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Instant Analysis: Redskins 24, Bucs 22

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Instant Analysis: Redskins 24, Bucs 22

TAMPAA day that began about as poorly as possible ended far better for the Redskins at Raymond James Stadium on Sunday.

Safety Brandon Meriweather and wide receiver Aldrick Robinson were involved in a violent collision during pregame warmups, dealing the visitors a significant blow before the game had even begun. Meriweather had been expected to make his season debut after missing the first three weeks with a knee injury.

That initial adversity, though, gave way to an uneven performance by the Redskins, who received strong performances from Robert Griffin III, Alfred Morris and a clutch kick from shaky Billy Cundiff in the final seconds to secure a 24-22 victory.

The win halted a two-game losing streak for the Redskins (2-2), while the Buccaneers (1-3) lost a third consecutive game.

Cundiff missed from 31, 41 and 57 yards, dropping him to 1 for 5 since the opener. But the veteran was on-target from 41 yards with three seconds remaining.

The Buccanners had battled back from a 21-6 halftime deficit behind Josh Freeman (299 yards passing), Mike Williams (115 yards receiving) and Vincent Jackson (100 yards). They took a 22-21 lead with 1:47 left to play on a 47-yard field goal by Connor Barth.

But the Redskins had just enough time and Cundiff had just enough nerve.

Griffin finished 26 of 35 for 323 yards and rushed for his fourth touchdown of the season, tying him for the Redskins season record for quarterbacks.Morris, meantime, rushed for 113 yards on 21 carries, including a 39-yard touchdown run in the first half.

With the help of a 65-yard completion and a 54-yarder on back-to-back drives, the Buccaneers scored on consecutive drives spanning the third and fourth quarters to trim their deficit to 21-19. They could have pulled even, but Freemans two-point conversion pass fell short.

The Redskins offense stalled on their next two drives and the Buccaneers seized the opportunity, taking a one point lead on Barth's third field goal of the day.

But Cundiff made sure it wasnt enough.

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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.

—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.

MORE REDSKINS: QUANTIFYING THE LATE-HALF DIFFICULTIES

—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.

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.

RELATED: APOLOGY FOR BLOWN CALL RINGS HOLLOW FOR COUSINS

—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.

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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Need to Know: Five Redskins under pressure vs. the Giants

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Need to Know: Five Redskins under pressure vs. the Giants

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, November 22, one day before the Washington Redskins play the New York Giants on Thanksgiving Day at FedEx Field.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Jay Gruden press conference and open locker room, 12:30 p.m.; the team will conduct a walkthrough instead of a practice.  

Days until:

—Redskins @ Cowboys Thursday night (11/30) 8
—Redskins @ Chargers (12/10) 18
—Cardinals @ Redskins (12/17) 25

Five Redskins under pressure vs the Giants

RB Byron Marshall—After signing with the team just a week ago, Marshall will have to step into one of the most important roles in Jay Gruden’s offense—third-down back. With Chris Thompson out, Marshall will have to pick up the protection schemes and execute them. He should have no issues running for some yardage on a draw or catching a pass out of the backfield but he now assumes a good chunk of responsibility for keeping Kirk Cousins upright.

WR Jamison Crowder—In the first six games of this season, Crowder caught 19 passes for 149 yards. In his last three games (he missed one with a hamstring injury) he has caught 20 for 271. With Jordan Reed’s status still uncertain, Thompson out, Terrelle Pryor going on injured reserve, and Josh Doctson experiencing up-and-down productivity, Crowder needs to be the rock among the pass catchers. Maybe he can get into the end zone for the first time this year.

OLB Ryan Kerrigan—An undrafted rookie named Chad Wheeler is likely to start at right tackle for the Giants. With the Redskins still reeling from injuries, they have to take maximum advantage of a mismatch like this. Kerrigan will likely be lined up against Wheeler most of the time and he needs to spend the day in Eli Manning’s face.

CB Josh Norman—The guy who is supposed to be the rock of the Redskins’ secondary has not played well in the last two games, both losses in which the team gave up a combined 72 points. Opposing quarterbacks have gone seven for seven throwing into his coverage for 112 yards and a touchdown. He doesn’t have Odell Beckham to worry about, but Sterling Shepard is a talented receiver and Norman will need to be on top of things to hold him down.

S DeAngelo Hall—The veteran played well in his first game back against Seattle but he has struggled since. He went out of the Vikings game early with a bone bruise on his knee and then he did not play well after coming in to replace an injured Montae Nicholson in New Orleans. It seems likely that Nicholson (concussion) will be out against the Giants and Hall will have to play better. Hall not only needs to help out a reeling defense but he needs to make sure that the coaches have trust in him so that he can maintain a role for the rest of the year.

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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