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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Winning without running is hard, return of a vet

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Winning without running is hard, return of a vet

SEATTLE--Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, November 2, one day before the Washington Redskins go to Seattle to play the Seahawks.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Walkthrough in Seattle, no media availability

Days until:

—Vikings @ Redskins (11/12) 8
—Redskins @ Saints (11/9) 15
—Giants @ Redskins Thanksgiving (11/23) 19

Key injury update
Out:
DE Ioannidis (hans) G Lauvao (stinger), TE Paul (concussion), TE Reed (hamstring),
Doubtful: T Williams (knee), T Nsekhe (core muscoe), C Long (knees)
Questionable: G Scherff (knee), RB Kelley (ankle), CB Breeland (knee, groin), WR Full injury report here. Crowder (hamstring), S Nicholson (shoulder)
Questionable is often taken to mean that the player is going to play but that’s not always the case. Last week, Williams and Scherff were questionable and they did not play. So we’ll just have to wait until Sunday at about 2:30 to see.   

Five Redskins under pressure vs. the Seahawks

Here are some of the most popular post and hottest topics from the past week on RealRedskins.com and NBCSportsWashington.com. 

Desperate for depth, the Redskins sign Arthur Jones—Even though the Redskins have 12 offensive linemen on the roster, they needed to add a lineman on the other side of the ball after Matt Ioannidis broke his hand. The choice was Jones, a veteran of the Ravens’ Super Bowl win in2012. His familiarity with Greg Manusky from time both spent with the Colts. Look for the eight-year veteran to be active and play about a dozen snaps in Seattle.

So why did the 49ers give up on Kirk Cousins? There are many Redskins-related ripple effects to the 49ers trade for Jimmy Garoppolo. While these will take some time to play out, the deal makes it apparent that Kyle Shanahan believes that the Redskins will do whatever it takes to keep Cousins off of the open market in 2018. That could be by using a tag or by making a contract offer he can’t refuse. Shanahan has a six-year contract but he knows he can’t wait until he is going into his third year to have a shot at getting his preferred QB.

Another Redskin to IR, could mean return of Hall—Although it seemed certain that the move of safety Stefan McClure to injured reserve would clear the way for DeAngelo Hall to return to the active roster, as of this writing he has not been activated. They have until 4 p.m. Saturday to make a move and while one is expected, Gruden and Manusky would be OK with going into the game with three safeties active, assuming that Montae Nicholson is healthy enough to play. Update: Hall was added to the 53-man roster late on Friday.

Running game is key to Redskins getting back on track—I got some push back on this post with some saying that the Redskins can’t run with the offensive line being so injury depleted. That certainly doesn’t help, especially with the more intricate blocking schemes that the team uses. When you throw three or even four new players into the mix the coordination needed to execute such plays is lost. But they either have to figure out how to have a reasonably productive ground game or win through the air. The problem with the latter is, well, see the next item.

Redskins needed greatness from Cousins, but didn't get it—Cousins didn’t play poorly against the Cowboys by any means. But he didn’t put an injured team on his back and carry it to an improbable win. Read the post and see what you think are reasonable expectations for Cousins in such a situation.

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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Everybody thinks the intentional grounding call against Kirk Cousins was wrong, except Troy Aikman

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Everybody thinks the intentional grounding call against Kirk Cousins was wrong, except Troy Aikman

The referees made a fairly obvious mistake last week in the Redskins loss to the Saints when they flagged Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins for intentional grounding late in the game. 

Let's be honest: the call was terrible.

Cousins never felt a pass rush on the play, and was very obviously throwing the ball away. Jay Gruden talked about the play on Monday, and could not figure out how a flag came out in that situation. 

We had two receivers in the area. Quarterbacks throws it away all the time that are uncatchable balls whether they are in the pocket or not. As long as there is a receiver in the area, you can throw it whether they are looking or not. Guys run bad routes – one guy runs a hitch and he’s supposed to run a go and the quarterback throws the go ball, it’s not grounding. So I don’t know why the confusion.

The NFL even reached out and apologized to Redskins team president Bruce Allen for the blown call, a hollow gesture that did not generate much excitement from Cousins (via 106.7 the Fan). 

Whatever they do to say, ‘we’re sorry, wrong call,’ it’s tough because there’s nobody bringing that up in February or March when we're making decisions about which direction to go with the organization. We appreciate the clarification but you know it really doesn’t do much.

If you're keeping score, the NFL, the Redskins head coach and the Redskins quarterback all know the call was wrong. 

You know who doesn't think the call was wrong? Fox analyst, and former Cowboys Hall of Fame QB, Troy Aikman.

Grounding? Free rusher? Decide for yourself below.

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Fantasy Football -- Thanksgiving Day plan

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Fantasy Football -- Thanksgiving Day plan

The Week 12 fantasy football rankings are out -- but when it comes to Thanksgiving Day, everyone wants some player regardless of where they slot overall. Don't overthink it and take a lesser player, but for those on the fence or simply looking for Thursday action, here are some recommendations for all three games.

Vikings @ Lions

Obvious: Vikings -- Wide receivers Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs... running backs Latavius Murray and Jerick McKinnon are in the RB2/Flex discussion for most, but good luck picking between them; Lions -- Wide receiver Golden Tate and ... wide receiver Marvin Jones works in three-WR formats while quarterback Matthew Stafford is No. 14 among passers this week.

Start: Case Keenum averaged 19.3 points over the last four games while the Lions have allowed ample points to fantasy quarterbacks in that stretch, though only three touchdown passes. Having Thielen and Diggs up the potential for Keenum, who is QB17 in the Week 12 rankings. That's comparable with Matthew Stafford (QB14), Andy Dalton, Jacoby Brissett and ahead of Derek Carr.

Add: Not sure there's any fringe skill player worth taking a flyer on so take a look at Vikings kicker Kai Forbath. He's attempted at least three field goals in four of his last five games and he kicked five extra points in the lone exception. ... Some will start Ameer Abdullah based on their options, but just know the Vikings allow the second fewest points to fantasy tight ends this season.

Chargers @ Cowboys

Obvious: Chargers -- running back Melvin Gordon and wide receiver Keenan Allen; Cowboys -- Wide receiver Dez Bryant, running back Alfred Morris and... quarterback Dak Prescott, though his production is down without running back Ezekiel Elliott and left tackle Tyron Smith.

Start: This hasn't been a vintage Philip Rivers season, but he's coming off his best performance (251 yards, two touchdown passes) since Week 5. The Cowboys aren't that special in the secondary and have surrendered two touchdown passes in three consecutive games. At QB13, he's on the cusp of QB1 status in 12-team leagues. 

Add: Kickers Nick Novak (Chargers) and Mike Nugent (Cowboys) are 15th and 16th respectively. So, there's that. 

Giants @ Redskins

The obvious: Giants -- tight end Evan Engram and... running back Orleans Darkwa is a viable RB2 option against a Redskins defense giving up gobs of yards on the ground; Redskins -- quarterback Kirk Cousins, tight Vernon Davis and...running back Samaje Perine is RB12 this week, though listed as questionable on the injury report with a finger issue.

Start: Jordan Reed is out for a fourth consecutive game, meaning Vernon Davis once again is Washington's main tight end. While he hasn't provided wow performances like Reed at his Pro Bowl best, Davis has been good for a solid 8-11 since taking on a larger role starting in Week 3. This could be his best statistical week of the season. The Giants allow the most points to fantasy tight ends on the season. Opposing tight ends scored a touchdown in each of the first 10 games before the streak snapped Sunday.

RELATED: NEW AND IMPROVED WEEK 12 FANTASY RANKINGS

Add: Josh Doctson is only owned in 55 percent of leagues on CBS even though he's moved into the role of Washington's top outside receiver. The second-year player had four receptions for 81 yards in Sunday's overtime loss, though all the production came in the first half. Consistency is the next step, but Kirk Cousins is showing more and more confidence in the 6'3" target especially on 50-50 balls. Doctson is WR36 in my Week 12 rankings, meaning he's worth starting consideration in three-WR formats regardless.