Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, January 7, three days before the Washington Redskins host the Green Bay Packers in a wild card playoff game.
Five thoughts on the playoff-bound Redskins
—If I had to guess which Redskins running back will be inactive on Sunday I’d say Chris Thompson. He is being hampered by a toe injury and he showed some frustration in practice yesterday. Matt Jones (hip) was limited but he appears to be improving. Toe injuries are tough to overcome quickly and I wouldn’t be surprised if Thompson was on the shelf on Sunday.
—The two names to watch on the Packers’ injury list are CB Sam Shields and LT David Bakhatiari. Shields, their top corner and the primary candidate to cover DeSean Jackson, has missed the last three games with a concussion. Bakhatiari’s absence for the last two weeks has created some severe pass protection problems for the Packers; they have been sacked 14 times in that two-game span. Shields and Bakhatiari were two of six Packers who did not practice on Wednesday due to injuries. All 53 Redskins on the roster practiced; five were limited, the rest were a full go.
—There appears to be some hand wringing out there about the return of Kory Lichtensteiger at center. Some are worried about his game shape, others about continuity on the line. But any drawbacks there may be in those aspects are more than compensated for by the improvement in shotgun snaps back to Kirk Cousins. The Redskins were very fortunate that none of Josh LeRibeus’ snaps ended up causing a disaster. On a related note, Brian de la Puente must not have impressed at all to be unable to push LeRibeus aside.
—Jay Gruden said that they brought in CB Cary Williams because the veteran is a plug and play guy. “[We] needed another veteran guy and he fits into the same mold as [Will] Blackmon, Mason Foster and Alex Smith – guys that have played a lot of football where this game won't be too big for them, that they can come in and play significant reps and not be overwhelmed with the terminology or the competition,” said Gruden. “He's a very confident corner.” Perhaps Williams is a little too confident for his own good sometimes but he is immediate depth and that’s what the team needed.
—Trent Williams said that seems like a “normal” week at Redskins Park even though “in the back of your mind you know it’s a playoff game so it’s an emphasis to bring your A-game.” He also said that nobody wants to be the guy that makes the mistake that costs the team a playoff game. “The importance of just any bad play, any penalty, things like that in a playoff atmosphere tens to sting a little more than it does in a regular season game,” said Williams. “Obviously the intensity is going to be sky-high for both sides.”
—Today’s schedule: Practice 11:35; Jay Gruden and Joe Barry news conferences and player availability after practice, approx. 1:00
—Days until: Redskins vs. Packers in wild card playoff game 3; Super Bowl 50 31
In case you missed it
- Rodgers praises Gruden's patience with Cousins
- Veteran Kory Lichtensteiger set to give Redskins' O-line a boost
- Matt Jones and Dashuan Phillips among the Redskins practicing Wednesday
- Young ready for Redskins' playoff return
- Redskins pass protection shows great improvement
- Kirk Cousins rocks glorious burgundy and gold Starter jacket
- Jay Gruden on Aaron Rodgers: He's frightening
- Packers starting corner questionable for Sunday's game
- State of the Redskins, wild card week: O-line change on tap
- Referee announced for Redskins vs. Packers
- NFL insiders pick Packers over Redskins
- Albert Haynesworth: 'Redskins fans are the nastiest I've met'
- Redskins' Cousins faces tough task against Packers pass defense