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Need to Know: Five Redskins who are under the gun on Sunday

Need to Know: Five Redskins who are under the gun on Sunday

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, September 17, three days before the Washington Redskins host the St. Louis Rams.

Five Redskins who are under the gun on Sunday

QB Kirk Cousins—He probably has a longer leash than most people think he does. But it’s not unlimited and at some point he has to play a clean game, make plays in the clutch, and, for the first time since 2012, have the team win a game that he starts and finishes. No better time than the present, although the Rams have a tough defense from front to back. Cousins likely will appear on this list every week until he puts together a solid performance.

P Tress Way—Rarely does the punter appear on a list like this but he admitted that he outkicked the coverage on Jarvis Landry’s 69-yard punt return on Sunday and Tavon Austin is coming to town. Way likes to let it rip but he will need precision punting if they are going to keep Austin out of the end zone. Whether he needs to go to a higher and shorter when kicking to Austin or just boot it out of bounds, he needs to execute whatever the call is.

G Brandon Scherff—Aaron Donald is not as big as Ndamukong Suh but he is quicker and more active. He will be a different kind of challenge for Scherff, who did pretty well against Suh. If Cousins is going to have a chance to get going, Scherff keeping Donald under control will be critical.

CB DeAngelo Hall—It may be unfair to put this on Hall but the veteran corner—or somebody—needs to get a takeaway or two. The Redskins had their hands on three interceptions and a fumble on the second-half kickoff. They came up empty. The last time Hall played a full season in 2013 he had four interceptions with two returned for touchdowns and a fumble recovery for a TD. If he can bring one back this week it could be contagious.

WR Ryan Grant—He is likely to get most of the snaps that will be available to the backup wide receivers with DeSean Jackson sidelined. Jay Gruden is always singing his praises so it is time for him to produce. Grant has Jamison Crowder and Rashad Ross behind him so he needs to show what he can do.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Practice 11:40; Jay Gruden and Joe Barry news conferences and player availability

Days until: Rams @ Redskins 3; Redskins @ Giants Thursday night 7; Eagles @ Redskins 17

In case you missed it

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Who is Nick Rose? Three things you should know about the new Redskins kicker

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Who is Nick Rose? Three things you should know about the new Redskins kicker

Here are three things you need to know about Nick Rose, who was signed on Tuesday to replace Dustin Hopkins.

1) His next NFL kick will be his first one

Rose has spent offseason time with the Falcons and 49ers since entering the league in 2016 after his collegiate career at Texas. However, he has never attempted a regular season field goal or PAT, so the first time he does so with the Redskins will be the first time ever for him as a pro.

The 23-year-old certainly has potential: He was one of the nation's top touchback producers in 2014 and 2015 for the Longhorns, so distance on kickoffs and field goals shouldn't be an issue (this video of him nailing one from 80, yes, 80, backs that up). What remains to be seen is whether he can split the uprights for Washington.

For what it's worth, Hopkins was totally inexperienced in the NFL when he first signed with the Burgundy and Gold, too.

MORE: UPDATED NFL POWER RANKINGS - 'SKINS IN TOP 10

2) He can make kicks in unconventional ways

While this doesn't come across as something Jay Gruden would ever want Rose to try in, say, this Monday's game in Philly, Rose can sink chip shots while simultaneously completing a backflip.

Ever seen Adam Vinatieri do that? Nope, didn't think so.

3) He beat out at least three other candidates for the job

With Hopkins likely done for the year with a hip issue, the Redskins worked out a handful of replacement options on Tuesday.

It was Rose, though, who emerged with a contract. He earned it over at least three other guys, including veterans Mike Nugent and Andrew Franks. Now he must bring that strong leg, as well as some accuracy, when called upon to ensure the 'Skins don't miss out on any points on a weekly basis.

Making kicks in the middle of backflips is fun, sure. But making them in front of national TV audiences instead of a YouTube audience is probably more fun. Let's see if Rose has what it takes to stick around.

RELATED: IN CROWDED NFC, WHY NOT THE REDSKINS?

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Redskins kicker Dustin Hopkins headed to injured reserve, per sources

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Redskins kicker Dustin Hopkins headed to injured reserve, per sources

Redskins kicker Dustin Hopkins will likely not play again this year, a source with knowledge of the situation tells our JP Finlay.

The team placed Hopkins on the injured reserve list, which means he's out at least eight weeks. To replace him, the Redskins signed Nick Rose, per NFL Network.

In his third season with Washington, Hopkins had made nearly 82 percent of his field goals this year. He made 12 of 13 extra points, but missed a very important extra point in Sunday's win over the 49ers.

Hopkins had a very strong leg, capable of touchbacks on kickoffs nearly every time the situation called for it. 

Rose is yet to play in the NFL but spent time with the 49ers. He kicked collegiately at the University of Texas.

As a senior in Austin last year, Rose made 13 of 17 field goals and 38 of 39 extra points.