Redskins linebacker Brian Orakpo confirmed Monday afternoon that the X-ray and MRI exam on his shoulder revealed no significant damage.Coach Mike Shanahan, though, said he does not anticipate Orakpo suiting up again during the preseason as a precaution.I feel better today, Orakpo said. We got some good news, so Im very optimistic about it. It wasnt as serious as I thought and I should be ready to roll.Orakpo was injured in the first quarter of Saturdays 33-31 loss in Chicago as he attempted to arm tackle Bears wide receiver Devin Hester.As he lay on the field, Orakpo feared the worst. The sharp pain he felt was in the same pectoral muscle that he tore in the season finale last season.I worked this hard trying to get back, and I actually felt it pop, Orakpo said. I thought it was done, to be honest with you. It felt very similar, thats why it took a long process to get off the field. Thats what scared me the most.Orakpo was examined Saturday night by renowned surgeon Dr. James Andrews, who happened to be on the sidelines. Andrews performed the original surgery.There was no tear, Shanahan said. They felt like it was a little scar tissue, but nothing that serious. So he should be okay. Everyone is relieved.
Here is where the Redskins stand in Week 7 of the NFL season.
Top three storylines:
Walking wounded—Yeah, this is the same as a top storyline from last week. The good news was that it looks like Bashaud “Gumby” Breeland will be able to play against the Eagles after taking a hit that made his left knee bend at an unnatural angle. But rookie DL Jonathan Allen will be out 3-4 weeks with a Lisfranc sprain. Kicker Dustin Hopkins is on injured reserve and replacement Nick Rose will make his first NFL kick on Monday. All eyes are on Josh Norman, who has not been ruled out of Monday’s game with broken rib he suffered against the Chiefs.
Thompson on a roll—Chris Thompson is on pace to get 1,000 receiving yards. He has 340, the most on the team by far. That’s great for Thompson but you’d like to see a receiver within 100 yards of him after five games. Terrelle Pryor is third on the team, behind Thompson and Vernon Davis, with 209 yards. If the Redskins offense is going to reach its full potential, Pryor, Jamison Crowder, or Josh Doctson has to start catching up with Thompson’s productivity.
Missing Rob Kelley—Rob Kelley has been out two full games and has missed more than a half of two others with ankle and rib injuries. He’s averaging 4.5 yards per carry and his substitute, rookie Samaje Perine, is averaging 3.0. The Redskins sure could use that extra yard and a half per carry.
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Record: 3-2, 2nd in NFC East
vs. NFC East: 0-1
vs. NFC: 2-1
vs. AFC: 1-1
Rankings and changes from Week 6
Offense (yards/game): 374.2 (2th, +2 from Week 6)
Defense (yards/game): 316.0 (12th, -3)
Points for: 117 (14th, -1)
Points against: 113 (19th, -1)
Passer rating offense: 106.4 (3rd, +1)
Opp passer rating: 81.8 (9th, +2)
Yards/rush attempt: 4.1 (17th, -8)
Opp. yards/rush attempt: 4.0 (17th, -2)
Third down conversions: 40.6% (12th, +7)
Opp. Third-down conversions: 40.3% (20th, -2)
Weighted DVOA (Football Outsiders): 24.1% (6nd, -4)
Playoff chances per FO: 51.7%, +2.5 percentage points from last week
Trending in the right direction: They were below average in third down conversions on offense but going seven for 14 on Sunday got them up to 12th.
Trending in the wrong direction: They averaged 2.8 yards on 33 rushing attempts against the 49ers, dragging their average per attempt on the season from a solid 4.5 yards down to 4.0. It becomes difficult to stick with the run when it isn’t as effective as it needs to be.
Next three games
Monday @ Eagles (5-1)—It’s kind of an odd scheduling format here that the Redskins finished with the Eagles before they play either of their other NFC East rivals. Right now, the Eagles have the best record in the NFC and their quarterback is a legitimate MVP candidate. It will be a tall task to for the Redskins to keep from falling 2.5 games behind the Eagles with Philly holding a head-to-head sweep.
October 29 vs. Cowboys (2-3)—The two losses to the Cowboys last year were on the long list of reasons why the Redskins failed to make the playoffs. Washington’s run defense has improved but mobile quarterbacks like Dak Prescott still give them problems. Will Zeke Elliott play? Consult with your local bar association for guidance.
November 5 @ Seahawks (3-2)—Seattle looked vulnerable at times early in the year but they have it back together despite an offensive line that is held together with duct tape and chicken wire. This could be the Redskins’ toughest test of the season.
Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, October 18, five days before the Washington Redskins visit the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday night football.
Today’s schedule: No media availability
—Cowboys @ Redskins (10/29) 11
—Redskins @ Seahawks (11/5) 18
—Giants @ Redskins Thanksgiving (11/23) 36
Redskins facing the MVP favorite on Monday
The Redskins will be going up against one of the hottest players in the NFL on Monday night. In fact, Carson Wentz is now the betting favorite to become the league’s MVP.
Take a look at these odds via Bovada.lv:
Yes, the second-year quarterback is at the top of the list, right ahead of 13-year veteran Alex Smith and GOAT Tom Brady.
And while you may wonder why Wentz is at the head of the class ahead of such stalwarts, it’s hard to deny that he is having a stellar season. He is the main reason the Eagles have the best record in the NFC at 5-1.
The big challenge the Redskins will face on Monday is holding Wentz and the Eagles in check on third down. Wentz has a passer rating of 130.5 on third down, the best in the NFL.
Wentz was even better than that on the money down in Week 1 against the Redskins. He completed 9 of 11 passes, eight for first downs, for 148 yards and two touchdowns. That’s a perfect passer rating of 158.3.
Don’t be surprised to see a ton of No. 11 Wentz jerseys in the stands on Monday. Dick’s Sporting Goods is reporting that his is the highest-selling jersey in its stores nationwide.
It’s hard to imagine Wentz keeping this up over the course of a full season. But he only needs to do it for one more game to put a serious crimp in the Redskins’ division title hopes. If the Eagles protect their home field, the Redskins will be 2.5 games back in the division with Philly holding the tiebreaker via the head-to-head sweep.
The impact of Allen’s injury
JP Finlay, special guest John Keim of ESPN, and I recorded a podcast yesterday (if you don’t subscribe, you can find it right here) and we discussed the impact of the injury to Jonathan Allen. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being Aaron Rodgers out for the season, JP and John came up with a seven.
I agreed and disagreed with that assessment. Allen was playing very well and his absence will be felt on the defensive line for the three or four games he will miss. But he should be back at around the halfway point of the season. Assuming he is close to as good as he was before the injury the line will be fine when he returns.
If that happens, then we’re not talking about anything near the impact of the loss of Rodgers to the Packers. Allen is good but he’s not the best in the league at the most important position on the field. To be sure, if the Redskins lose a game because they were unable to get pass rush up the middle, that loss could be very damaging. And, as John pointed out, if you pile the loss of Allen on top of the other injuries on defense the impact could be magnified. But the Redskins should be able to survive Allen being out for the next month or so.
Tandler on Twitter
In 7 games against the Eagles, Chris Thompson has 122 receiving yards. That’s his most against any team except the Raiders (150 in 2 games).— Rich Tandler (@TandlerNBCS) October 17, 2017
In case you missed it
- Cousins' strong game vs. 49ers goes under the radar
- In a muddled NFC, why not the Redskins?
- Cousins' 2017 season proving he's worth 'monstrous' contract
- Hopkins to IR, Redskins sign Nick Rose
- 3 things to know about the new Redskins kicker