionable with a knee injury he sustained last week against the 49ers. “He did a good job today,” said Gruden. “He’s looking better.”

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Gruden said that a final determination on Breeland’s status will be made on Sunday.

With Norman out, Quinton Dunbar, who did a good job filling in against the 49ers, will start. If both of the starters are sidelined, rookie Fabian Moreau will get the start opposite Dunbar.

Also listed as questionable are RB Rob Kelley (ankle), S Deshazor Everett (hamstring), S Stefan McClure (knee), and LB Mason Foster (shoulder).

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Kelley is still recovering from an ankle injury he suffered against the Chiefs on Oct. 2 but he has looked good while practicing on a limited basis this week. If he can’t go it seems likely that Samaje Perine will start in his place.

It should be noted that the term “questionable” on an injury report means that it is “uncertain if the player will play”. Many say that means that there is at least a 50 percent chance that the player will be active for the game. So there are a lot of scenarios that could unfold with that designation.

Reserve offensive linemen Ty Nsekhe (core muscle) and Tyler Catalina (concussion) also have been declared out for Monday night.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.

 

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Need to Know: The week that was—Allen injury, why not the Redskins?

Need to Know: The week that was—Allen injury, why not the Redskins?

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, October 21, two days before the Washington Redskins visit the Philadelphia Eagles for Monday night football.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Practice 12:05 p.m.; Jay Gruden news conference, open locker room, after practice approx. 2 p.m.

Days until:

—Cowboys @ Redskins (10/29) 8
—Redskins @ Seahawks (11/5) 15
—Giants @ Redskins Thanksgiving (11/23) 33

Injuries of note:
Not practicing
: OT Trent Williams (knee), S D.J. Swearinger (rest)
Limited: CB Josh Norman (rib), CB Bashaud Breeland (knee), S Deshazor Everett (hamstring), RB Rob Kelley (ankle),
It was a little surprising not to see Swearinger out there but he has a lingering hamstring injury and they figured he could use day of rest more than the day of practice. Jay Gruden said that both Norman and Breeland did more on Friday than they did on Thursday.

The Redskins week that was

Here is a look at some of the top posts and hot topics from this week at NBCSportsWashington.com and at RealRedskins.com.

Bad News For Jonathan Allen—A few of the site’s stop posts this week were about Allen’s Lisfranc injury (here's one about how the Redskins will try to fill the void). We went from him being out three or four weeks to him being out for the season to injured reserve with the possibility that he can return after eight weeks. I thought all along that three or four weeks was a very aggressive timetable for return from a Lisfranc. And it would be just short of a miracle for him to return before the end of the season. I think the best that fans can hope for is for Allen to bounce back from his Lisfranc like Morgan Moses did from his. Morgan suffered his in December of 2014 and he became the starting right tackle in next year in training camp. He has played at a high level and he hasn’t missed a game since.

In a muddled NFC, why not the Redskins?  With Aaron Rodgers sidelined and everyone in the NFC looking vulnerable, the Redskins could have a chance to make a deep playoff run this year. The key word is could and they will have to do some things right, starting with beating the Eagles on Sunday. Even a loss in Philly wouldn’t be fatal for their chances. Take a look at the post and see if you agree with me.

Hopkins to IR, Redskins sign Nick Rose—Allen wasn’t the only Redskins player to go in injured reserve this week. Dustin Hopkins suffered a hip injury that is going to take six to eight weeks to rehab so he hit IR. We will see if he comes back, which he could do in Week 15 against the Cardinals. That will depend on his health and on how well replacement kicker Nick Rose is performing.

5 overlooked stories from the Redskins-49ers game—There was plenty of (justified) pre-game hand wringing over Josh Norman being inactive for the 49ers game. But it turned out that replacement Quinton Dunbar played well. The Niners tried to get to him—he was targeted 14 times—but held up well. Check out some details on Dunbar’s play and four other things that weren’t talked about enough.

Week 7 stats, trends, and storylines—The Redskins are still banged up going into this game. While they have been able avoid major injuries since the season started with the exceptions of Allen and Hopkins, they have had enough nagging type injuries to hamper the team’s effectiveness, especially on defense. Take a look at other storylines and see how the Redskins are trending in key statistical categories.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.

Take a look at what happened on Friday at Redskins Park with this Twitter moment.

Tandler on Twitter

From the locker room

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