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Need to Know: Post-minicamp Redskins 53-man roster projection, defense

Need to Know: Post-minicamp Redskins 53-man roster projection, defense

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, June 19, 38 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp in Richmond on July 27.

Timeline

Days until:

—Franchise tag contract deadline (7/17) 28
—Preseason opener @ Ravens (8/10) 52
—Season opener Eagles @ Redskins (9/10) 83

Redskins roster projection—Defense

The Redskins are done with their offseason program and are headed into a six-week break prior to training camp. A lot will be sorted out in Richmond but it’s not too early to project what the 53-man roster will look like when the final cuts are made on September 2.

Here is a look at the defense; the offensive projection is here. Changes are from the last projection prior to OTAs.

Players new to the organization in 2017 are in italics. Rookies are also underlined.

Defensive line (6)

Starters: Jonathan Allen, Terrell McClain, Phil Taylor (NT)
Backups: Stacy McGee, Anthony Lanier, Ziggy Hood

Change: Taylor in, Matt Ioannidis out

I haven’t been at all sold on Taylor but he is very large and seems to be healthy and that could be all he really needs to get a spot as the starting nose tackle. That will push Ioannidis to the practice squad.

Inside linebacker (4)

Starters: Will Compton, Zach Brown
Backups: Mason Foster, Martrell Spaight

They carried a fifth ILB last year for special teams but there doesn’t seem to be a solid choice here and the special teams guy will come from elsewhere.   

Outside linebackers (4)

Starters: Ryan Kerrigan, Preston Smith
Backups: Ryan Anderson, Junior Galette

Trent Murphy is suspended for the first four games so a tough numbers decision is put off until Week 5.

Cornerbacks (5)

Starters: Josh Norman, Bashaud Breeland
Backups: Kendall Fuller, Quinton Dunbar, Josh Holsey

Change: Fabian Moreau out (to PUP list)

Moreau, who suffered a torn pectoral muscle during his pro day, has just a week or two between the late August date that he is supposed to be full go and the September 2 cut down date. That’s cutting it too close and I think he spends the first six weeks on PUP. They could add Dashaun Phillips as a sixth corner but I think they’ll rely on a backup safety for depth.

Safety (6)

Starters: D.J. Swearinger, Su’a Cravens

Backups: DeAngelo Hall, Will Blackmon, Deshazor Everett, Montae Nicholson

Change: Added Nicholson

If they don’t think that Nicholson, a fourth-round pick, is ready they could keep Josh Evans. Blackmon’s ability to play almost anywhere in the defensive backfield is his calling card. They need Everett for special teams so he is safe.

Specialists (3)

LS Nick Sundberg, K Dustin Hopkins, P Tress Way

I don’t quite get not using one of the 90 roster spots on a kicker to compete with Hopkins but I think he would dispose of any challenger rather easily.

Last three on: Evans, Holsey, Nicholson

Last three cut: ILB Zach Vigil, Evans, Ioannidis

Defensive breakdown: 25 players, four rookies, total of nine new to the organization.

Full roster breakdown: 25 offense, 25 defense, three specialists. Nine rookies, total of 14 players new to the Redskins.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Need to Know: Final thoughts on Redskins vs. Eagles

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USA Today Sports Images

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.

In case you missed it

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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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