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Need to Know: First look at Redskins-Packers—A big day for Cousins?

Need to Know: First look at Redskins-Packers—A big day for Cousins?

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, November 16, four days before the Washington Redskins play the Green Bay Packers at FedEx Field.


Today's schedule: Practice 1 p.m.; Jay Gruden and Kirk Cousins press conferences and player availability after practice, approx. 3 p.m.

Days until: Redskins @ Cowboys on Thanksgiving 9; Redskins @ Cardinals 18; Redskins @ Eagles 26

Redskins vs. Packers
NBC 8:30 p.m., Mike Tirico and Cris Collinsworth
Line: Redskins -3

First look at Redskins vs. Packers

Stat to note: Aaron Rodgers has thrown for an average of 6.5 yards per pass attempt this year. That’s 29th in the NFL and more than half a yard lower than the NFL average of 7.3. There is a popular perception that things have been better since Jordy Nelson started to round back into form after his 2015 ACL, but Rodgers' average per attempt has been just 6.6 over the last four games. He’s still a great player and you have to assume that he can break out at any time, but so far this year his performance has been quite spotty.

Under the radar player: With Clay Matthews having played only five games due to ankle and hamstring injuries, the Packers’ leading sacker is linebacker Nick Perry with six. The 26-year-old is having a career year; he had no more than four sacks in any of his previous four full seasons. The former first-round pick usually lines up on the left side so Morgan Moses will be responsible for keeping him away from Kirk Cousins.  

Redskins Strength vs. Packers Weakness: The Packers have one of the worst pass defenses in the NFL, allowing 8.2 yards per pass attempt. They also give up a lot of big pass plays; they have given up 21 passes of 25 yards or longer. Only four NFL teams have given up more. The Redskins average 7.7 yards per pass attempt, 10th in the NFL. They have 23 pass plays of 25-plus yards, tied for fourth in the league. Kirk Cousins could be set up for a big day.

Redskins Strength vs. Packers Strength: Peppers, Nick Perry, and, when healthy, Matthews give the Packers a formidable pass rush. They have sacks on 7.4 percent of their opponents’ pass plays. The Redskins are among the best when it comes to protecting their quarterback, giving up sacks on just 3.3 percent of pass plays, second in the NFL.

Potpourri: The Packers have scored 25 touchdowns this year and Rodgers has had a hand in every one of them. He has thrown for 22 TDs and he has the Packers’ only three rushing touchdowns. They have not scored on any returns . . . I’m not sure what to make of the feud that is going on between Rodgers and Packers coach Mike McCarthy or how much of an effect it will have on Sunday. The quarterback has talked about a lack of energy and how the fact that nobody has to worry about his job. McCarthy, who owns a Super Bowl ring, countered by reminding everyone that “I’m a highly successful NFL coach”. Such a passive-aggressive exchange can’t be good . . . RB James Starks returned last week after missing time with a knee injury and gained 33 yards on seven carries against the Titans . . . The Packers will come into FedEx Field on a three-game losing streak. The last Packers losing streak that was longer came in 2008 when they lost five straight.

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Ryan Grant reportedly signing with Colts after failed physical with Ravens

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Ryan Grant reportedly signing with Colts after failed physical with Ravens

It looks like Ryant Grant has found his new home, again.

After a failed physical with the Ravens, James Jones of NFL Network reports Grant plans to sign with the Colts.


Grant originally agreed to a four-year, $29 million deal with the Ravens, before the team pulled the offer citing an ankle injury that dated to the Redskins' final regular-season game, according to reports.

Baltimore eventually signed Michael Crabtree to a three-year deal, while Grant had visits with the Colts and Raiders.

His agent, Rocky Arceneaux, says Grant has been working out, running routes, and his ankle had been cleared by Dr. Robert Anderson in a second opinion.

In 2017 with the Redskins, he appeared in all 16 games, with 45 receptions for 573 yards and four touchdowns.


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Redskins bring in another defensive lineman for free agency visit, per source


Redskins bring in another defensive lineman for free agency visit, per source

The Redskins hosted Sylvester Williams for a free agency visit on Tuesday morning, per a source with knowledge of the situation. 

Williams played in 2017 with the Titans, logging 20 tackles in 11 starts. Tennessee released Williams this offseason, just one year into a three-year, $16 million deal. 

Drafted in the first round by the Broncos in 2013, the 6-foot-3, 313 lbs. Williams' stat line has never really popped. That isn't uncommon for a nose tackle though, as the job is less about tackles than it is holding leverage against the interior of an offensive line. 


Should the Redskins sign 29-year-old Williams, it would represent the first true nose tackle free agency addition since Terrance "Pot Roast" Knighton joined the team in 2015 from Denver. In an ironic twist, Williams took over at nose in Denver when Knighton left for Washington, and posted his best season as a Bronco. 

Washington restructured its deal with Terrell McClain, reported first by ESPN, which could allow more flexibility to add another defensive lineman. That could come in the draft, but the club has been very active talking with free agents to play on the defensive front. 

On Monday, Johnathan Hankins and Pernell McPhee visited with Redskins officials in Ashburn. Hankins would carry the heaviest price tag, but his past performance would also indicate the most promise. 

McPhee is an edge rusher with enough bulk to play against the run as well. Williams compares more with Hankins, and could be seen as the secondary option.

Among 79 nose tackles Pro Football Focus graded, Williams ranked 36th. For comparison, Bengals star Geno Atkins ranked No. 1, Dontari Poe ranked 26th, former Redskin Chris Baker ranked 65th and current Redskin Ziggy Hood ranked 79th. 

It's also worth noting that since the Titans released Williams, should the Redskins sign the nose tackle, his contract would not count towards the NFL compensatory pick formula. 

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