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Need to Know: Who's up, who's down as Redskins end offseason program

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Need to Know: Who's up, who's down as Redskins end offseason program

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, June 18, 42 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.

State of the Redskins

Here are some thoughts on the Redskins at the end of their offseason program. Note that the players have been in helmets and shorts and that only five of 11 practices have been open to the media.

—We still don’t know enough about the progress of Robert Griffin III to say if he will have a successful season. He has had good days in OTAs and minicamp like Tuesday and he has had some less than stellar days like Wednesday. He’s a work in progress and it’s impossible to say at this point how it will turn out. Stay tuned for Richmond and for the preseason.

—Griffin does seem to be more decisive than he did in the offseason practices and training camp last year. He rarely pumps the ball and looks confused. The question is whether he has advanced to being decisive enough to be effective in a real NFL game.

—While Griffin has had some issues, neither backup quarterback has made a compelling case that he could be the answer, either. Colt McCoy has been quite erratic, throwing a ton of interceptions. Kirk Cousins has been better but he hasn’t done anything to make me think that he could be the guy, either. It should be noted that both of the backup quarterbacks are working with other backup players so it may be a bit more difficult to shine.

—I get the feeling that Matt Jones will get a lot of touches when the season starts. He has been stepping in with the first team offense early and often. The coaches like the way he runs and the way he catches the ball. They will find ways to get him into games and get the ball in is hands.

—Trent Murphy could be the most improved returning player on defense. He has gotten stronger and he knows the game better. It’s hard to judge a player in his position without pads but he has been playing well.

—Again, it’s hard to tell in helmets and shorts but it looks like Brandon Scherff has work to do before he becomes a good right tackle and even further to go before he plays well enough to live up to his billing as the No. 5 overall pick. The good news is he’ll do the work. He is out there every day, working late with Bill Callahan. There usually have been other linemen with him but they vary from day to day. The constant is Scherff. He may not get there quickly, maybe not before the season starts, but he should get there.

Timeline

—It’s been 172 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be 87 days until they play the Dolphins at FedEx Field.

Days until: Redskins training camp starts 42; Preseason opener @ Browns 56; final cuts 80

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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In addition to the Redskins, here is who you should be rooting for in Week 12

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USA Today Sports

In addition to the Redskins, here is who you should be rooting for in Week 12

It's crunchtime in the NFL, in particular for the Redskins. 

Standing at 4-6 on the season, the Redskins cannot afford to have another loss on their schedule. In the loaded NFC, though, they're probably going to need some extra help if they want to have any hope at making the playoffs.

MORE REDSKINS: 'DEMARCUS' COUSINS MISTAKEN AS 'KIRK' COUSINS IN NEWSPAPER

With an easier schedule now on Washington’s horizon, they'll start to chip away at the two-game deficit they face for the final playoff spot in the NFC. The issue is that they are competing against three 6-4 teams, two 5-5 teams, and two other 4-6 teams. That is eight teams in the race for only one spot in the postseason. 

Let's assume that the Redskins go undefeated the rest of the way, because first and foremost they have to take care of business to have a shot. That will take the Chicago Bears, New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers completely out of the Redskins’ race.

If your hope is that the Redskins will make the playoffs in the 2017-18 season, here are the other things to root for in Week 12, besides for the Redskins knocking off the Giants on Thanksgiving night:

Minnesota (8-2) over Detroit (6-4)
NOTES: The Vikings own the head-to-head over the Redskins so they are essentially 4.5 games up over Washington. Besides, someone has to win the NFC North and Minnesota should be the team you want.

LA Chargers (4-6) over Dallas (5-5)
NOTES: No explanation needed

Tampa Bay (4-6) over Atlanta (6-4)
NOTES: This is the only semi-tough one, but with the Falcons currently holding the final playoff spot the Redskins need them to lose. It will not be that hard for the Buccaneers to drop one more before the season is over.

NY Jets (4-6) over Carolina (7-3)
NOTES: Carolina is the No. 1 Wild Card team right now and the Redskins do not want them to get close to passing the Saints for the NFC South division title.

Chicago (3-7) over Philadelphia (9-1)
NOTES: One more win by the Eagles will eliminate Washington from the NFC East division title. While it is pretty much a foregone conclusion, there is still a chance...

San Francisco (1-9) over Seattle (6-4)

New Orleans (8-2) over LA Rams (7-3)
NOTES: Washington does not have the head-to-head over New Orleans but they do against the Rams. Los Angeles also has a worse record and will be easier to catch.

Jacksonville (7-3) over Arizona (4-6)

Pittsburgh (8-2) over Green Bay (5-5)

RELATED: WEEK 11 NFL POWER RANKINGS

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Redskins Week 12 injury report: Four out vs. Giants, many others game-time decisions

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USA Today Sports Images

Redskins Week 12 injury report: Four out vs. Giants, many others game-time decisions

If you want the story on the Redskins’ injury picture for tomorrow night’s game against the Giants, you are going to have to wait until a couple of hours before kickoff.

Only four players have been declared out of the game, according to Jay Gruden. TE Jordan Reed (hamstring), DL Terrell McClain (toe), safety Montae Nicholson (concussion), and C Chase Roullier (hand) will not play.

Veteran Tony Bergstrom, who has been with the team for about a month, will start at center for Roullier. Gruden indicated that DeAngelo Hall will start at safety for Nicholson and Deshazor Everett will get some time there as well.

MORE REDSKINS: QUANTIFYING THE LATE-HALF DIFFICULTIES

Reed will miss his third straight game with the hamstring injury. He said last week that he was close to coming back for the Saints game but he had a setback.

Those likely are not the only substitutes that will be needed. Ten players are questionable and Gruden said that seven or eight of them will be game-time decisions. Included on that list is OT Trent Williams.

Williams missed two games with a knee injury that eventually will require surgery. He has played in the last two but the recovery time after playing 69 snaps in New Orleans on Sunday may not be enough.

If Williams can’t play, Ty Nsekhe will fill in at left tackle. With Shawn Lauvao on injured reserve, Gruden said that Arie Kouandjio will start at left guard.

RELATED: APOLOGY FOR BLOWN CALL RINGS HOLLOW FOR COUSINS

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.