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Redskins practice report, Day 12: A strong day for Forbath

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Redskins practice report, Day 12: A strong day for Forbath

RICHMOND—The Redskins returned to Richmond and so did the rain. There was some pretty steady rainfall for about the first half of practice but it tapered off for the latter part of the session. Here are my observations.

Robert Griffin III had an up and down day. In fact, it probably was more down than up. His first pass attempt of the day came as he was moving to his right and it was about a three-quarters overhand delivery. Griffin might have had WR Pierre Garçon on the sideline but the pass was off the mark, giving the receiver no chance. A few plays later, Garçon beat CB DeAngelo Hall on a crossing pattern and Griffin’s pass was on the money. For most of the day, he was on the money with his feet set and throwing a short pattern. Later in some simulated game situations he missed his first two, overthrowing Ryan Grant and leading Evan Spencer by too much over the middle. He finally nailed one, a dart to Andre Roberts.

Joe Barry was getting on OLB Preston Smith during a run blocking drill, using salty language not suitable for this site. The rookie was getting moved off of the ball and Barry was trying to get him to use the proper technique to get loose. Smith wasn’t the only front seven defender struggling; despite the fact that the drill strongly favors the defense since they know what’s coming the offensive line did pretty well in the drill.

Colt McCoy worked with the second unit, Kirk Cousins with the third. On defense, the Redskins finally had their starting cornerbacks, Chris Culliver and DeAngelo Hall, back on the field together.

—Cousins has been pretty good at avoiding interceptions compared to how he performed in training camp last year but he threw a bad one today. He rolled to his left and then threw back to the right. Safety Kyshoen Jarrett tracked the ball from the moment it left the QB’s hand and easily picked it off. A bad decision and bad throw by Cousins, no two ways about it.

—Starting RT Morgan Moses had a tough time with OLB Trent Murphy during one on one pass blocking drills. The two second-year players squared off three times and Murphy won all three matchups. All Moses could muster on the third try was a shove that Murphy easily beat.

—Moses and Preston Smith squared off twice. On the first snap Smith got around Moses, forcing the offensive lineman to reach out and hold. The second time Moses just stonewalled Smith, whose feet kept moving but the rookie wasn’t going anywhere.

—With RB Matt Jones out with a minor knee issue, Chris Thompson got some additional work. He is learning to be a more patient runner, relying on more than just his speed to pick up yardage. Jones did take part in some individual drills.

—There were some apparently minor injuries suffered by two offensive starters. OL Brandon Scherff rolled his ankle on a running play and TE Niles Paul suffered a shoulder injury and left the field with athletic trainer Larry Hess. We will provide updates when they are available.

Kai Forbath has a tough time kicking field goals on Saturday, missing two of five from usually makeable range, so Jay Gruden gave him another shot today. He was much better, going four for four from 34, 36, 43, and 45 yards. A couple of his kicks were no doubters, traveling far over the net that extends to the top of the goal posts and going right down the middle. Ty Long, the other kicker in camp, also boomed some but he went wide left with one from 40 yards.

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Need to Know: Final thoughts on Redskins vs. Eagles

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Need to Know: Final thoughts on Redskins vs. Eagles

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, October 23, six days before the Washington Redskins play the Dallas Cowboys at FedEx Field.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Redskins vs. Eagles, 8:30 pm, ESPN

Days until:

—Redskins @ Seahawks (11/5) 13
—Giants @ Redskins Thanksgiving (11/23) 31

Final report on injures of note:
Out
: CB Josh Norman (rib),
Questionable: OT Trent Williams (knee)CB Bashaud Breeland (knee), S Deshazor Everett (hamstring), RB Rob Kelley (ankle),
See the full injury report and analysis here

Final thoughts on Redskins vs Eagles

—The first time these teams met, both scored defensive touchdowns. Ryan Kerrigan got the first Redskins points on the board with a pick six of Carson Wentz in the second quarter. With a minute and a half left, Fletcher Cox wrapped up the game for his team with a 20-yard return of a very controversial fumble. The difference tonight could well be a defensive or special teams score.

—In that game, the Redskins never let the Eagles get any sort of running game going. The Eagles rushed for 54 yards, the second-lowest total for a Washington opponent this year. And they had 24 attempts (2.4 yards per) so it wasn’t as though they didn’t try. The Redskins could use another strong effort against the run this time as well.

—I examined third downs in the first look at this game a few days ago. Since then, this was bought to my attention.

Third downs could be a fatal flaw for the Redskins. The Eagles’ ability to convert third and long situations was a key to them being able to survive without much of a running game in the opener. The Redskins need to hold the Eagles to 40 percent or less on all third downs and to 25 percent or less on third and long. And they will have to do it without Josh Norman, their best defensive back.

—In the first meeting, the matchup of the Redskins’ offensive line and the Eagles’ defensive front went decidedly in Philly’s direction. Washington rushed for just 64 yards and Kirk Cousins was sacked four times. There were plenty of concerns about the line, especially RT Morgan Moses, who gave up two sacks, and RG Brandon Scherff, who gave up four total pressures. Those two and the unit as a whole have been better since that game. The Redskins’ front will need to win that battle this time around.

Prediction: A Week 7 game is not really a must-win when you have a winning record. There is a lot of season left to be played. But if the Redskins are going to take the next step and stay in the thick of things for the ideal playoff seeding, they need to take this one. This year in the NFL, just when everyone thinks they have things figured out something happens to flip the script. Everyone now figures that the Eagles are the best team in the NFC and perhaps the best in the NFL. They are ripe for an upset.

Redskins 24, Eagles 20

Season prediction record: 2-3

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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Trent Williams needs knee surgery eventually, but the timeline has many factors

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Trent Williams needs knee surgery eventually, but the timeline has many factors

PHILADELPHIA — Arguably the Redskins best player, all of the NFL knows that Trent Williams can still play at a high level while dealing with injury. 

How long Williams can play though injury seems the more important question though as reports emerged the left tackle will need knee surgery at some point. That could come in the next few weeks, or as Redskins fans hope, perhaps at the end of the season.

Currently playing with a torn medial patella-femoral ligament in his right knee, the six-time Pro Bowler has not practiced since sustaining the injury three weeks ago in Kansas City. He was able to gut out a strong performance last week against the 49ers, and is expected to do the same Monday night against the Eagles.

One factor that might be pushing Williams to play with such a damaged right leg is that backup tackle Ty Nsekhe is also out after having surgery on his core muscles. 

MORE: REDSKINS WEEKLY MVPS FOR EVERY GAME THUS FAR

Nsekhe is expected back relatively soon, but the timeline remains murky. When he can come back, perhaps Williams will reconsider his options. 

Surgery for the torn MPFL will leave Williams with a five or six-month recovery. 

It's obvious the Redskins' offense is best with Williams on the field. Nsekhe, however, proved a capable backup last season when Williams served a four-game suspension. 

Without Nsekhe, the Redskins would go to veteran T.J. Clemmings should Williams be unable to play. Nsekhe has not played since a Week 3 win over Oakland. The Redskins added Clemmings to the roster in early September, after their fourth preseason game. He spent the last two seasons with the Vikings. 

For now, the Redskins will continue to hope Williams can play through the pain.

"Trent is a tough guy, so we will see how it works, see how feels tomorrow and go from there," Jay Gruden said of Williams on Saturday. 

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