Here is a Redskins-centric look around the NFL as Week 3 approaches.
—The Redskins got thumped by the Steelers at home in Week 1 and now it’s the Eagles’ turn to host Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown, and company. Philly also gets the Steelers without star running back Le’veon Bell, who is into final week of his three-game substance abuse suspension. But it does look like receiver Markus Wheaton, who missed the first two games with a shoulder injury, will play; he was a full go in practice all week. It will be interesting to see how rookie QB Carson Wentz performs after looking good against a couple of non-entities in the Browns and the Bears. A key injury for the Eagles is CB Leodis McKelvin (hamstring). He has been declared out so the tough task of defending Brown will be much more difficult.
—The Eagles will have right tackle Lane Johnson for the Steelers game. However, he was notified of a 10-game PED suspension this week. He gets a chance appeal on October 4. The issue should be decided by the time the Redskins host the Eagles on Oct. 16.
—The Cowboys get the Bears this week on Sunday night (what’s up with two straight prime time appearances for Chicago?). Jay Cutler is out with a thumb injury so that means that Brian Hoyer is behind center for the Bears. Will the Bears be the team to rattle Dak Prescott, who, like Wentz, has yet to throw an interception in his first two NFL games? He has been solid in Dallas’ two games, a close loss and a close win. It’s so far, so good in the Cowboys’ attempt to get to midseason in contention and then see what they can do with Tony Romo behind center. They have the 49ers after the Bears so they could well be 3-1 going into games against the Bengals and at Green Bay.
—Looking past the Giants (yes, we’re allowed to do that here since it has no effect on what the Redskins do), the injury hits keep on coming for the Browns, the Redskins Week 4 opponent. They lost their top draft pick, WR Corey Coleman, to a broken hand. He will be back later in the season but he will miss the Redskins game. Not only is the return of Robert Griffin III out since he is on injured reserve, ex-Redskins DL Stephen Paea might not make it to FedEx Field; he is hampered by an elbow injury. With Griffin and Josh McCown (shoulder) both out, rookie Cody Kessler will be the quarterback, assuming he makes it through their game at the Dolphins on Sunday.
—The Redskins’ Week 10 game against the Vikings will still be tough but they will have some key players on the shelf. Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater already was out and now RB Adrian Peterson (knee) and LT Matt Kalil (hip) are going to be out for most or all of the season. Peterson went on injured reserve on Friday so he is out for at least eight weeks. Minnesota still has a pretty solid defense and Sam Bradford looked good in his debut at QB for the Vikings so they will remain a quality opponent.
—Tomorrow I like the Packers -7 over the Lions, the Steelers -3.5 at the Eagles and the Jaguars +1 at home against the Ravens. Last week I was 1-2, winning with the Saints, who covered against the Giants, and losing with the Packers and Colts.