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Need to Know: Five Redskins who are on the hot seat tonight vs. the Bills

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Need to Know: Five Redskins who are on the hot seat tonight vs. the Bills

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, August 26, eight days before the Washington Redskins cut their roster to 53 players.

Timeline

Today's schedule: Redskins vs. Bills at FedEx Field, 7:30, broadcast on CSN

—The Redskins last played a game that counted 229 days ago. It will be 17 days until they host the Steelers in their 2016 season opener.

Days until: Cowboys @ Redskins 23; Browns @ Redskins 37; Redskins @ Ravens 44

Five Redskins who are on the hot seat tonight

ILB Perry Riley—He hasn’t played particularly well and his snaps have been limited in the first two preseason games. Perhaps he didn’t play much because they know what he can do and wanted to get a look at Terence Garvin and others but he’s starting more and more to seem like a forgotten man. He’s running out of time to be remembered.

RB Keith Marshall—I think that the Redskins really, really want to keep him around. He can make it an easy decision for them by finding holes consistent and perhaps popping a long run. Or he can make it so his fate hangs on the outcome of a long debate among Scott McCloughan and the coaches on cutdown day by continuing to struggle running the football.

G Arie Kouandjio—The second-year player’s seat got considerably hotter with the acquisition of Bryan Stork. The former Patriot will fit in somewhere on the top couple of lines of the interior line depth chart (he can play guard, too) and that will push Kouandjio down a notch. Like Marshall, Kouandjio needs to give the coaches a reason to keep him other than the fact that he was a draft pick (4th round in 2015).

CB Quinton Dunbar—The second-year player probably isn’t on the bubble but he hasn’t entirely gone from impressing because he converted from wide receiver to cornerback to being an impressive cornerback. If they keep six cornerbacks one will be inactive most game days and Dunbar has a couple of more preseason games to show that he should be active.

DE Stephen Paea—The conventional wisdom when training camp started was that even though Paea was a disappointment last year, the free agent acquisition would get 2016 to make things right. But Paea hasn’t done much in camp or in the two preseason games and that could have him in danger. Financial reasons in the form of $3.75 million in dead cap if he is let go could keep him around but he still needs to show he’s worth his $3.3 million salary.

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Need to Know: Final thoughts on Redskins vs. Eagles

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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.

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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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