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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Trash talk from Philly, none from DJax

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Trash talk from Philly, none from DJax

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, December 25, one day before the Washington Redskins travel to Philadelphia to play the Eagles.

Merry Christmas to all!

The week that was at Redskins Park

Andre Roberts is done for the season—This wasn’t a shocker as Roberts had been out for a few weeks and it seemed that the problem was more serious than the reported knee inflammation. It was a torn meniscus requiring surgery. Roberts should be ready to go by the time OTAs start but he may not be doing them in Ashburn. He carries a $5 million cap number for next year and the Redskins might not want to pay that for the 11 receptions he had in 2015.

Cousins on contract: ‘I want to be where I’m wanted’—The Cousins contract talk has started and will continue until something is done. I don’t see Cousins ever hitting the market. If the team is unable to come to terms on a multi-year deal with the quarterback I think they will franchise tag him on or before the March 7 deadline, which would pay him in the range of $19 million for the 2016 season. Then they will have until July 15 to work out a longer-term contract or Cousins would have to play out 2016 under the tag.

Despite blowout loss, Eagles defender issues warning for RedskinsThis quote found its way into the Redskins locker room, just printed out on a piece of white paper and stuck up on one of the support columns. It’s something we’ve been seeing more of lately as Jay Gruden has been playing the disrespect card. Later in the week another Eagles defender guaranteed a win over the Redskins. Geez, guys, you're 2-4 in your last six games. Get a grip.

Redskins sign a tight end prospect from Bills' practice squad—To take Roberts’ roster spot the Redskins added a fourth tight end to the 53 as they signed Marcel Jensen away from the Bills’ practice squad. Gruden said that Jensen is someone who “might help up in the future” and he said that brining him in was not so much about this year but keeping him around for next year.

Jackson: 'It’s just another game'—We all know that it isn’t your garden variety Redskins vs. Eagles game. It’s for the NFC East title and DeSean Jackson is getting heated up at just the right time. Although he hasn’t forgiven or forgotten Chip Kelly releasing him in late March of 2014 he played it low-key in talking to the media this week. He will let his play do the talking on Saturday.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: No availability, team travels to Philadelphia

Days until: Redskins @ Eagles 1; Redskins @Cowboys 9; start of NFL playoffs 15

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The Cardinals could be the cure to the Redskins' pass rushing issues

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USA TODAY Sports

The Cardinals could be the cure to the Redskins' pass rushing issues

The Redskins have not had a very good year when it comes to sacking the opposing quarterback. They have 31 sacks for the season, 17th in the NFL.

They had a then-NFL best 32-game streak with at least one sack came to an end in Week 10 against the Vikings.

Ryan Kerrigan is doing well with 9.0 sacks to his credit. Preston Smith has five but only a half since Week 6. Matt Ioannidis and Jonathan Allen were forming a solid interior pass rush tandem early in the year but Allen went on injured reserve with a Lisfranc injury and Ioannidis suffered a broken hand that limited his playing time and effectiveness.

MORE REDSKINS: IS GALETTE ON HIS WAY OUT?

But the cure to the Redskins’ pass-rushing ills just may be coming to town on Sunday in the form of the Arizona Cardinals and quarterback Blaine Gabbert.

The Cardinals have given up 44 sacks on the season; that’s 31st in the NFL.

Things have gotten worse in the last couple of weeks, with Gabbert going down a combined 15 times against the Rams and Titans.

If you think that the Cardinals may have hit rock bottom, consider that two starters, left tackle Jared Veldheer and right guard Earl Watford, won’t be playing due to injuries.

Will Holden, a rookie fifth-round pick, will start at left tackle and Evan Boehm, who lost his job to Watford earlier this season, will be the right guard.

Of course, the Redskins have to go out and make it happen. The entire Cowboys offense was slumping until they met the Redskins a couple of weeks ago. They can’t be a haven for a struggling unit once again.

In any case, it is an opportunity that is in front of the Redskins. It’s up to them to take advantage of it.

RELATED: REED LIKELY TO STAY IN 2018

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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Need to Know: State of the Redskins, Week 15—Looking for motivation

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Need to Know: State of the Redskins, Week 15—Looking for motivation

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, December 14, three days before the Washington Redskins play the Cardinals at FedEx Field.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Practice 1 p.m.; Jay Gruden and Greg Manusky news conferences and open locker room after practice, approx. 3 p.m.

Days until:

—Broncos @ Redskins Christmas Eve (12/24) 10
—Redskins @ Giants (12/17) 17
—NFL Draft (4/26/18) 133

State of the Redskins

Top storylines

Jobs on the line? It’s been the conventional wisdom that the jobs of Jay Gruden and his staff are safe, barring a complete collapse at the end of the year. Well, after two ugly losses we are 40 percent of the way to a complete collapse. The Redskins don’t even have to look good down the stretch, they just need to win two of the final three and be competitive in the other. Gruden might be able to survive a couple more games like the Cowboys and Chargers debacles but if that happens I wouldn’t want to be him on January 1, the day after the season ends.

Shutdowns started—Jordan Reed going on injured reserve could be the first of a few moves to end the seasons of players who won’t be healthy in time to play in more than one or two games. It lets the player dive into rehab and it lets the team sign and get a look at a player who can stay on the roster through the offseason and compete for a roster spot in 2018. There could be more coming up until Week 17.

Playing out the string—Last week, when the Redskins were technically alive for the playoffs they apparently couldn’t muster enough motivation to prepare properly. It will be interesting to see how they react this week with their playoff odds reduced to zero.

Last three games

Sunday vs. Cardinals (6-7)—The Cardinals have fallen even further than the Redskins. Two years ago, they were on their way to a first-round bye and an appearance in the NFC title game. This season they are 6-7 after suffering from a raft of injuries, including losing their starting QB and All-Pro running back David Johnson. Can two teams with nothing to play for put on an entertaining show?

Christmas Eve vs. Broncos (4-9)—And in comes another team that has fallen even further and harder. The Broncos were lifting the Super Bowl Trophy two years ago. Now, the defense that spearheaded that run is still solid but without a reliable quarterback, they are having issues. At this point, your guess at if it will be Paxton Lynch, Trevor Siemian, or Brock Osweiler starting at quarterback is as good as mine.

New Year’s Eve @ Giants (2-11)—Will this game be bye-bye to Eli? Changes are coming to New York and Manning, sometimes a Redskins nemesis and sometimes a player who gift-wrapped wins for Washington, could be on the way out. The Redskins could be playing to avoid the kind of upheaval that has already begun in the Big Apple.

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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