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Redskins post-minicamp 53-man roster projection, defense

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Redskins post-minicamp 53-man roster projection, defense

The Redskins currently have 89 players on their roster. Between now and September 3 they will cut that down to 53 players.

Here are my projections of who will end up on the roster on defense when the dust settles and that roster is turned in. Yesterday I did the offensive projection.

Starters in bold.

Defense (25)

Defensive line (6): Chris Baker, Matt Ioannidis, Stephan Paea, Trent Murphy, Ricky Jean Francois, Kendall Reyes

As one would expect during practices without pads, not much was sorted out here during OTAs and minicamp. I can’t rule out Kedric Golston and/or Ziggy Hood making the roster but I’m not sure if there is a spot for either of them.

Outside linebacker (4): Ryan Kerrigan, Junior Galette, Preston Smith, Houston Bates

I’m giving Bates the inside track to the fourth spot for now due to his experience but I wouldn’t count out Lyndon Trail, who has size and athletic ability but needs some polish.

Inside linebacker (5): Mason Foster, Will Compton, Perry Riley, Martrell Spaight, Terrance Garvin

Riley missed the offseason program with his foot in a boot, still recovering from the broken bone that ended his season early last year. That gives Foster in the inside track on the starting job for now, although Riley still has a shot. It’s possible that if Riley doesn’t start his $5 million cap number will send him to the waiver wire and rookie Steven Daniels will make the 53 and not the practice squad.

Cornerback (5): Josh Norman, Bashaud Breeland, Kendall Fuller, Quinton Dunbar, Dashaun Phillips

There will be a numbers crunch here. They may want to keep Greg Toler, and Lloyd Carrington but they just don’t have roster spots for them.

Safety (5): DeAngelo Hall, David Bruton, Su’a Cravens, Will Blackmon, Duke Ihenacho

I’m not sure if you should count Cravens as a safety but he has to go somewhere as he plays all over the defense. It’s hard to see Kyshoen Jarrett playing this year but he is still visiting specialists and we will find out more when training camp starts.

Specialists (3)

LS Nick Sundberg, P Tress Way, PK Dustin Hopkins

It doesn’t appear that the Redskins will be bringing in even token competition for any of these three.

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Redskins activate K Dustin Hopkins, waive K Nick Rose

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Redskins activate K Dustin Hopkins, waive K Nick Rose

After missing the last eight games, the Redskins brought back place-kicker Dustin Hopkins from the injured reserve and waived Nick Rose.

Hopkins became eligible to return from the IR this week and took part in practice all week. Jay Gruden wouldn't commit to one kicker or the other when he spoke earlier in the week, but the decision came down on Saturday.

Rose played well in Hopkins' absence, making 10 of 11 field goals including a 55-yarder. The rookie Rose had some struggles with extra points, missing two of his 20 attempts, though neither snap/hold combination was totally clean either. 

RELATED: REDSKINS-CARDINALS PREVIEW

Hopkins has the stronger leg and is capable of booting the ball out of the end zone on seemingly every kickoff. With Rose as kicker, at times the Redskins deployed a different strategy where kicks were aimed for the goal line, forcing a return. 

Washington's kicker for parts of the last three seasons, Hopkins has a career 84 percent field goal conversion rate and 94.6 percent conversion rate on extra points in 36 games. 

The Redskins sent Hopkins to the IR after a Week 6 win over the 49ers with a right hip rotator muscle injury. 

MORE REDSKINS: SLOW STARTS HAVE BEEN KILLING THE REDSKINS

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Week 15 Redskins vs Cardinals Preview: Show up, or get blown up

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Week 15 Redskins vs Cardinals Preview: Show up, or get blown up

For the second consecutive game, the Redskins got blown out on the road. First in Dallas, then in Los Angeles, Jay Gruden's team is reeling with mounting questions and pressures about 2018 and beyond. 

The best way to calm down the flames? Get a win.

Washington will have that chance on Sunday at 1 p.m. (full coverage on NBC Sports Washington at noon) when they host the Arizona Cardinals. Getting the victory won't be easy, however, no matter how bad the Redskins need it. 

  1. Turn the page - The Redskins have lost their last two games by a combined score of 68-27. The results have been terrible, and the outcome in Los Angeles could have been much uglier had the Chargers not pulled starting QB Philip Rivers. Still, those games are over, and Washington needs to focus on the Cardinals. Gruden spoke this week that his team cannot "wallow" in the past two losses. If the Redskins are looking back at their lost season, instead of looking squarely at Arizona, another blowout loss is likely to come. 
  2. Get it going - Kirk Cousins and the Redskins offense had by far their worst statistical output last week in LA. The offense must get back on track, and that means a better performance from Cousins and the 'Skins run game. Against the Chargers, Washington generated only 201 total yards and just nine first downs. Nine, their second worst total since having only 15 first downs against the Cowboys the week before. At this stage of the season, the Redskins defense will not win this team any games. The offense must do it, and that means improved play from the line, the quarterback and the skill positions. 
  3. Make a play - Turnovers can win or lose games, and in their last two blowout losses, it's no surprise the Redskins have been on the wrong end of the ledger. Washington has five turnovers in their last two games, and has generated only one takeaway in that span. (It can be argued that shouldn't even count, as it came on an interception from Chargers backup Kellen Clemens in the final minutes of a blowout.) Washington ranks dead last in the NFL in points per game allowed, and that won't improve with linebacker Zach Brown out this weekend. Generating turnovers, particularly against Arizona QB Blaine Gabbert, should be the defensive focus. 

Quote of the Week: Jay Gruden, asked about preparation before the Chargers game-

We didn't spend last week playing checkers.

News & Notes:

  • Gabbert has been sacked 15 times in the Cardinals last two games. Washington comes into Week 15 with the 13th most sacks in the league.
  • The Cardinals defense ranks in the Top 10 in yards per play, yards per game, and rush yards per game. Despite that, Arizona's defense ranks 25th in points allowed. 
  • D.J. Swearinger, who played for Arizona last season before signing in Washington as a free agent, is tied for fourth in the NFC in interceptions.
  • Jordan Reed won't be playing this week, or the remainder of the season. Washington moved Reed to the injured reserve this week. 
  • Arizona coach Bruce Arians was a college quarterback at Virginia Tech from 1972 to 1974.

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