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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Lamenting a lost opportunity

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Lamenting a lost opportunity

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, December 12, one day before the Washington Redskins play the Bears in Chicago.

Redskins Week 14 in review

Some thoughts on the news during the week that was:

Missed opportunity for the Redskins—There’s no other way to put it; they blew it against the Cowboys. It was predicable because it’s apparent that this team is not ready for prime time (literally and figuratively) but at the same time it was somewhat shocking to see them bumble to the loss in the fashion that they did.

The accelerated phaseout of Alfred Morris—The player who Jay Gruden insists is still his “No. 1 back” played eight snaps and got six carries in the most important game of the year. It’s apparent they are going to move on from Morris when his contract is up at the end of the year but what’s baffling is Gruden’s refusal to even say that Morris and Matt Jones are 1-A and 1-B. It’s costing him credibility

Should the Redskins abandon the run?—I was sort of kidding when I wrote this but they can’t go on gaining less than three yards per attempt. At some point you just have to say you’re going to throw the ball and spread out the field and do it. Maybe this Sunday in a rainy Soldier Field against a Bears rushing defense that allows 4.8 yards a carry isn’t the time to do it. But at some point, before the season is lost, Gruden has to consider it.

'Banged up' Redskins cancel practice, hold walkthrough—This drew some snickers on social media when I posted the article on Wednesday but, news flash, not everybody on Twitter and Facebook knows what they’re talking about. Practice was scheduled less than 36 hours after a very physical Monday night loss. With six players out and four more limited it would have been hard to conduct even a light practice. The walkthrough was the way to go.

Skins' Thompson has a torn labrum—The third-down back went into the Dallas game with a sprained shoulder and came out of it with an even more severe injury. While I’m interested to see if Matt Jones can make some plays filling in on third downs, Thompson has a burst that Jones doesn’t have.

'Keep ripping it out'—One are where the Redskins’ defense has improved is in the takeaway department. They have 20 on the season, one more than they did all of last year. Unfortunately the Redskins have been able to turn those takeaways into a mere 28 points. But the D is doing its job here.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: No availability; travel to Chicago

Days until: Redskins @ Bears 1; Bills @ Redskins 7; Redskins @ Eagles 14

In case you missed it

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Devin Hester deserves to be in the Hall of Fame, and Brian Mitchell is why

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Devin Hester deserves to be in the Hall of Fame, and Brian Mitchell is why

Devin Hester officially announced his NFL retirement on Tuesday after 11 years as the most feared return specialist in NFL history. 

Hester who spent a majority of his career with the Bears and Falcons finished with 20 return touchdowns, the most in NFL history. His 14 punt return touchdowns is also an NFL record. Hester also returned a missed field goal for an 108-yard touchdown. He became just one of eight men to score a kick return touchdown in the Super Bowl. 

It wasn't just what he did, but how he did it, and that matters. Hester was explosively and entertaining, sometimes taking a route well longer than the official length of his return touchdown. Hester had the combination of speed and quickness you only see once in a generation. 

Devin Hester is worthy of a spot in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and Brian Mitchell is why.

Hester is the greatest return specialist in NFL history. But Mitchell is the best return specialist in NFL history.

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There's a difference too, between greatest and best. Hester was feared. He was revered. But nobody did it better than Mitchell. Nobody has ever fielded more returns than Mitchell (1,070), and nobody has ever compiled more return yards (19,013) than he. Only Hester has more career return touchdowns than Mitchell (13).

While Hester was boom-or-bust on many of his returns, Mitchell always got yardage. He averaged at least 10 yards per punt return in nine seasons and led the NFL in 1994 with 14.1 yards per punt return. He played in 223 of 224 possible games. Nobody did it better.

Mitchell has still yet to get the call from Canton, Ohio for enshrinement. Mitchell was a nominee for the 2017 class, but did not receive enough votes. But with Hester now officially on the clock for enshrinement, one things become clear: A return specialist will head to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. 

Hester will get his name called, and when he does, it will be because of Mitchell. Nobody did it better than Mitchell. The omission of Mitchell has been a contentious point recently, and if the Hall of Fame has not been able to add Mitchell to their hallowed halls, what would it take?

Devin Hester. That's what.

Hester had to do things pro football world had never seen before. He had to do truly great things. Things that you couldn't do in the Madden video games.

If the Hall of Fame has been reluctant to add Mitchell, only a player like Hester would be able to budge them off their archaic line.

Make no mistake about it: Brian Mitchell deserves to be in the Hall of Fame.

So does Devin Hester, and when he makes it, he'll have B-Mitch to thank. 

 

 

 

 

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Jordan Reed's unsatisfying 2017 season has come to an official end

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USA Today Sports

Jordan Reed's unsatisfying 2017 season has come to an official end

The Redskins made a roster move that many have anticipated for the last few weeks.

The team announced that 2016 Pro Bowl tight end Jordan Reed, who has missed the last six games with a hamstring injury, has been placed on injured reserve. That ends a very disappointing season for the five-year veteran.

It seemed that Reed was never fully healthy all year. He was placed on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list with a toe injury when he reported to camp in late July. Reed remained on PUP until a week before the start of the regular season, when he was activated.

MORE REDSKINS: 11 SECONDS OF MOMENTUM

In six games, Reed’s production was running well below his career averages in receptions, yards, and touchdowns. He was averaging just 7.8 yards per catch after averaging 10.5 per reception prior to the season.

It seemed like he was on the verge of breaking out in Week 7 against the Eagles, when he caught eight passes for 64 yards and his first two touchdowns of the season. But the following week against the Cowboys he suffered the hamstring injury early in the game and he hasn’t played since.

Reed was close to returning a few weeks ago but he suffered a setback and he just couldn’t get the hamstring healthy enough to play. With the Redskins now officially out of playoff contention, the decision apparently was made to put him on the shelf and start getting him ready for next year.

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In other moves announced by the Redskins, they put RB Byron Marshall (hamstring) and LB Chris Carter (broken fibula) on IR. Both were injured during the loss to the Chargers on Sunday. Carter will have surgery and face a long rehab. Perhaps Marshall could return after a few weeks but the Redskins needed to get a third running back on the roster.

That running back is Kapri Bibbs, who has been on the Redskins’ practice squad. Also signed to the active roster were practice squad linebackers Pete Robertson and Otha Peters.

Added to the practice squad were LB Alex McCalister, RB Dare Ogunbowale, and S Orion Stewart.

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.