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Need to Know: Around Redskins Park—Will Reed and Norman make the trip?


Need to Know: Around Redskins Park—Will Reed and Norman make the trip?


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)

Wednesday injury report

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.

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In case you missed it

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Eagles' Michael Bennett allegedly injured elderly worker; arrest warrant issued

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Eagles' Michael Bennett allegedly injured elderly worker; arrest warrant issued

Philadelphia Eagles lineman Michael Bennett has been indicted on felony abuse for allegedly pushing an elderly NRG Stadium worker during Super Bowl LI.

Bennett was indicted by the Harris County, Texas district attorney's office for injury to the elderly — which is intentionally and knowingly causing injury to a person 65 years or older, according to a press release from the Harris County Sheriffs' Office.

A warrant has been issued for Bennett's arrest.

The 66-year-old paraplegic stadium worker was attempting to control field access when Bennett allegedly pushed her. 

The maximum penalty Bennett faces is ten years in prison in addition to a $10,000 fine.


Bennett — whose brother Martellus played in that Super Bowl for New England — was a member of the Seattle Seahawks during the incident and was in attendance as a noncompetitive player.

The NFL has been made aware of the situation and is looking into the matter, according to Pro Football Talk.

The 32-year-old 10-year NFL veteran could potentially face NFL discipline under the league's personal conduct policy. 


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Redskins Draft Countdown: WR James Washington's numbers don't impress but he could be a solution for the Redskins

Redskins Draft Countdown: WR James Washington's numbers don't impress but he could be a solution for the Redskins

Redskins Draft Countdown

James Washington

Wide receiver
Oklahoma State

Oklahoma State wide receiver James Washington measured at 5 feet 11 inches at the combine and his 40 time was a pedestrian 4.54.

But forget about the numbers. His catch radius is larger than his height would indicate, and he plays much faster than the stopwatch says he does.

His route tree needs to be cleaned up but his ability to get open deep, make receptions on back shoulder throws and, yes, Redskins fans, fade patterns will make him a productive receiver while he learns.

Height: 5-11
Weight: 213
40-yard dash: 4.54

Projected draft round: 1-2

What they’re saying

He doesn't look like a receiver and he doesn't run routes like a receiver, but then you see him get open deep and make all those explosive plays, and you know exactly what he does for an offense.

—A Big 12 assistant coach via

How he fits the Redskins: The Redskins needed a wide receiver to line up opposite Josh Doctson after Terrelle Pryor fizzled out last year. They went out and signed Paul Richardson to a free agent contract, solving the immediate need.

But in the NFL, you should always be looking for your next receiver. It takes most of them at least a season to develop so if you wait until you really need a pass catcher it’s too late to draft one. Washington has the capability to contribute early and develop from there.  

Film review: vs. Pitt, vs. TCU, vs. Oklahoma

—Like most coaches, Jay Gruden wants his wide receivers to block and Washington certainly gives it the effort. He helped backs gain extra yards on stretch plays with hustling blocks downfield. His technique may need some work—a long touchdown run against Oklahoma was called back when he was hit for holding—but the effort is there.

—Against the Sooners, Washington got by a cornerback who was in off coverage and beat him for a long gain. Later in the game, the corner was in press coverage and Washington made one move and beat the defender on a post for a touchdown. We can insert the usual cautions about Big 12 defenses here, but it still was impressive to watch.

—Speed is important but so is how fast a receiver can stop to catch a pass. On one underthrown fade pattern, Washington was able to slam on the brakes while the cornerback kept on running, making the catch for a nice gain out of the end zone an easy one.

—Against TCU he split two defenders on a deep pass. He caught the ball in stride and then he found a second gear and easily outraced the defensive backs to the end zone to complete the 86-yard play. This is a good example of Washington playing faster than his 40 time.

Potential issues: Washington is not a good enough prospect to warrant the No. 13 pick, but he could easily be gone by the time the time their second-round pick is on the clock. As noted above, the quality of the defenses he faced in compiling 74 receptions for 1,549 yards (20.9 per catch) and 13 touchdowns has to be considered.

Bottom line: If I’m the Redskins, I have a talk with Jamison Crowder’s agent before the draft to gauge what his client would want in order to sign an extension prior to the 2018 season. If it’s something the Redskins consider reasonable, they should look elsewhere in the second round. But if a 2019 Crowder departure seems likely,  they should look at Washington if he’s there in the second round. 

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