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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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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was-Cousins' value, the Redskins' top pick

Need to Know: The Redskins week that was-Cousins' value, the Redskins' top pick

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, January 20, 53 days before NFL free agency starts.

Timeline  

Days until:

—NFL franchise tag deadline (3/6) 45
—NFL Draft (4/26) 96
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 232

The Redskins week that was

Jags big win could spell bad news for Kirk Cousins—If the Jaguars’ accomplishment of getting to the AFC championship game does indeed make Blake Bortles’ job safe, the laws of economics say that the amount of money that Cousins can command in a free agent contract should go down. It’s the demand part of supply and demand and if demand goes down, prices should, too. But the NFL quarterback market doesn’t follow the laws. If the Lions see fit to pay Matthew Stafford, a quarterback under whom they have had very limited success, a contract with an average annual value of $27 million without any team bidding against them, that sets the price.

Setting the odds on what happens with Kirk Cousins—Despite his happy talk at the 106.7 The Fan event earlier this month, the possibility that Cousins will play in a Redskins uniform in 2018 does not warrant a large bet of imaginary casino chips. If you missed the post, take a look and let me know what you think of my assessment.

Don't freak out about latest Zach Brown tweet—It’s that time of year. A player sends out a tweet with no context and fans assign the worst possible meaning to it. In Brown’s case, a tweet about not getting respect was interpreted as a sign that contract negotiations with the Redskins were not going well. But JP Finlay found out that the tweet was about Brown being upset that another alternate getting selected to the Pro Bowl and not him. It still is unclear if Brown will return to the Redskins but at least there are no indications of rocky negotiations at this point.

Bang for the free agent bucks for the Redskins? Brown was a solid free agent acquisition for the Redskins last year. Terrelle Pryor, not so much. Take a look at the post for the other hits and misses in free agency.

Tweet of the week

Even though the draft is over three months away there are plenty of opinions out there as this tweet drew a ton of reaction. On the offensive side of the ball, the suggestions ran towards quarterbacks Lamar Jackson and Baker Mayfield although some want a running back. It will be interesting to see how those two non-conventional quarterbacks look after they spend the next few months under the microscope of the NFL draft process. The defensive name that kept coming up was Washington defensive lineman Vita Vea, a large specimen who could play the nose in base defense and move to three-technique in nickel.

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.

In case you missed it

 

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Scot McCloughan simply said what plenty of others think about Kirk Cousins

Scot McCloughan simply said what plenty of others think about Kirk Cousins

Redskins fans were frenzied when Scot McCloughan said that Kirk Cousins is a good quarterback, but not a special one. The #KirkHive shuddered and the Kirk Haters celebrated.

McCloughan, the former Redskins GM who's wildly popular with fans, explained what few people will say publicly: Cousins is a skilled player but probably not deserving of the money he might make in free agency. 

Let's start with the obvious: Cousins is good.

He's a durable passer in a league that doesn't have enough of them. He's started the last 49 games for the Redskins and thrown for more than 4,000 yards each of the past three seasons. 

Now more obvious: He isn't great.

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Bleacher Report's Chris Simms, speaking on the #RedskinsTalk podcast, said Cousins ranks about 12th among NFL passers. It's top half of the league, but it's not Top 5 or even Top 10. 

Cousins has had tremendous games with the Redskins, like a near perfect performance against Oakland in 2017 or a dominant performance against Green Bay in 2016. 

Cousins has also been awful, as recently as Week 17 in New York a few weeks ago, or an equally stinky Week 17 game against the Giants two seasons ago. 

While some might view McCloughan's statement as controversial — "He’s a good player. Is he special? I don’t see special," he told Denver radio station 104.3 the Fan — it's not. 

Plenty of people agree with McCloughan, including some in Redskins Park. Last year, a source told NBC Sports Washington that the team believed they could get nearly as much production from Colt McCoy as Cousins provided. 

Even this year, Washington head coach Jay Gruden offered lukewarm praise of his quarterback.

When the season ended, asked to evaluate Cousins' play, the coach said, "When you’re 7-9, it’s hard to say, ‘Wow, this guy really was outstanding.’ There’s a few guys obviously that jump out, Pro Bowlers like Ryan Kerrigan had a solid year. Obviously Trent [Williams] when he played was a Pro Bowl-type and Brandon [Scherff] when he was healthy was a Pro Bowl-type guy. Kirk had his flashes where he was really good. From a consistent standpoint, over the course of 16 games, you know, we’re 7-9."

That quote made headlines when Gruden said it, much like McCloughan's comments now are circulating faster than Beltway traffic. 

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Truth is, it's not new. And it's not news.

There are coaches that think Cousins is only scratching the surface of his capabilities. Kyle Shanahan and Sean McVay come to mind, but both of those coaches have other QBs likely for the long-term future. 

Cousins might end up being paid like a Top 3 quarterback in the NFL, and that might be the right move given the demand at the position. Will that make him a special passer?

Not if special is defined as Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers or Drew Brees. Even Cousins wouldn't argue with that.