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Redskins vs. Patriots injury report: Lots of question marks

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Redskins vs. Patriots injury report: Lots of question marks

Injury report for Redskins vs. Patriots

Redskins

Questionable (50% chance player will play)

CB Chris Culliver (knee)—Culliver has missed three games with an inflamed knee and things are looking pretty good, although he told me on Friday that it would be a last-minute decision.

CB DeAngelo Hall (toe)—He made it out onto the field for some limited practice this week for the first time since he suffered the toe sprain in Week 3. But close may not good enough for a cornerback, who needs to be able to cut, backpedal, and sprint to be able to do his job. Hall will be a game day decision.

C Kory Lichtensteiger (Neck): He got through the Falcons game with what Gruden described as a “disc area” injury but he was worse for wear after doing so. The veteran could now miss his third straight game. “I don’t know where he’s at exactly,” said Jay Gruden. “He’s working really hard, this is a sensitive issue that he has right now. It’s something that he’s doing everything he can to get his strength back but it’s just not quite there yet. Just a matter of determining how much can he play with the lack of it.” He did practice on a limited basis on Friday, which is promising.

WR DeSean Jackson (hamstring)—Jackson has been confident all that he would be able to get back on the field for this game. He has been close a couple of times but Gruden has said repeatedly that if Jackson doesn’t have 100 percent of his speed he doesn’t do the team any good on the field. It looks like he is there, or at least close enough to it to warrant giving it a go barring a setback.

CB Bashaud Breeland (hamstring)—He did not practice on Wednesday and was limited on Thursday and Friday. He will be a game time decision. If he and Culliver both are unable to go, the Redskins will be forced to start Quinton Dunbar or Deshazor Everett, both undrafted rookies, against Tom Brady.

LB Ryan Kerrigan (hand)—He has had his broken hand padded up during practice all week and will be outfitted with some sort of cast if he can play on Sunday. If he can’t go, rookie Preston Smith will get his first NFL start

LB Keenan Robinson (shoulder/rib/abdomen)—He was nursing rib and abdominal injuries and then something happened with his shoulder on Wednesday. It appears that they will be able to get him out there; if they can’t, Will Compton will start.

Probable (virtually certain will play)

RB Chris Thompson (back)—The third-down back sustained a back contusion when he jumped up trying to reel in an errant pass against the Jets and laded flat on his back on the MetLife Stadium field turf. Thompson has some swelling and the medical staff just wasn’t able to get him ready to play against the Bucs. Thompson got some additional padding for his back, something he says he wishes he had done before suffering the injury.

DE Jason Hatcher (Knee)—I detailed his program in a separate article this morning. It seems certain he will play but his snaps could be limited.

Also probable are C Josh LeRibeus (shoulder) and CB Quinton Dunbar (illness).

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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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When Samaje Perine got going, so did the Redskins' offense

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Bob Youngentob for NBC Sports Washington

When Samaje Perine got going, so did the Redskins' offense

At halftime of the Redskins’ Thanksgiving night game against the Giants, Samaje Perine had three yards rushing and his team had three points. Washington had racked up all of 113 yards.

Coincidence? Not entirely. Although the Redskins are primarily a passing team they need to run the ball to pass effectively.

“We had to get the running game going,” said Jay Gruden after the game.

In the second half, Perine and the offense did get it going. Perine ran for 97 yards and Redskins put up 210 yards and 17 points. It’s safe to say that it wasn’t a coincidence.

The Redskins didn’t make any halftime adjustments to get the ground game in gear.

“We just had to stay the course,” said Perine. “We knew they were going to come out fired up, they just came off a big win. We just had to stay the course and then things started going our way.”

MORE REDSKINS: MUST-SEE PHOTOS OF THE WIN

Perine was more steady than spectacular. His longest run was 16 yards. He came out of the locker room and ran for six and 10 yards on his first two carries. Later in the third quarter the Redskins were backed up at their own 10. Perine ran four straight plays for 39 yards and the Redskins were near midfield.

Although they didn’t score on that drive they did change field position. That was part of the Redskins’ strategy playing with an injury-depleted offense.

“If you had to punt in a game like this and play field position, it’s not the end of the world because our defense was playing so good,” said Gruden.

Not only did the running game flip the field, it flipped the time of possession. In the first half, the Giants had the ball for 17:40 compared to 12:20 for the Redskins.

“We had to get on the field and control some of the clock,” said tackle Morgan Moses. “We had to give our defense a rest. Samaje put his foot in the ground and got extra yards when needed and we were able to move the chains.”

Moses wasn’t the only one enjoying seeing Perine pile up some yards.

“As a defensive player, you want to see that,” said safety D.J. Swearinger. “We say, keep running it. Keep running him. Let him keep getting those carries, put a dent in the defense. It was a good sight to see.”

RELATED: FIVE KEY MOMENTS IN RESKINS VS GIANTS

Swearinger got to watch a lot of Perine. The Redskins piled up 22:17 in possession in the second half, while Swearinger and his defensive mates had to defend for just 7:43.

Last night was the second time in four days that Perine has rushed for 100 yards or more; he had 117 in New Orleans on Sunday. No Redskin has rushed for 100 yards in consecutive games since Alfred Morris did it in November of 2013.

He will have a chance to extend that streak to three on Thursday against the Cowboys, who are ranked 17th in rushing defense. That would put him in some elite company in Redskins history, including Larry Brown (twice) and Stephen Davis.  A steak of three straight 100-yard games was last done by Morris in 2012.

It may be a little early to look forward, but the Redskins record is five straight 100-yard games, held by Clinton Portis (twice) and Ladell Betts.  

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.