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Redskins running backs didn't do much running vs. the Ravens

Redskins running backs didn't do much running vs. the Ravens

The 2017 Redskins are hoping to run the ball as well as the 2016 Redskins ran it (4.5 yards per carry, 8th in the NFL) but are also looking to use the ground more than they did a year ago (27th overall in attempts).

In their first shot at making that change on Thursday night in Baltimore, however, the team underwhelmed. 

Jay Gruden split 18 carries amongst his five running backs in the Redskins’ preseason opener, yet the group totaled just 39 yards. That 2.2 YPC average is less than half of what the offense generated last season.

Rob Kelley was dropped for a large loss on an early third-and-1. Samaje Perine had an 11-yard carry — and on his other five touches, posted just four yards. Matt Jones and Mack Brown, both of whom are battling for a roster spot, were quiet, too.


"We didn't get a lot of movement," Jay Gruden said afterward. "We had a couple hits there in the second half. But overall, there wasn't a lot of movement... Very good defense for the first six plays. We have to do better."

Gruden’s right: The Ravens had the fifth-best run defense in 2016 and were even more stout at home, where they allowed just 68.9 YPC. Running against them wasn’t going to be an easy task.

On top of that, the Burgundy and Gold’s offensive line wasn’t even close to at its best in the exhibition. Both the starters and the backups had trouble openings holes for their RBs and protecting their QBs all evening long.

With that being said, there’ll be weeks this year where the Redskins will be facing top run defenses or the O-line isn’t clicking, and it’ll be on the backs to find space anyway. Football is largely about the 11 guys on each side of the ball, but sometimes, one player has to emerge and succeed on his own.

None of Gruden’s options showed that ability at M&T Bank Stadium, though. And while the fortunate part about preseason games is that they don’t matter, for an offense that can be deadly if given a consistent rushing attack, an uninspired debut performance feels like something that should matter at least a little.


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Three plays that show why the Redskins' screen game is so effective

Three plays that show why the Redskins' screen game is so effective

By Ryan Wormeli

The Redskins eked out a close win at home on Sunday, coming away with a 26-24 final over the 49ers. One of the keys to the team's success on offense was their effective screen game. 

Doc Walker says running back Chris Thompson is the best in the NFL at catching screens and turning them into big plays. Still, he knows it takes more than just one great player to find success in the screen game.

On Redskins Gameplan, he turned to the film to break down three big plays from Sunday's victory, highlighting the offensive line in giving Thompson the room he needed to make something happen.

Play 1: Recievers getting in on the "Block Party"

Nearly half of the Redskins on the field for this play found themselves with someone to block. Walker points out how active the big guys are, shouting out Brandon Scherff and Shawn Lauvao in particular. The receivers get some shine too, with Doc even pointing out, "You know you gotta give 11 some credit on that."


Play 2: Trent Williams just keeps looking for guys to block

With the Redskins deep in their own territory, they once again call for a screen pass, and you know Doc gets really excited to see the big fellas move.

"Now watch the big uglies, downfield. Agile! Hostile! Getting after it! Staying on their feet, no belly floppers," exclaimed Walker. "That's the key to it."

Play 3: Brandon Scherff redeems himself later in the drive

Brandon Scherff started off this important drive with a holding penalty, costing his team valuable yards. He then saw the screen pass as an opportunity to make it up to his teammates, and he takes full advantage.

Doc has just one thing to say for players staring down an angry Brandon Scherff.

"You, my friend, are in trouble."


The Redskins probably hoped their game against the winless 49ers would be a bit more comfortable than a 26-24 victory. Still, when they found themselves in a dogfight, they were able to rely on their quality screen game to get them big yardage when needed, and it helped them come out with a big Week 6 win.

For more segments like this, tune in to Redskins Gameplan at 6 p.m. on Thursday.

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All about the Lisfranc injury, the injury that Jonathan Allen is now dealing with

Bob Youngentob

All about the Lisfranc injury, the injury that Jonathan Allen is now dealing with

Whether you're a medical expert or not, odds are that when you saw the words "Lisfranc injury" next to the words "Jonathan Allen," you had an inkling that wasn't a good thing. Unfortunately, that inkling was right.

On Tuesday, it was reported that Allen, who was originally expected to miss about a month, will actually be sidelined for the rest of the season because of the Lisfranc issue that popped up in Washington's game vs. San Francisco. So, what's the deal with this injury?

Here's some information on the ailment that ended the first-round pick's first year with the Redskins.


What part of the foot is affected by a Lisfranc injury? says that a Lisfranc injury occurs when bones "in the midfoot are broken or ligaments that support the midfoot are torn." They're common with football players because often times they happen when one player steps on the foot of another, or when a player's cleat doesn't release normally from the field.

What's the recovery from a Lisfranc injury like?

Players affected by a Lisfranc injury can opt to take the surgery route or recover without surgery. According to Ian Rapoport, though, Allen has chosen to undergo surgery.

After the operation, Allen will probably stay off the foot for at least a month and a half or two months. He'll then be allowed to slowly bear weight on it, and eventually, the screws should be removed.

Reputable NFL doctor Robert Anderson said in a 2013 interview that the overall process usually takes five or six months. However, as is the case for most surgeries, recovery time does vary.


What other NFL players have had a Lisfranc injury in the past?

As mentioned earlier, this isn't an uncommon injury in the NFL. Here's a sample of guys who've had it in the recent past:

  • Matt Schaub
  • Le'Veon Bell
  • Jake Locker
  • Morgan Moses (his rookie year was also ended by one)
  • Maurice Jones-Drew
  • Santonio Holmes
  • Jimmy Smith
  • Dwight Freeney

Some guys, like Bell and Freeney, emerged from the injury and continued to improve. But others, like Locker and Holmes, had major difficulty coming back from it.

Can a Lisfranc injury linger?

It sure can, and that's obviously something the Redskins are really, really hoping won't happen with Allen. A study published by the University of Pennsylvania reported that more than 90 percent of players who suffered a Lisfranc injury resumed playing within 15 months (Allen should apparently come back much sooner) and saw no noticeable decrease in performance.

With that being said, arthritis can flare up in the foot. In addition, players can still feel pain long after surgery and long after their return to action. So this is clearly a tricky thing and something that may affect the talented defensive lineman for a long time to come.