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OPEN THREAD: Looking deeper into RG3's concussion

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OPEN THREAD: Looking deeper into RG3's concussion

Anyone watching last Thursday's Redskins win over the Lions saw that QB Robert Griffin III took a number of big hits. In fact, Griffin was blasted on six of his eight drop backs, an absurd number for a team trying to get its starting offense preseason work.

The factors involved seem obvious: a new right side of the offensive line with basically no NFL experience, and a journeyman left tackle injury replacement that is not a starting caliber player. Add the O-line woes to an aggressive Detroit front, and there is a bad recipe for RG3. Combine that with Griffin's struggles in the pocket, and an injury seems almost predetermined.

What is known is Griffin got hurt. What remains a mystery is when, and specifically what play, saw Griffin concussed.

"I don’t know. Can’t tell you," Redskins coach Jay Gruden said when asked what play resulted in RG3's concussion.

More from the coach: "The concussion, whether it is a concussion, whether it is not a concussion, it is up to the doctor to decide whether he thinks it is or not. Sometimes a player says he doesn’t have one, but if he is showing signs of a concussion then the doctor will recommend that he go sees a doctor. That’s basically what has happened."

MORE 'SKINS: 5 PLAYERS WHO NEED TO PRACTICE WELL, OR COULD BE CUT 

In a fashion that seems all too familiar with the Redskins and RG3, the news surrounding the injury sounds bizarre. In the hours following the win over the Lions, some reports suggested Griffin did not have a concussion, rather the Redskins wanted to keep their starting QB from talking to the media. If true, it's a shortsighted strategy, as Griffin is likely obligated to speak with reporters this week during practice.

Gruden has made it clear his plans on playing Griffin this Saturday against Baltimore, assuming his QB is cleared through the NFL concussion protocol. While Griffin certainly needs the work - the Redskins starting offense has looked between bad and mediocre through two preseason games - how many other teams around the league would play a QB coming off a concussion in a preseason game? Isn't the risk too high for a meaningless August contest?

While expressing concern for his QB throughout this most recent injury scare, Gruden has also been fair to point out that football is a tough sport and QBs are going to get hit. Even if Trent Williams resumes his starting left tackle spot Saturday night against the Ravens, the Redskins will still have Morgan Moses and Brandon Scherff lined up to the right side. So far, that combination has not looked ready for the NFL, and in Baltimore they can expect heavy pressure from Pro Bowl caliber players like Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil.

"We need to fix a lot, obviously. We are working with a new right side of our line and had some new tight end issues going on in there and a new left tackle," Gruden said. "So we had some guys that needed the work and it wasn’t very effective to say the least." 

Now that there appears to be some question if RG3 sustained a concussion, or just showed consussion-like symptoms, the events of last Thursday change ever so slightly. Regardless, the QB was battered against the Lions. Will that change against Baltimore?  Seems unlikely.

And yet, what option does Gruden have? The Redskins organization has committed to Griffin as their starting quarterback, and the offensive line that showed up Thursday will largely be the same that shows up Week 1 against Miami. The quarterback - whoever it is - will get hit.

Could that be helped by better pocket awareness? It does seem Griffin is too quick to turn his back and try to run away from pressure in the backfield, opposed to stepping up or sliding over in the pocket, moves that more aware QBs often make. It's possible RG3 wants to rely on his athleticism that got him out of danger in previous seasons, and that after three years of sustaining injuries in the NFL, that level of athleticism is no longer there. 

"It’s all a process, a work-in-process," Gruden said of Griffin. "The key is as you’re going through your process of reading the coverage, transition that and having the peripheral to step up in the pocket, that’s something all young quarterbacks have to work through and he will."

Gruden seems confident RG3 can get better in the pocket. Griffin will need to, quick, or the results are unlikely to be pretty. The line must play better too, though that may not happen fast enough for the Redskins or RG3.

Disagree? Let us know what you think in the comments.

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Where's Galette, Cousins' future

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Where's Galette, Cousins' future

NEW ORLEANS—Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, November 18, one day before the Washington Redskins play the New Orleans Saints at Mercedes Benz Superdome.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: AM walkthrough and then travel to New Orleans. No media availability.

Days until:

—Giants @ Redskins Thanksgiving (11/23) 6
—Redskins @ Cowboys Thursday night (11/30) 13
—Redskins @ Chargers (12/19) 23

Quick Redskins news hits

C Spencer Long tried to play last week and he couldn’t make it more than a dozen snaps before sitting down for the rest of the day. He is out against the Seahawks tomorrow.

With Brian Quick and Ryan Grant questionable with concussions and Terrelle Pryor out with an ankle injury, the Redskins are down to three healthy wide receivers. While Quick and Grant might play, the depth chart could have Doctson, Crowder, and Harris on it.

The Redskins week that was

2 reasons Redskins didn't trade Terrelle Pryor—If you want to know why the deal with the Browns didn’t happen, follow the money. Between his signing bonus and the half of the year’s salary, the Redskins have already paid $4.5 million. Although he hasn’t been nearly as productive as they hoped he would be, there was no point in letting him go to save $1.5 million unless they got a second-day draft pick, or maybe a fourth, in return. See that Jay Gruden said that he didn’t hear of the proposed trade, talks must not have become too serious.

Remember Junior Galette? The Redskins don't seem to—As with Pryor, everyone is waiting for Galette to break out. But unlike Pryor, he’s not an expensive unproductive player. He’s making the veteran minimum. Against the Vikings, he played just 19 snaps. Perhaps a return to New Orleans for a game against his old team will spark a sack or two.

Recent comments from Cousins may hint at future in D.C.—Cousins has been big on making statements about the long-term future with the Redskins (read the post for specifics). That doesn’t mean that it’s a lock that he stays in town. But it should give some pause to those who believe that it is a lock that he will be in another uniform when 2018 or, at the latest, 2019 rolls around. He has never been inclined to go to the highest bidder and if the Redskins make a competitive offer that delivers what he wants he could well stick around.

How the Vikings scored 21 unanswered points against the Redskins—The 21-0 run in about seven minutes of game time that the Vikings used to make a competitive game at FedEx Field a rout was a combination of good offense by the Vikings and bad defense and offense by the Redskins. They couldn’t cover Adam Thielen on either drive. Cousins threw an interception off of his back foot and that set up the middle of the three touchdowns. If the Redskins end the season a game out of a playoff spot that seven-minute stretch will be one of the big reasons why they failed to make it.

Player one-liners, defense— Usually, the offensive edition of the player one-liners tends to be the most popular but this week it was the defense that drew the most interest. The defensive player I’m going to keep an eye on the most in the last seven games is rookie safety Montae Nicholson. He has the speed and hard hitting ability that the secondary needs. When asked what will happen when Nicholson is healthy, Jay Gruden said without hesitation that he is the starter. Nicholson’s health will be important for the defense down the stretch. DeAngelo Hall is better suited to a part-time role at this stage of his career.

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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Redskins getting thin at receiver with two more injured wideouts out on Sunday

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Redskins getting thin at receiver with two more injured wideouts out on Sunday

In August, Redskins fans would freak out if they heard Jordan Reed and Terrelle Pryor would both miss a November game.

In November, that news doesn’t carry much worry.

Washington coach Jay Gruden announced that Reed and Pryor, along with center Spencer Long, won’t play Sunday against the Saints.

RELATED: KEYS TO VICTORY AGAINST THE SAINTS

Reed hasn’t played in a few weeks as he is dealing with a hamstring injury. It seemed he might have returned last week before a setback slowed down his progress.

In his place, Vernon Davis has proved to be a sturdy backup capable of some big games.

Long injured his knee and while he played last week, he did not practice this week.

Not having Pryor is a bit of a surprise. His ankle injury popped up this week and he will see a specialist next week to examine the joint. In the middle of a disappointing season, the Redskins offense won’t lose much with his absence.

Elsewhere on the injury list, a number of players will be questionable for Sunday’s contest against the 7-2 Saints.

Perhaps most important, Trent Williams is questionable but will probably play.

MORE ON THE REDSKINS: FIVE PLAYERS UNDER PRESSURE

Receivers Ryan Grant and Brian Quick are expected to play after undergoing concussion protocol, but that will leave the Redskins with only three fully healthy wideouts: Jamison Crowder, Josh Doctson and Maurice Harris.