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Need to Know: Five key moments from the Redskins' loss to the Eagles

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Associated Press

Need to Know: Five key moments from the Redskins' loss to the Eagles

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, October 24, five days before the Washington Redskins play the Dallas Cowboys at FedEx Field.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Jay Gruden conference call, 3 p.m.

Days until:

—Redskins @ Seahawks (11/5) 12
—Vikings @ Redskins (11/12) 19
—Giants @ Redskins Thanksgiving (11/23) 30

Injures of note: G Brandon Scherff (knee) will have MRI today; OT Trent Williams (knee) aggravated previous injury; OLB Preston Smith (groin); CB Fabian Moreau (hamstring); CB Josh Holsey (chest).
Postgame injury report here; Jay Gruden will update injuries in 3 p.m. media conference call.

RELATED: DID THE REFEREES MISS A CALL ON THE PLAY SCHERFF GOT HURT?

Final thoughts on the most crucial moments from Redskins vs. Eagles

Vernon Davis 31-yard reception in the second quarter set up the Redskins’ first touchdown. His first one led to a field goal that opened the scoring for the Redskins. The fountain of youth continues to flow for the 33-year-old tight end.

—The Redskins were keeping Carson Wentz off balance by applying pressure and either getting to him with the sack or forcing him to get rid of the ball off balance. But on a second and 16 play in the second quarter they didn’t blitz and Wentz had all day to launch a 64-yard TD bomb to Mack Hollins to tie the score at 10. Greg Manusky has to mix things up but going away from what was working cost the Redskins here.

—Down by 14, the Redskins cobbled together a third-quarter drive after their defense had held the Eagles to a three and out for the first time since the second quarter. It got going when Cousins scrambled for eight years and took a hit to convert a third down. The drive was capped by two Cousins passes to Jordan Reed, the second on a five-yard touchdown pass to make it 24-17.

—But the momentum swing was very temporary. It looked like the Redskins had Wentz sacked on third down. But somehow, he popped out of a pile of pass rushers and bolted for 17 yards. The air seemed to go out of the balloon for the Redskins. The Eagles capped to drive with a TD to restore the two-touchdown lead in the fourth quarter. Redskins fans may want to avoid NFL highlight shows all week; you’ll see that play a lot.

—There still was time left for the Redskins to mount a miracle comeback. But Cousins threw a pass that went right to safety Corey Graham. It was nowhere near a receiver. To be fair, Cousins did get hit but still it was a bad pass and it ended the competitive phase of the game.

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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From the locker room

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Need to Know: Five players who are wild cards for the 2018 Redskins

Need to Know: Five players who are wild cards for the 2018 Redskins

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, April 19, seven days before the 2018 NFL draft.  

Five wild cards for the 2018 Redskins

We know what to expect out of many members of the Redskins. Ryan Kerrigan will register between 10 and 13 sacks. Zach Brown will be among the league leaders in tackles. Jamison Crowder will compile about 800 yards receiving. But we really don’t know what to expect out of a lot of the players expected to play key roles. Here are five of them.

S Montae Nicholson—Although most of the uncertainty surrounding Nicholson is about his health, we really don’t know what he can do over a full season. Sure, he looked good in the six games he played last year but opposing offenses did not have much of a chance to probe his weaknesses. If he stays healthy, his ability to adjust to what the offenses are doing against him will be the next phase of his development. 

CB Fabian Moreau—As a rookie, he was impressive as a punt team gunner, but he got very limited playing time on defense (59 snaps, only seven after Week 5). The Redskins will be counting on him stepping into a bigger role after the departures of Bashaud Breeland and Kendall Fuller. He has the tools but we won’t know how well he can handle the job until he gets extended playing time. 

WR Maurice Harris—Last year he went from spectacular to invisible in a hurry. He made a sensational catch for 36 yards and a touchdown against the Vikings the first time he was targeted. In five games after that, he had just three receptions for 26 yards. Should he have had more playing time (76 snaps)? Or did he just not earn more targets? The real Maurice Harris should come to the forefront in 2018.

NT Phil Taylor—You know the story here. He was looking great in training camp until a quad injury sidelined him for the season. Taylor is healthy enough for the Redskins to give him another chance but this is a player who has not taken the field since November of 2014. We simply don’t know what to expect out of him even if he does make into Week 1 in good health. 

RB Samaje Perine—His play improved as the year went on but he wasn’t good enough to keep both Jay Gruden and Doug Williams from saying that running back is a draft need. Ideally, he shares carries with the probable draft pick with a few going to Chris Thompson and they combine to rush for 1,800 yards. 

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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Timeline  

Days until:

—OTAs start (5/22) 33
—Training camp starts (7/26) 98
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 143

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Is the Redskins’ starter at left guard already on the roster?

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USA Today Sports Images

Is the Redskins’ starter at left guard already on the roster?

The Redskins have checked off a number of their “needs” boxes that they had when the season began. But there are two holes that remain. 

One is nose tackle. Of course, that has been an issue since 2010. The Redskins may have obtained part of the solution when the brought back Phil Taylor last week and most believe that more help will come in the draft. 

The other need, the one at left guard, also may be a work in progress. Or, perhaps they think they have the solution on the depth chart. 

The team does not put out a depth chart before training camp but if they did distribute one right now they would have Arie Kouandjio as the starting left guard. That is cause for consternation among many Redskins fans and based on some of his past play the low confidence level is justified. 

Kouandjio was a fourth-round pick in 2015. He played sparingly his first two years in the league, getting two fill-in starts in 2016. In training camp last year, he spent a lot of time playing with the third team and it was no surprise when he was one of the final cuts. The team kept undrafted rookie Tyler Catalina instead. 

Kouandjio caught on with the Ravens’ practice squad but when injuries started to pile upon the O-line in Week 8, the Redskins brought him back. Two days after he was signed he played 22 snaps at left guard against the Cowboys. 

In all, he played in eight games, starting six of them. He allowed three sacks, which is the same number that Brandon Scherff gave up, but Scherff played about twice as many snaps. 

What about 2018? Word from John Keim is that Kouandjio has changed his training to focus on lower-body strength and agility. He knows that he has a chance to establish himself in the NFL and he’s doing what he can to take advantage of it. 

Another option at left guard is 31-year-old Tony Bergstrom, who was re-signed earlier this week. He has played for four teams in six years in the league and has started seven games including three at center for the Redskins. Like Kouandjio, he may not be the ideal solution but perhaps a passable option. 

The whole picture here could up be upended in the draft if the Redskins use one of their top picks on a guard. There has been plenty of chatter about Ohio State center Billy Price going to the Redskins in the second round. He may not last that long. If he’s there, however, the Redskins have to seriously consider him. 

The team may go through the draft and perhaps OTAs and minicamp with what they have now. If it doesn’t look like they have a starting caliber player in place they then could reach out to the free agent market and bring in someone like Alex Boone

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