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Need to Know: Five Redskins who will be in the spotlight vs. the Dolphins

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Need to Know: Five Redskins who will be in the spotlight vs. the Dolphins

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, September 8, five days before the Washington Redskins open their season against the Miami Dolphins.

Five Redskins who will be in the spotlight vs. the Dolphins

QB Kirk Cousins: When Jay Gruden said, “It’s Kirk’s team” the unspoken thought at the end of it was “as long as he plays well.” Playing well in the opener would buy a lot of capital for him to use if he should struggle down the road. If he stumbles he will be spending some good will that is in short supply.

RB Alfred Morris: If Cousins is going to be successful a strong running game will be his best friend. The vast majority of the rushing yardage will have to come from Morris. He is adjusting to a new scheme and a new line. If he struggles, Cousins’ chances for success against Miami’s tough defense drop dramatically.

RG Brandon Scherff: He will be tasked with controlling Ndamukong Suh, a tall order for any guard and especially tough for a player in his first NFL game. Scherff will get beaten; Suh can win against just about anyone. But if he can maintain his technique and hold his own more often than not he will have gotten past probably his roughest assignment of the year in the very first game.

DE Jason Hatcher: He is as healthy as he has been since he came to Washington. They need a wild card in the pass rush against Ryan Tannehill in case Ryan Kerrigan can’t get going. The Redskins didn’t get the season they were looking for out of Hatcher last year and he needs to get off to a strong start this time around.

FS Dashon Goldson: The veteran acquired by trade from the Bucs was not very impressive in camp. If they Redskins are going to be methodical on offense against Miami the defense has to avoid giving up big plays. A lot of that responsibility falls on Goldson, the last line of defense.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Player meetings at Redskins Park, no availability

—It’s been 254 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be 5 days until they play the Dolphins at FedEx Field.

Days until: Rams @ Redskins 12; Redskins @ Giants Thursday night 16; Eagles @ Redskins 26

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Redskins Week 15 injury report: Two out, seven questionable vs. Cardinals

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USA TODAY Sports

Redskins Week 15 injury report: Two out, seven questionable vs. Cardinals

Redskins linebacker Zach Brown may want to power through his myriad of injuries but he won’t be able to do it this week.

Brown is one of two Redskins who have been declared out for the game against the Cardinals on Sunday. Jay Gruden listed his injuries as toe/ankle/Achilles/hip. This will be the first game that Brown has missed with the Redskins and his first since he was with the Titans in 2014.

Also out is safety Montae Nicholson, who will miss his fourth straight game with a concussion.

MORE REDSKINS: IS GALETTE ON HIS WAY OUT?

Listed as questionable are OT Morgan Moses (ankle), OT Trent Williams (knee), OLB Ryan Anderson (ankle), WR Ryan Grant (ankle), WR Maurice Harris (concussion), DE Terrell McClain (toe), and C Chase Roullier (hand).

Williams’ status for Sunday is very much in doubt. His usual pattern since sustaining a knee injury in Week 4 has been to sit out the first two days of practice and then participate in the third. However, he was not on the field on Friday during the portion of practice that was open to the media. Jay Gruden said that he did join the team at some point but he didn’t indicate that he took part in any football activity.

He has missed three games and it would not be surprising if he missed a fourth on Sunday. If Williams can’t go, Ty Nsekhe will start at left tackle.

RELATED: REED LIKELY TO STAY IN 2018

Roullier has been out the last three games with a broken right (snapping) hand. He has had the cast off of it for a couple of weeks now and he could be ready to go on Sunday.

Harris was out of the game against the Chargers last Sunday with a concussion. He has been practicing on a limited basis all week. The chances that he can pass the concussion protocol seem good, although with concussions it is always difficult to know for sure.

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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Why ailing Zach Brown has plenty of incentive to keep playing

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Why ailing Zach Brown has plenty of incentive to keep playing

Redskins linebacker Zach Brown missed practice for a second straight day on Thursday, putting doubt into his availability for the game against the Cardinals.

Brown is leading the league in combined tackles and, probably, in injuries.

The team’s injury report says that he is dealing with four of them—toe, Achilles, and ankle with an illness piled on top of those.

“They’re hindering him quite a bit,” Jay Gruden said of Brown’s laundry list of ailments.

“Sickness is starting to clear up a little bit but he’s still a little sore. We’ll see if he makes any progress tomorrow. It’d have to be pretty significant, but we’ll have to wait and see.”

MORE REDSKINS: IS GALETTE ON HIS WAY OUT?

The illness might clear up but the other injuries are unlikely to go away until a few weeks into the offseason. He is getting treatments that include massage, laser, and acupuncture but rest is the only thing that will get rid of the problems.

Some have wondered why Brown persists with multiple injuries and the team now mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. For one thing, playing is what he does.

“I like to play the game,” said Brown last week.

RELATED: WEEK 15 POWER RANKINGS

“I like to play the game with passion and I hate to lose. I try my best to help people do better, just trying to help some of the young guys. At the end of the day, you rest when the season’s over.”

There are financial considerations as well, on a couple of different fronts. Brown will be a free agent in 2018 and he is risking further injury that could lower his value on the market. He says that does not factor into is thinking.

“Last two years I was on the free agent market, it’s the way I play,” he said. “If that was the case I would have just shut it down already.”

There are other, more immediate financial considerations as well. Brown has per-game roster bonuses of $15,625 that are paid if he is on the list of 46 active players. And he has incentive bonuses of up to $2.3 million according to Over the Cap. It’s safe to say that at least some of those bonuses will be attainable only if Brown is able to play effectively in all or nearly all of the scheduled 16 games.

RELATED: REED LIKELY TO STAY IN 2018

Brown hasn’t spoken about the incentive bonus money being important and, given his answer to the free agency question, he probably wouldn’t. But this is not a player who has made a ton of money in his career. According to Spotrac, if he hits on his roster bonuses and on his likely to be earned incentives this year he will have about $7.7 million in career earnings. That’s a good chunk of money but once you take away taxes, a cut to his agent and other various and sundry expenses it’s not “set for life” money. It’s likely that his bank account would notice whatever he can collect in incentives.

Gruden has said that Brown is a player who could go on Sunday even with only one practice under his belt. We will know a lot more about his status this afternoon when his practice status for Friday and his game status for Sunday will be announced on the injury report.