Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, October 27, three days before the Washington Redskins play the Cincinnati Bengals in London.
—Today's schedule: Practice 1 pm; Jay Gruden news conference, player availability after practice approx. 3 pm
—Days until: Vikings @ Redskins 17; Packers @ Redskins 24; Redskins @ Cowboys on Thanksgiving 28
Injuries of note:
Out of practice: Matt Jones (knee), Terence Garvin (hip)
Limited: Trent Williams (knee), Brandon Scherff (shoulder), Spencer Long (chest), Jordan Reed (concussion), Josh Norman (concussion), Bashaud Breeland (ankle)
Around Redskins Park
—It looks like Donte Whitner is the new Redskins starting strong safety. He played every one of the 53 snaps on defense against the Lions. Jay Gruden laughed when I asked him about it. “If he played every snap, I guess . . . hard for me to say no,” he said. Duke Ihenacho played only nine snaps so he is back to being a little-used reserve. I’m told it may be because he freelances too much.
—So it appears that nobody heard about Matt Jones’ injured knee until Wednesday morning, when he said that he couldn’t cut on it. I can see Jones hurting a little bit after the game but not saying anything because he thinks it will get better. They’re off on Monday and on Tuesday they have meetings and work out. So not being able to cut wasn’t an issue until Wednesday.
—If Jones can’t play it will be up to Rob Kelley to carry most of the load, according to Gruden. Chris Thompson would stay in his third-down role, although it could be expanded like it was last week. Thompson told me on Wednesday that against the Lions he was in the huddle and the play call was something that he had not run since training camp. Only Jones had run the play recently. Thompson is pretty sharp and he quickly thought back to his notes and to what Jones did when his number was called on the play.He ran the play as it was drawn up. So if Jones is out Kelley might get an increased workload but Thompson could well get asked to run some plays that Jones normally would take.
—Josh Norman and Jordan Reed are in limbo. Jay Gruden said that they will see the independent doctor on Thursday and whether or not they make the trip will be determined then. Reading between the lines of what Gruden said, it sounds like that if they are not suffering any symptoms they will be able to make the trip. They don’t necessarily have to be cleared to go; if it looks like they are headed in that direction they probably can obtain final clearance in the UK. In short, if they are close they’ll make the trip but Gruden can’t say that because the official stance on concussions is that a player is either cleared or not—there is no “close”. And, yes, they could make the trip and have a setback and end up not playing. Also, to point out the obvious, they are not a package deal. One could go while the other on stays. My gut feeling is there is a 75 percent chance that Reed travels and plays while the odds on Norman are more like 50-50.
—My flight for Heathrow leaves a little later this morning so I’m cutting this a bit short. The dateline for the next Need to Know will be London.
Tandler on Twitter
Trent limited in practice. Said he'll play Sunday although the plane ride with the knee will not be fun. https://t.co/U5WUXST1os— Rich Tandler (@TandlerNBCS) October 26, 2016
In case you missed it
- #RedskinsTalk Podcast - Barstool Nate professes love for Kirk Cousins
- Redskins used Su'a Cravens sparingly against Detroit
- Norman, Reed to see independent doctor Thursday
- Reed, Norman return to practice; Jones out unexpectedly
- State of the Redskins—A business trip across the pond
- NTK: Redskins vs. Bengals—Which team is more desperate for a win?