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In-depth chart: Defensive line

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In-depth chart: Defensive line

The Redskins 90-man offseason roster is set, at least for the time being. Its time to take a look at who they have, who will start, and who will be around when the Sept. 9 opener in New Orleans rolls around.Weve looked the the offensive backs, the line.and the receivers and tight ends. Today we flip to the defensive side of the ball and put the D-line under the microscope.Defensive endStarters: Stephen Bowen, Jarvis Jenkins
Reserves: Adam Carriker, Kedric Golston
Fighting for a job: Darrion Scott, Kentwan Balmer, Doug WorthingtonBowen, who will be limited in the preseason program as he had a procedure done on one of his knees in April, is set on the right side.We could label Jenkins and Carriker as 1-A and 1-B on the left. Jenkins seems to be on the road to a full recovery from his torn ACL although he was wearing a full knee brace during Mondays OTA. The talk was that he would have won a starting job at some point during last year but Carriker held down the job well enough to earn a contract extension. The two will compete for the starting job during training camp. The loser will still end up with plenty of playing time in the line rotation.The team re-signed Golston after he missed the last seven games of last year with a knee injury. He is steady and reliable for 20-30 snaps per game. He is likely to be on the final roster but Balmer could challenge him if they keep only four defensive ends.Balmer is an interesting prospect. He was a first-round pick of the 49ers in 2008 and he lasted only two seasons there before being traded to Seattle for a sixth-round pick. He has bounced around and even though hes only 25 this could be his last chance to catch on in the NFL. Jim Haslett will want to give him a long look.He will compete with Scott and Worthington for a possible fifth defensive end job.Nose tackleStarter: Barry Cofield
Reserve: Chris Neild
Fighting for a job: Chris BakerIt seems like everyone was trying to replace Cofield with a traditional nose tackle from the moment the Redskins signed him soon after the lockout ended. He is heavier than his listed weight of 306 but short of the 350- to 360-pound range that you usually find in the middle of a three-man line. With an offseason to learn, he should improve on his up and down 2011 performance at the nose.Neild started off his NFL career with a bang, getting in on two sacks of Eli Manning in the season opener. He got only another half sack the rest of the season but, of course, thats not his job. He did well playing about a dozen snaps per game to give Cofield a rest.Baker has a couple of games of NFL experience under his belt. He will compete with Neild for the backup spot behind Cofield.

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Need to Know: Final thoughts on Redskins vs. Eagles

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Need to Know: Final thoughts on Redskins vs. Eagles

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, October 23, six days before the Washington Redskins play the Dallas Cowboys at FedEx Field.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Redskins vs. Eagles, 8:30 pm, ESPN

Days until:

—Redskins @ Seahawks (11/5) 13
—Giants @ Redskins Thanksgiving (11/23) 31

Final report on injures of note:
Out
: CB Josh Norman (rib),
Questionable: OT Trent Williams (knee)CB Bashaud Breeland (knee), S Deshazor Everett (hamstring), RB Rob Kelley (ankle),
See the full injury report and analysis here

Final thoughts on Redskins vs Eagles

—The first time these teams met, both scored defensive touchdowns. Ryan Kerrigan got the first Redskins points on the board with a pick six of Carson Wentz in the second quarter. With a minute and a half left, Fletcher Cox wrapped up the game for his team with a 20-yard return of a very controversial fumble. The difference tonight could well be a defensive or special teams score.

—In that game, the Redskins never let the Eagles get any sort of running game going. The Eagles rushed for 54 yards, the second-lowest total for a Washington opponent this year. And they had 24 attempts (2.4 yards per) so it wasn’t as though they didn’t try. The Redskins could use another strong effort against the run this time as well.

—I examined third downs in the first look at this game a few days ago. Since then, this was bought to my attention.

Third downs could be a fatal flaw for the Redskins. The Eagles’ ability to convert third and long situations was a key to them being able to survive without much of a running game in the opener. The Redskins need to hold the Eagles to 40 percent or less on all third downs and to 25 percent or less on third and long. And they will have to do it without Josh Norman, their best defensive back.

—In the first meeting, the matchup of the Redskins’ offensive line and the Eagles’ defensive front went decidedly in Philly’s direction. Washington rushed for just 64 yards and Kirk Cousins was sacked four times. There were plenty of concerns about the line, especially RT Morgan Moses, who gave up two sacks, and RG Brandon Scherff, who gave up four total pressures. Those two and the unit as a whole have been better since that game. The Redskins’ front will need to win that battle this time around.

Prediction: A Week 7 game is not really a must-win when you have a winning record. There is a lot of season left to be played. But if the Redskins are going to take the next step and stay in the thick of things for the ideal playoff seeding, they need to take this one. This year in the NFL, just when everyone thinks they have things figured out something happens to flip the script. Everyone now figures that the Eagles are the best team in the NFC and perhaps the best in the NFL. They are ripe for an upset.

Redskins 24, Eagles 20

Season prediction record: 2-3

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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Trent Williams needs knee surgery eventually, but the timeline has many factors

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Trent Williams needs knee surgery eventually, but the timeline has many factors

PHILADELPHIA — Arguably the Redskins best player, all of the NFL knows that Trent Williams can still play at a high level while dealing with injury. 

How long Williams can play though injury seems the more important question though as reports emerged the left tackle will need knee surgery at some point. That could come in the next few weeks, or as Redskins fans hope, perhaps at the end of the season.

Currently playing with a torn medial patella-femoral ligament in his right knee, the six-time Pro Bowler has not practiced since sustaining the injury three weeks ago in Kansas City. He was able to gut out a strong performance last week against the 49ers, and is expected to do the same Monday night against the Eagles.

One factor that might be pushing Williams to play with such a damaged right leg is that backup tackle Ty Nsekhe is also out after having surgery on his core muscles. 

MORE: REDSKINS WEEKLY MVPS FOR EVERY GAME THUS FAR

Nsekhe is expected back relatively soon, but the timeline remains murky. When he can come back, perhaps Williams will reconsider his options. 

Surgery for the torn MPFL will leave Williams with a five or six-month recovery. 

It's obvious the Redskins' offense is best with Williams on the field. Nsekhe, however, proved a capable backup last season when Williams served a four-game suspension. 

Without Nsekhe, the Redskins would go to veteran T.J. Clemmings should Williams be unable to play. Nsekhe has not played since a Week 3 win over Oakland. The Redskins added Clemmings to the roster in early September, after their fourth preseason game. He spent the last two seasons with the Vikings. 

For now, the Redskins will continue to hope Williams can play through the pain.

"Trent is a tough guy, so we will see how it works, see how feels tomorrow and go from there," Jay Gruden said of Williams on Saturday. 

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