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Josh Norman is going to need to find a new celebration for 2017 season

Josh Norman is going to need to find a new celebration for 2017 season

RICHMOND—Josh Norman's bow and arrow celebration with the Redskins was born on Sept. 18, 2016, during Washington's Week 2 game vs. Dallas.

Unfortunately, on Sunday, Aug. 6, 2017, Norman's move may have been officially put to rest — unless he wants to guarantee himself a flag and possible fine by doing it in the future.

Each year, NFL officials visit training camps around the league to update teams on new rules, and when making the rounds at Redskins camp, referee Carl Johnson stated matter of factly that, "Any simulation of a weapon is against the rules."

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Norman puncuated a few big plays last year with the celebration, but now, there's no more uncertainty about it. It can't be performed anywhere on a field, including the sidelines.

If you think that it's silly how concerned the NFL is with what its players do when they're happy and trying to have — get ready for an F-word here — fun, you're not alone. Later on in Johnson's explanation of the regulations, for example, he had to describe the proper way to dunk the football on a goalpost (as long as there's no hanging on it, it's fine, apparently).

Norman has made it clear he wants to have more interceptions in 2017, after snagging just three last season. Now, on top of finding a way to make that happen, he'll need to find a new dance, too. 

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Need to Know: Final thoughts on Redskins vs. Cardinals

Need to Know: Final thoughts on Redskins vs. Cardinals

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, December 17, seven days before the Washington Redskins play the Denver Broncos at FedEx Field.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Redskins Kickoff, noon, NBC Sports Washington; Redskins vs. Cardinals, 1 pm, FOX

Days until:

—Broncos @ Redskins Christmas Eve (12/24) 7
—Redskins @ Giants (12/17) 14
—NFL Draft (4/26/18) 130

Final thoughts on Redskins vs Cardinals

Key news and information:

Home field: The Cardinals are 2-4 on the road this year with the two wins coming against the 3-11 Colts and the 3-10 49ers. But the Redskins haven’t exactly torn it up at FedEx Field, going 3-3 with none of the wins coming over teams that have winning records. There are tickets selling for as little as six bucks on StubHub; you can get into the lower bowl for $14. Although there is not likely to be a Cardinals fan takeover, the Redskins could have some trouble generating much noise to support them.

Run game: The matchup the Redskins should be most concerned about is their running game against the Cardinals rushing defense. In the standard stats, Arizona is seventh in rushing yards allowed and fourth in yards per attempt. If you want to go advanced stats, Football Outsiders says that their rushing defense is third in the league as measured by DVOA. The Redskins are 4-24 under Jay Gruden when they rush for less than 90 yards. The Cardinals have allowed over 90 yards rushing five times this season, although it should be noted that they have given up at least 108 yards in each of their last three games.

Cousins bounce back: Kirk Cousins had arguably his worst game as a starter against the Chargers last week. He passed for 151 yards, his lowest total in any career game that he started and finished. Cousins didn’t appear to see some open receivers and he frequently was off target when he did find guys with some separation. The Redskins need him to come up big. He doesn’t necessarily have to be great for his team to win, just competent.

Other keys to a win:

  • Don’t let Blaine Gabbert beat you. He has been sacked 15 times in his last two games. The Cardinals are 2-2 in his four starts and he has thrown two interceptions in each of the losses. The Redskins, who have a defense that mostly is healthy, need to get the sacks and the picks to keep the Arizona offense at bay.
  • Cardinals linebacker Chandler Jones has 14 sacks, nearly half of Arizona’s total of 31. He has been steady, with at least one sack in 11 of the Cardinals’ 13 games. Jones usually lines up on the right side so it will be up to Trent Williams or, if he can’t go, Ty Nsekhe to slow him down.

Prediction: Earlier this week on the Redskins Talk podcast (you can listen to it below) I predicted a fairly easy win for the Redskins. The more I think about it, the more I’m not so sure. A Redskins rout is possible if the defense can do its part with sacks and takeaways. But nothing comes easy for the 2017 Redskins. I think they’ll win the game but if I was concerned about the point spread for entertainment or other purposes I might take the visitors and the four points.

Redskins 17, Cardinals 14

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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Redskins activate K Dustin Hopkins, waive K Nick Rose

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Redskins activate K Dustin Hopkins, waive K Nick Rose

After missing the last eight games, the Redskins brought back place-kicker Dustin Hopkins from the injured reserve and waived Nick Rose.

Hopkins became eligible to return from the IR this week and took part in practice all week. Jay Gruden wouldn't commit to one kicker or the other when he spoke earlier in the week, but the decision came down on Saturday.

Rose played well in Hopkins' absence, making 10 of 11 field goals including a 55-yarder. The rookie Rose had some struggles with extra points, missing two of his 20 attempts, though neither snap/hold combination was totally clean either. 

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Hopkins has the stronger leg and is capable of booting the ball out of the end zone on seemingly every kickoff. With Rose as kicker, at times the Redskins deployed a different strategy where kicks were aimed for the goal line, forcing a return. 

Washington's kicker for parts of the last three seasons, Hopkins has a career 84 percent field goal conversion rate and 94.6 percent conversion rate on extra points in 36 games. 

The Redskins sent Hopkins to the IR after a Week 6 win over the 49ers with a right hip rotator muscle injury. 

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