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Need to Know: Is Tevin Mitchel a lock for the Redskins' 53?

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Need to Know: Is Tevin Mitchel a lock for the Redskins' 53?

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, June 19, 41 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.

State of the Redskins

Here are a few more thoughts on the state of the Redskins as they head into their summer break (here’s what I had yesterday):

—It may be premature to call Tevin Mitchel a lock to make the roster but I’m betting he is in. The sixth-round pick made a few nice plays in practices open to the media including an interception of a Colt McCoy pass on Wednesday. They have been working him in the slot but he could probably play outside if necessary, or at least develop into that job. Jay Gruden has been highly complimentary of his play. I don’t see Mitchel making a big impact this year but if he shows that he can help on special teams it’s hard to see him not being on the 53.

—When we think of Redskins coming into their contract years it’s usually about Trent Williams, Ryan Kerrigan, or Alfred Morris. But Keenan Robinson is an important part of the defense and he also will be a free agent in 2016. He has looked just fine in the short and helmets portion of preparation. During minicamp he got angry with Tom Compton over what he perceived to be holding and he and Darrel Young had some sharp words for an unknown reason. He’s ready.

—I’ll have posts on both Bill Callahan and Matt Cavanaugh in the coming days. They were both entertaining during their media sessions on Wednesday. Cavanaugh talked about the difference between dealing with a QB room with all experienced starters like he has now and one with a quarterback who has never taken a snap and is anxious to get his turn. Callahan appreciates history as one of the first things he did after taking the job here was to put a picture of the Hogs up in his office at Redskins Park. These are two impressive additions to the coaching staff.

—Pierre Garçon is a very solid professional. He doesn’t get written about much this time of year because he just goes about his business preparing for the coming season. When he makes a tough catch, reporters don’t always make a not of it because it’s what we’ve come to expect. He is the perfect role model for younger receivers, or young players at any position, for that matter.

—I think some fans should tamp down expectations for Preston Smith in terms of having an immediate impact. Many were disappointed when Trent Murphy was just OK last year and I see higher expectations for Smith than I saw for him. He’ll be fine, he’ll make some plays and he’ll make some mistakes. Don’t look for him to dominate right off the bat.

Timeline

—It’s been 173 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be 86 days until they play the Dolphins at FedEx Field.

Days until: Redskins training camp starts 41; Preseason opener @ Browns 55; final cuts 79

If you have any questions about what's going on at Redskins Park, hit me up in the comments. And I'm always on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Need to Know: Final thoughts on Redskins vs. Eagles

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USA Today Sports Images

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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