Here is what you need to know on this Friday, October 30, 9 days before the Redskins visit the New England Patriots.
Five who have exceeded expectations
We all think we have things figured out before the season starts and then they actually start playing and we are surprised. Some players we didn’t expect to contribute much have stepped up to play key roles. Here are five who have exceeded expectations.
S/CB Kysheon Jarrett—He was gong to come in and help out on special teams and maybe play a few snaps a game at safety. But when the team was short on cornerbacks in training camp, the fifth-round pick stepped up and volunteered to help out. Now he is the team’s starting slot corner and playing so well that there are legitimate questions over what do to with him when the veteran corners are healthy.
WR Jamison Crowder—He was going to be the punt returner while learning to be a wide receiver. But he is third on the team in both catches (32) and receiving yards (292). If he catches 18 more passes over the remaining nine games he will be the first Redskins rookie to record 50 receptions in a season since Art Monk in 1980.
DE Chris Baker—The Redskins signed Stephen Paea to a healthy free agent contact and that was supposed to push Baker into a reserve role. But Baker has been getting more action from the start of the season; he has 238 snaps in seven games to 104 for Paea in six. And he has made plays, posting 3.5 sacks to tie for the team lead, forcing two fumbles and recovering one.
RB Chris Thompson—Could he stay healthy enough to make the team? And what would he be able to do if he made it? He stayed on the field throughout the offseason and training camp, made the team and has done a solid job as the third-down and passing situations back.
K Dustin Hopkins—There was an uproar when Kai Forbath was released and Hopkins, who had not yet put his instep to a football in an NFL game that counted, was signed. But, though a small sample size, Hopkins has proven to be just as accurate as the kicker he replaced; his only miss cam from over 50 yards, a distance from which Forbath rarely even tried. His kickoffs boom into the end zone with great frequency, but that’s a standard expectation for an NFL kicker these days. His “magic” onside kicks are just a bonus.
—Today’s schedule: Bye week
—Days until: Redskins @ Patriots 9; Saints @ Redskins 16; Redskins @ Panthers 23
In case you missed it