Tyler Polumbus returned to Ashburn last week expecting to challenge for a backup job on the Redskins offensive line.Nine days into training camp, though, Polumbus has taken every snap with the first team because of the uncertainty surrounding Jammal Brown, and appears to be the frontrunner to start at right tackle when the team opens the preseason Thursday in Buffalo.Brown is sidelined indefinitely with a lingering hip ailment.I have no idea whats going on with Jammal, said Polumbus, who started four games for the Redskins last season. But as of right now, Im just going out here and doing the best I can and making sure theres no lost production.Coach Mike Shanahan added: Hes very sharp. Hes a good athlete and I thought, when he did play last year, he played well.Polumbus competition for the starting job, however, has gotten a bit stiffer.On Monday, the Redskins signed tackle Jordan Black, who had been out of the NFL for a year. Willie Smith, who replaced Trent Williams at left tackle when he was suspended last season, returned from a knee injury this week and could also in the mix.A week into camp, Polumbus hasnt been a dominant presence like Williams. Hes be an adequate pass and run blocker who has limited his mistakes which is precisely whats expected of him.Hes done a good job, Shanahan said of Polumbus performance.At the moment, Polumbus has a key advantage over Black: Hes familiar with Shanahans blocking schemes from last season. The 27-year-old also played for Shanahan as a rookie in Denver in 2008 and is comfortable with his players lining up on either side of him.But the fact that the Redskins signed Black this week suggests they want options.Polumbus has never started more than eight games in a season. But this year hes hoping for more. If Brown misses significant time during the regular season, Polumbus could get that opportunity.Any time you get a chance to get on the field, thats a good opportunity for you, he said. Thats why you play the game you want to be a starter.
Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, October 17, six days before the Washington Redskins visit the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday night football.
Today’s schedule: No media availability
—Cowboys @ Redskins (10/29) 12
—Redskins @ Seahawks (11/5) 19
—Giants @ Redskins Thanksgiving (11/23) 37
Last look at Redskins vs. 49ers
—It’s gotten to a point where a Kirk Cousins game where he completes 67 percent of his passes for 330 yards, 8.9 yards per attempt, and two touchdowns as he did against the 49ers and it’s just another day, not worthy of any special note. But since 1990, a Redskins quarterback has had a line of at least 67 percent completions for 330 yards or more, 8.9 yards or more per attempt, and two or more touchdown passes just four times. Cousins did it earlier this year against the Raiders and he did it against the Packers last year. Brad Johnson also did it in 1999 against the 49ers. Add in the fact that Cousins led a fourth-quarter rally with two drives that produced 10 fourth-quarter points and that he scored the touchdown himself on a seven-yard read option run and you have a very good game that flew under the radar.
—The 49ers came into the game ranked 31st in third-down conversions on offense and on defense. The Redskins ensured that they will stay near the bottom. Washington hit on 50 percent of its third downs, converting seven of 14. Opponents had success on 47.4 percent coming into the game. Defensively the Redskins allowed six of 17, a 35.3 percent success rate, a little better than the 29.7 percent the Niners offense had going in. The 49ers converted just one of their first eight but after C.J. Beathard came in at quarterback they got rolling, converting five of their last nine.
—I thought that Mack Brown might be more of a chance to run the ball with Rob Kelley out but that was before we knew that Chris Thompson was going to be the featured back. In fact, Thompson said that he didn’t know that his workload would go up until the night before the game. Back to Brown, he got two yards on two carries. He came in for a handoff on third and one in the second quarter. Perhaps he would have had a chance to do something but he got no blocking on the right side, particularly from tight ends Vernon Davis and Jordan Reed. His chance will have to wait for another day.
—Reed had a quiet day receiving with four catches for 37 yards. He confessed to not being 100 percent last week and his average of 7.9 yards per catch on the season speaks to something not being quite right. He did make a couple of key catches, though. After Thompson got tackled for a loss of nine yards on first down, Reed kept the drive alive with receptions good for 10 and 14 yards. That drive ended with Samaje Perine scoring on a three-yard pass reception for a touchdown to put the Redskins up 14-0. Still, it would be good to see Reed have a breakout game with something like seven receptions for 95 yards and a couple of touchdowns.
Tandler on Twitter
I’m old enough to remember the handwringing over #Redskins slow starts during preseason. They have outscored opp. 27-7 in Q1 and 74-40 in 1H— Rich Tandler (@TandlerNBCS) October 16, 2017
In their last 4 games WAS has scored double digits before the opp scored a single point. Remember this next August (spolier: you won’t)— Rich Tandler (@TandlerNBCS) October 16, 2017
In case you missed it
- Why can't the Redskins hold a lead?
- Injury to Allen a Tough Pill to Swallow
- Injury news not all bad
- 2017 NFL Power rankings, updated after Week 6
- 5 overlooked stories from the Redskins-49ers game
- Breaking down Redskins' most important plays vs. 49ers
Through six weeks of the NFL season, it's clear who the Super Bowl favorites are.
In the AFC, it's, um, well, OK, let's do the NFC first. In the NFC, you have to watch out for — actually, nevermind, this isn't that easy.
The Chiefs and Eagles are the only two teams standing at 5-1, but there are quite a few 4-2 squads right behind them, as well as talented 3-win teams who can take any opponent down if they bring their best stuff. That means that as the halfway point approaches, both conferences are still open races.
And those races got a lot more interesting after a fun Week 6. The power rankings look a lot different than they did before the weekend because of Week 6's results, too.
So, click the link above or below to see who's moving up and who's sliding back. Or, in the case of the Browns, who's sliding but staying in the same spot simply because they can't be dropped any further.