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Need to Know: Five Redskins who will have to step up to beat the Bills

Need to Know: Five Redskins who will have to step up to beat the Bills

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, December 18, two days before the Washington Redskins host the Buffalo Bills.

Five Redskins who will have to step up to beat the Bills

QB Kirk Cousins—He has played exceptionally well at home, posting a passer rating of over 100 in each of his last four games at FedEx Field with nine touchdowns and no interceptions. With a struggling running game unlikely to suddenly kick into gear, he will need to carry the offense.

RB Matt Jones—Even though Cousins will need to have a good day, he can’t do it without some help on the ground. Jones did a good job of powering for yardage against the Bears when there really wasn’t anywhere to run. We also could be do for a big gainer on the screen pass against an aggressive Rex Ryan defense.

C Josh LeRibeus—Yes, I know this is not a comforting prospect. But Trent Williams said today that Ryan will dial up cover zero blitzes at any point in the field in any situation. LeRibeus will have to be sharp on the line calls to keep Cousins upright.

ILB Will Compton—When he was with the Eagles LeSean McCoy had some great games with the Redskins and some no so great games. When the Redskins contained McCoy it was because they swarmed to him when he had the ball and made the tackles. It will be up to Compton to make sure that the front seven is where it’s supposed to be and he will need to make solid tackles.

CB Bashaud Breeland—Bills WR Sammy Watkins doesn’t have a ton of receptions (39) but he has made the most of them. The second-year player has averaged 18.4 yards per catch and has scored seven touchdowns. He has the size to go up and get passes in traffic and the speed to go long. Breeland is likely to be covering him most of the day and will need to prevent Watkins from making game-changing plays. Plus he has had his hands on the ball a few times over the last several games; holding on to one or two of them would help the situation.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Practice 11:55; Jay Gruden and Sean McVay news conferences and player availability after practice, approx. 1:00

Days until: Bills @ Redskins 3; Redskins @ Eagles 9; Redskins @Cowboys 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.