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Redskins put four on injured reserve; which ones will return in 2018?

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Redskins put four on injured reserve; which ones will return in 2018?

The Redskins placed four players who were Week 1 starters on offense on injured reserve Tuesday.

Not only is the 2017 season over for RB Chris Thompson, WR Terrelle Pryor, C Spencer Long, and G Shawn Lauvao, three of them may never play for the Redskins again.

Here is a look at the situation of each player, presented in order of the likelihood that he will be back with the Redskins in 2018.

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—There is not any doubt that Thompson will be back. His two-year, $7 million extension kicks in next year. He turned 27 last month and assuming there are no issues in rehabbing his broken fibula, he will be back in his familiar role as the third-down back and the player Jay Gruden turns to when the team needs an offensive spark.

—The other three players are all in the last year of their contracts. Of those, Long is the most likely to be back. They like his ability to play multiple positions. A third-round pick in 2014, he has started 13 games at left guard and 18 at center. There was talk earlier this year that the team might make a push to extend his contract. But now, they could be ready to move to Chase Roullier at center. The Redskins will see how Long’s health is as the free agency period approaches and decide what to do from there.

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Lauvao is on the last season of a four-year free agent contract. This will be the second season in that deal significantly shortened by injury. He missed 13 games with a broken ankle in 2015. He just turned 30 and the Redskins might want to go with someone younger and cheaper at left guard. But Jay Gruden likes veterans and perhaps if Lauvao is willing to return on a relatively cheap deal, he could return for some depth.

—There is very little chance that Pryor will be around in 2018. Both sides tried to make something happen but it just didn’t work. He was smart about the situation and always handled himself with class through the frustration. A team somewhere will give him a shot next year, but it likely won’t be the Redskins and it definitely won’t be the kind of long-term, big-money deal he was hoping to get when this season started.

These are not the only free-agency decisions involving injured players that the Redskins will have to make in 2018. Other pending free agents on injured reserve are NT Phil Taylor, LB Mason Foster, K Dustin Hopkins, LB Will Compton, and LB Trent Murphy.

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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/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.

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After suffering from concussions, Su'a Cravens cleared for football

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USA Today Sports

After suffering from concussions, Su'a Cravens cleared for football

Stopped before it ever started, 2017 proved a disappointing season for the Redskins and Su'a Cravens. 

Selected in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft, Cravens played his rookie year at linebacker before a position switch to safety in his second season. A more natural position fit, expectations were high for Cravens in 2017. 

Things derailed when Cravens suffered an injury in training camp. From there, the young player landed on the inactive list for the regular season opener. Questions began to bubble up about his role with the organization, and things popped Week 2 in Los Angeles. Cravens was seen speaking with Redskins VP Doug Williams on the sideline of a USC college football game, and a few days later, landed on the reserve/left squad list, effectively ending his year.

On Tuesday, Cravens' agent Fadde Mikhail released the following statement:

Cravens began working with Collins in September, soon after the Redskins moved him to the reserve list, per a source. Cravens suffered a concussion his rookie year that caused him to miss multiple games.

The statement brings plenty of questions, as the team did not previously disclose that Cravens dealt with head injuries in 2017. His training camp injury was a meniscus tear. 

Between placing the second-year star out of USC on the reserve/injured list and now this statement, it seems hard that the Redskins will be able to reconcile with Cravens to get him back on the team in 2018. 

Want more Redskins? Click here to follow JP on Facebook and check out @JPFinlayNBCS for live updates via Twitter! Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcastshere for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

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If Redskins really are still evaluating Kirk Cousins, Sunday was a bad performance

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If Redskins really are still evaluating Kirk Cousins, Sunday was a bad performance

If the Redskins truly need to evaluate Kirk Cousins over the final half of the 2017 season, the quarterback did himself no favors on Sunday. 

Cousins played his worst game of the year against the Chargers, and it's not even close. Nobody played well for the Redskins, save for maybe punter Tress Way, but Cousins performed particularly poor against his baseline for the season. 

He delivered his lowest yardage total (151 pass yards), completion percentage (55 percent) and QB rating (68) of the year, and by a wide margin. Cousins missed throws high and long, and again seemed to struggle to hold onto the ball while getting hit. 

The good news for Cousins, however, is since being named starter in 2015, there haven't been many performances like this. Generally, Cousins is never this bad, and maybe that's why the performance in L.A. stands out so much. 

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"I’m not here to throw stones at anybody on the offense, I know from what we expect offensively, it wasn’t even close to what we want or what we should look like from an efficiency standpoint," Washington head coach Jay Gruden said on Monday. 

At this point, the evolving contract situation between the Redskins and Cousins clouds everything going on with the team. In just three more games, Cousins will again be a free agent, and team president Bruce Allen will need to decide if the team will use a transition tag, a franchise tag, get a long-term deal done or let their quarterback walk. 

The tags carry a tremendous salary cap hit, though a long-term deal will probably do the same. Letting Cousins walk carries a possible severe penalty, but not on the salary cap. 

Over the past 10 days, national analysts have begun to question Cousins' leadership skills, and Dan Patrick even suggested Redskins' receivers don't like Cousins as their quarterback. The assertion came that Cousins throws too many dangerous passes for his wideouts, causing big hits. 

Whether or not that assertion is true, Cousins did throw multiple high passes over the middle against the Chargers. Those are the exact passes that cause big hits on receivers. 

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It's worth pointing out, almost every QB does that to some degree. For his part, Cousins said that certainly it was not intentional.

"I’m sure I’ve led people into traffic. I know I led Pierre Garcon into some big hits in the past, but I think it also is a part of playing the receiver position and it’s tough," Cousins said on 106.7 the Fan on Monday.

Asked specifically about the high passes, Gruden only talked about inaccuracy. 

"He was not quite as accurate as he has been, obviously," the coach said. "He missed some throws that he normally makes. He threw behind a couple of guys on some deep balls and he threw a couple over some guys’ heads from time to time."

It's hard to think one game could sway the opinions of the Redskins front office about their quarterback. If one game could, however, it could have been Cousins' performance against the Chargers.

Want more Redskins? Click here to follow JP on Facebook and check out @JPFinlayNBCS for live updates via Twitter! Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcastshere for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!