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Need to Know: Redskins who are still on the bubble

Need to Know: Redskins who are still on the bubble

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, March 10, 49 days before the NFL Draft.

Five Redskins who are still on the bubble

The Redskins released four players on Monday. But not all of the holdovers who remain under contract are assured of staying on the roster when training camp rolls around in late July. The statuses of Perry Riley and Andre Roberts have been well discussed. Here are some more players who could be on the bubble.

C Kory Lichtensteiger—His future could hinge on the draft. If the Redskins find a center they are confident can start they could decide to part ways with Lichtensteiger and his $3.8 million cap hit. But I wouldn’t count him out. While that cap number is a touch high for a backup he is versatile and that could help him survive.

ILB Adam Hayward—He has had two serious season-ending injuries in each of his two years with the team. A torn ACL suffered in the preseason cost him all of last year. He’s still under contract for this year with a cap hit of $885,000. After losing special teams stalwart Darrel Young there would be some reasons to hang on to Hayward. But if they don’t think he can stay healthy he could be gone.

OL Shawn Lauvao—This could be a tough call. He suffered a left ankle injury in Week 3 and he was out for the remainder of the season. The veteran also had to have surgery on his right foot, a procedure that was done just before the Redskins’ season ended. Lauvao has a $5 million cap hit and the younger and cheaper Spencer Long showed some promise playing in Lauvao’s left guard.. And for depth, the coaches are high on Arie Kouandjio, who was picked in last year’s draft. The handwriting could be on the wall but nothing is certain.

TE Derek Carrier—Here is another player who ended the season on injured reserve with a torn ACL. If Niles Paul is good to go for OTAs as he said he would be you have to wonder if there is a spot for Carrier. With Paul and Jordan Reed, the Redskins have two pass-catching tight ends and a third one would be of questionable utility. Carrier could go to make room for more of a blocking TE.

One thing to keep in mind is that these players, including Riley and Roberts, may not get cut immediately. Last year they waited until OTAs to release Chris Chester and Tracy Porter. And some could be around until a training camp competition.

Timeline

—The Redskins last played a game 60 days ago. It will be about 185 days until they play another one.

Days until: Redskins offseason workouts start 39; 2016 NFL draft 49; Redskins training camp starts 149

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Everybody thinks the intentional grounding call against Kirk Cousins was wrong, except Troy Aikman

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Everybody thinks the intentional grounding call against Kirk Cousins was wrong, except Troy Aikman

The referees made a fairly obvious mistake last week in the Redskins loss to the Saints when they flagged Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins for intentional grounding late in the game. 

Let's be honest: the call was terrible.

Cousins never felt a pass rush on the play, and was very obviously throwing the ball away. Jay Gruden talked about the play on Monday, and could not figure out how a flag came out in that situation. 

We had two receivers in the area. Quarterbacks throws it away all the time that are uncatchable balls whether they are in the pocket or not. As long as there is a receiver in the area, you can throw it whether they are looking or not. Guys run bad routes – one guy runs a hitch and he’s supposed to run a go and the quarterback throws the go ball, it’s not grounding. So I don’t know why the confusion.

The NFL even reached out and apologized to Redskins team president Bruce Allen for the blown call, a hollow gesture that did not generate much excitement from Cousins (via 106.7 the Fan). 

Whatever they do to say, ‘we’re sorry, wrong call,’ it’s tough because there’s nobody bringing that up in February or March when we're making decisions about which direction to go with the organization. We appreciate the clarification but you know it really doesn’t do much.

If you're keeping score, the NFL, the Redskins head coach and the Redskins quarterback all know the call was wrong. 

You know who doesn't think the call was wrong? Fox analyst, and former Cowboys Hall of Fame QB, Troy Aikman.

Grounding? Free rusher? Decide for yourself below.

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Fantasy Football -- Thanksgiving Day plan

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Fantasy Football -- Thanksgiving Day plan

The Week 12 fantasy football rankings are out -- but when it comes to Thanksgiving Day, everyone wants some player regardless of where they slot overall. Don't overthink it and take a lesser player, but for those on the fence or simply looking for Thursday action, here are some recommendations for all three games.

Vikings @ Lions

Obvious: Vikings -- Wide receivers Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs... running backs Latavius Murray and Jerick McKinnon are in the RB2/Flex discussion for most, but good luck picking between them; Lions -- Wide receiver Golden Tate and ... wide receiver Marvin Jones works in three-WR formats while quarterback Matthew Stafford is No. 14 among passers this week.

Start: Case Keenum averaged 19.3 points over the last four games while the Lions have allowed ample points to fantasy quarterbacks in that stretch, though only three touchdown passes. Having Thielen and Diggs up the potential for Keenum, who is QB17 in the Week 12 rankings. That's comparable with Matthew Stafford (QB14), Andy Dalton, Jacoby Brissett and ahead of Derek Carr.

Add: Not sure there's any fringe skill player worth taking a flyer on so take a look at Vikings kicker Kai Forbath. He's attempted at least three field goals in four of his last five games and he kicked five extra points in the lone exception. ... Some will start Ameer Abdullah based on their options, but just know the Vikings allow the second fewest points to fantasy tight ends this season.

Chargers @ Cowboys

Obvious: Chargers -- running back Melvin Gordon and wide receiver Keenan Allen; Cowboys -- Wide receiver Dez Bryant, running back Alfred Morris and... quarterback Dak Prescott, though his production is down without running back Ezekiel Elliott and left tackle Tyron Smith.

Start: This hasn't been a vintage Philip Rivers season, but he's coming off his best performance (251 yards, two touchdown passes) since Week 5. The Cowboys aren't that special in the secondary and have surrendered two touchdown passes in three consecutive games. At QB13, he's on the cusp of QB1 status in 12-team leagues. 

Add: Kickers Nick Novak (Chargers) and Mike Nugent (Cowboys) are 15th and 16th respectively. So, there's that. 

Giants @ Redskins

The obvious: Giants -- tight end Evan Engram and... running back Orleans Darkwa is a viable RB2 option against a Redskins defense giving up gobs of yards on the ground; Redskins -- quarterback Kirk Cousins, tight Vernon Davis and...running back Samaje Perine is RB12 this week, though listed as questionable on the injury report with a finger issue.

Start: Jordan Reed is out for a fourth consecutive game, meaning Vernon Davis once again is Washington's main tight end. While he hasn't provided wow performances like Reed at his Pro Bowl best, Davis has been good for a solid 8-11 since taking on a larger role starting in Week 3. This could be his best statistical week of the season. The Giants allow the most points to fantasy tight ends on the season. Opposing tight ends scored a touchdown in each of the first 10 games before the streak snapped Sunday.

RELATED: NEW AND IMPROVED WEEK 12 FANTASY RANKINGS

Add: Josh Doctson is only owned in 55 percent of leagues on CBS even though he's moved into the role of Washington's top outside receiver. The second-year player had four receptions for 81 yards in Sunday's overtime loss, though all the production came in the first half. Consistency is the next step, but Kirk Cousins is showing more and more confidence in the 6'3" target especially on 50-50 balls. Doctson is WR36 in my Week 12 rankings, meaning he's worth starting consideration in three-WR formats regardless.