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Redskins roster breakdown: Going into stretch run, roster still churning

Redskins roster breakdown: Going into stretch run, roster still churning

The Redskins are heading into the stretch run and are in first place in the NFC East. As the injuries have mounted it sometimes it seems like this team is held together with duct tape and chewing gum.

Here’s a look at the 53-man roster (actually at the moment it’s 52 players with one opening pending) followed by some roster stats that will interest you.

Starters in bold.

Quarterback (3): Kirk Cousins, Colt McCoy, Robert Griffin III

Last year the depth chart seemed to change on a weekly basis with injuries and ineffective performances forcing Jay Gruden to shuffle the deck. In 2014 it has not changed a bit as Cousins has taken firm control.

Running backs (5): Alfred Morris, Matt Jones, Chris Thompson, Pierre Thomas FB Darrel Young

None of them are playing well except in flashes here and there. Sometimes it’s the blocking, sometimes it’s them. But it’s been a disappointing group.

Wide receivers (5): Pierre Garçon, DeSean Jackson, Jamison Crowder (slot receiver), Ryan Grant, Rashad Ross

The move to place Andre Roberts on injured reserve doesn’t have much of an effect on the group as he was often a healthy inactive and wasn’t very productive when he was in (11 receptions).

Tight end (3): Jordan Reed, Alex Smith, Je’Ron Hamm

Smith was signed last week and immediately moved ahead of Hamm on the depth chart; Smith played 16 snaps against the Bills while Hamm was inactive.

Offensive line (9): LT Trent Williams, LG Spencer Long, C Josh LeRibeus, RG Brandon Scherff, RT Morgan Moses, G Arie Kouandjio, T Ty Nsekhe, T Tom Compton, C Brian De La Puente

Center Kory Lichtensteiger is eligible to start practicing this week and he could be activated if the Redskins reach the playoffs. With LeRibeus not exactly lighting it up in the middle of the line it seems likely that Lichtensteiger will go back to his starting job when he is ready.

Related: Bye week Redskins roster breakdown

Defensive line (6): Jason Hatcher, Terrance Knighton, Chris Baker, Ricky Jean Francois, Frank Kearse, Kedric Golston

Free agent disappointment Stephen Paea was put on injured reserve with a toe injury. Nobody was added; Kearse will simply go from being inactive every week to being active.

Linebackers (9): OLBs Trent Murphy, Ryan Kerrigan, Preston Smith, Houston Bates; ILBs Perry Riley (injured, foot), Will Compton, Keenan Robinson, Mason Foster, Carlos Fields

Compton has supplanted Robinson as the starter at Mike linebacker, a move that was prompted by both performance and nagging injuries to Robinson. Riley will be out at least another week with a broken bone in his foot but Foster has played well in his place.

Defensive backs (9): CBs Bashaud Breeland, Will Blackmon, Deshazor Everett, Quinton Dunbar, Dashaun Phillips; Safeties Dashon Goldson, DeAngelo Hall, Jeron Johnson, Kyshoen Jarrett

If anyone had told you at the beginning of the year that Quinton Dunbar would be lining up against the likes of Beckham, Bryand, and Watkins during critical late season games you would not have believed them. But Dunbar has done that and has held his own pretty well.

Specialists (3): K Dustin Hopkins, LS Nick Sundberg, P Tress Way

Hopkins replaced Kai Forbath in Week 2 and the Redskins haven’t looked back.

Breakdown: 24 defense, 25 offense, 3 specialists

Roster changes since the bye week (15 total transactions):

Moves off the roster (8): WR Andre Roberts (IR), TE Derek Carrier (IR), TE Anthony McCoy (waived), C Kory Lichtensteiger (IR-return), DL Stephen Paea (IR), OLB Jackson Jeffcoat (waived-injured), CB Chris Culliver (IR), S Trenton Robinson (waived-injured)

Additions to roster (7): RB Thomas, TE Smith, TE Hamm, C De La Puente, OLB Bates, ILB Fields, CB Phillips

Others added to 53-man roster after season opener and prior to the bye (5):

ILB Foster, CB Blackmon, CB Dunbar, CB Phillips, CB Everett

 

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Need to Know: Last look at Redskins vs. Giants

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Need to Know: Last look at Redskins vs. Giants

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, November 25, five days before the Washington Redskins play the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: No media availability  

Days until:

—Redskins @ Chargers (12/10) 15
—Cardinals @ Redskins (12/17) 22
—Broncos @ Redskins Christmas Eve (12/24) 29

Last look at Redskins vs Giants

Defense is on again—The Redskins have not played well on defense the last couple of weeks, allowing a total of 72 points to the Vikings and Saints. But they had a solid game against the Giants, with some help from inaccurate Eli Manning passes and some drops. But the numbers are what they are and they say three points allowed (not counting the seven on the pick six) and 170 yards of offense for New York. It’s the second time this year the Redskins have held an opponent to 170 yards or fewer (Raiders got 128 in week 3). It’s the first time the Redskins have held two opponents to 170 or fewer in the same season since 2004. For the Giants, it was their lowest offensive output since 2013.

Kirk Cousins’ night—Is it fair to say that he had a solid outing? Or is that not enough? He did lead a drive to the winning touchdown in the latter half of the fourth quarter of a tie game. The Redskins have won five games and Cousins has fourth-quarter game-winning drives in four of them. On Thursday, he completed 61 percent of his passes for 7.8 yards per attempt with two touchdowns and an interception that only the harshest critics (and there are many out there) would pin on him. Both of the TDs were special plays in their own ways. Cousins did take six sacks—those are not all on the makeshift offensive line—and he misfired on some passes. He deserves a solid B+ grade for the game.

Hall sits—A lot of people were alarmed by what they saw out of DeAngelo Hall in New Orleans, especially in the late going as Drew Brees got hot. Apparently, the Redskins’ coaches were among them. Even with starter Montae Nicholson sidelined with a concussion, Hall did not play a single snap on defense. It will be interesting to see if he is inactive when Nicholson is ready to play, possibly as early as next Thursday.

On a streak—No, not in the big wins column. I’m talking about winning the opening coin toss. The Redskins have now won two in a row. In the nine games prior to that, the Redskins had extraordinarily bad luck, going 2-7 in the 50-50 proposition. It remains very much in vogue for teams to defer after winning the toss. That has been the choice of the winners of the toss in 10 of the Redskins’ 11 games. The only team that chose to receive after winning the toss was the Raiders in Week 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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Kirk Cousins breaks down the terribleness of FedEx Field grass

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Kirk Cousins breaks down the terribleness of FedEx Field grass

For years, the Redskins struggle with their home field as the fall turns to winter. It's been happening so long it's become an expected passing of the seasons, like the transition from Halloween jack-o-lanterns to Christmas lights dotting people's front yards. 

Well, on Thanksgiving night, the turf at FedEx Field again showed how bad it can be. On a second half interception returned for a New York Giants touchdown, replay showed that Kirk Cousins' foot got stuck on the dirt, and it played a role in his sailing a ball to the sideline. The bad turf was not the only reason for the interception, but it was definitely a reason. 

Beyond the pick, the field was just ugly. Twitter blew up making fun of the Redskins home grass, and the national broadcast showed just how unsightly the long brown patch between the hash marks looked. 

On Friday, the normally diplomatic Cousins opened up about the grass.

"It probably doesn't look like a professional NFL field should," the quarterback said on 106.7 the Fan (full audio here). "If you think the field is rough now on Thanksgiving, we've got two more home games in mid-to-late December. That's probably going to be a bigger challenge."

Asked about the field's impact on the interception on Thursday night, Cousins ignored it. But plenty of other players have suggested the field is a known problem in the second half, and something they just must deal with. 

"I don't know why it is that way or what causes it," Cousins said. "I've kind of learned to accept it and understand it's part of the deal. Playing here on the field has never been that great in the second half of the season for whatever the reason."

[h/t @BenStandig for the Cousins quotes]

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