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Redskins practice report, Day 5: RG3 sharp in 2-minute work

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Redskins practice report, Day 5: RG3 sharp in 2-minute work

RICHMOND—It was hot again today as the Redskins end a stretch of five straight practice days. Here are my observations from the afternoon practice:

—The Redskins practiced in true full pads for the first time today, including pants with the mandated pads in them. They picked probably the hottest afternoon so far to so that.

Bill Callahan got into Arie Kouandjio during position drills, not happy with the rookie’s technique. He’s a rookie, it happens.

Matt Jones, who has a sore knee, was observing practice today, standing on the field. Although you never know, that indicates to me that his injury isn’t too serious.

Alfred Morris caught a short pass from Robert Griffin III just past the line and quickly turned it upfield for a nice gain. If he can develop into at least an average back in terms of catching passes he could earn himself a nice free agent contract next spring. But he often looks like a good receiver in the summer and we don’t see it in the fall.

—Working with the second team offense, Silas Redd found nothing on a run to the left side as Preston Smith led a group of defenders in knocking him down for a loss. On the next snap, he found the going easier on the right side as he quickly popped through the hole on the next play.

—A few plays later in the same full team session, Kirk Cousins stepped up in the pocket and fired to Pierre Garçon. The receiver got it between the “8” and the “8” on his jersey for about 20 yards

—Smith had a good day after some tough ones in the one-on-one pass blocking drill. On one play he pushed back Takoby Cofield, who looked like he was on roller skates, back to the quarterback. A few plays later the same two matched up and Smith dismissed the tackle with a quick inside move. Smith displaying both power and quickness.

Stephen Paea also has tremendous power and good moves. He easily shook off Tom Compton in the pass block drill with a quick move and burst to the quarterback.

—Overall, the blockers held their own and then some. That drill strongly favors the defense since there is no deception on the play and no double teams are allowed.

Chris Thompson made a nice red zone run. He took a handoff and went up the middle, zigzagging his way through defenders for about 10 yards.

—Thompson does have some work to do in pass protection. Keenan Robinson blew past him and chased Griffin to the right. The quarterback was able to get rid of the ball, throwing an incompletion downfield.

—Griffin and DeSean Jackson had one chance to connect deep but David Amerson was with the receiver step for step. The pass traveled about 55 yards downfield but it was a bit too long. Amerson, though, tumbled to the ground and appeared to injure his shoulder. He left practice and did not return.

—In a two-minute drill in the last session of practice, Griffin went eight for eight, although it should be noted that it looked like he was past the line of scrimmage on a shovel pass and Ryan Kerrigan could easily have sacked him on another. But he was sharp, hitting Niles Paul for a long gain inside the 10. Griffin finished off the drive with a five-yard touchdown pass to Ryan Grant.

—Cousins was not sharp initially when the second-team offense went into the two-minute drill. He went to throw a deep out but his eyes gave the pass away and he wound up for it too much. That enabled Chris Baker to get a hand up and bat it away.

—But a few plays later he fired a pass to Jamison Crowder on the sideline. It was just beyond the reach of a defender and Crowder snatched it out of the air for a long gain.

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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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