<p>When the Redskins open the preseason Thursday in Buffalo, theyll do so missing a few key players.<p><p>At least two of the five starters along the offensive line guard Kory Lichensteiger and tackle Jammal Brown will be sidelined against the Bills, while guard Chris Chester is a long shot to suit up, according to Coach Mike Shanahan. Chester sprained his left ankle Monday and did not participate in Tuesdays practice.<p><p>Shanahan also Tim Hightower, ranked atop the teams depth chart at running back, has been ruled out, as has fullback Darrel Young. Hightower still is recovering from knee surgery, while young is nursing an ailing hamstring.<p><p>Hopefully he keeps on making progress and will be able to play by the third game, Shanahan said of Hightower. &nbsp;<p><p>Shanahan said Josh Morgan will be available to play, barring a setback. The wide receiver returned Monday from a weeklong layoff due to a hamstring.<p><p>Chris Cooley did not practice Tuesday but will play, Shanahan said.<p><p>Hes been going to pretty hard, Shanahan said of his tight end. He needed a day of rest.<p><p>Cooley joked that the day off was a privilege of being in the "30 Club". He turned 30 last month.<p><p>A couple of more notes of interest from Shanahans practice news conference:<p><p>--Shanahan said the dueling kickers Graham Gano and Neil Rackers will alternate kicks.<p><p>Whoever kicks off, will have the next field goal or extra point, whatever it is, Shanahan said. Thats the way weve tentatively talked about it. &nbsp;&nbsp;<p><p>Gano will start first, the coach added.<p><p>--With Hightower sidelined, Shanahan said running backs Evan Royster and Roy Helu Jr. will split time. Royster will get the start.<p><style id="_clearly_component__css" type="textcss"> <style><div id="_clearly_component__next_pages_container"><div>
Bad news became much worse on Wednesday when ESPN reported that rookie defensive tackle will miss the remainder of the Redskins season.
Redskins defensive lineman Jonathan Allen will miss the rest of the season, a source said. Allen suffered a... https://t.co/gVJ57JpSxO— John Keim (@john_keim) October 18, 2017
Allen suffered a Lisfranc injury late in the Washington 26-24 win over San Francisco last Sunday and was spotted wearing a walking boot leaving the stadium.
Initial injury reports suggested Allen could miss up to a month. That prognosis seemed lucky for a Lisfranc issue, an injury of the foot that usually carries longer recovery periods.
Through five games, Allen was a force of the Redskins defensive front. His interior push had been a big part in career starts for fellow lineman Matt Ioannidis and outside linebacker Preston Smith.
With Allen out, the Redskins will need to rely more on veterans Stacy McGee, Terrell McClain and Ziggy Hood in addition to second-year Ioannidis. The injury also likely means Anthony Lanier will join the active roster, beginning as early as Monday night in Philadelphia.
Washington coach Jay Gruden will address the media on Thursday, and Allen will likely be the first topic discussed.
Drafted 17th overall, Allen had been a steal for the Redskins. Many considered the former Alabama star a top five talent, though he slipped due to arthritic shoulder concerns. The foot injury is unrelated.
Here is where the Redskins stand in Week 7 of the NFL season.
Top three storylines:
Walking wounded—Yeah, this is the same as a top storyline from last week. The good news was that it looks like Bashaud “Gumby” Breeland will be able to play against the Eagles after taking a hit that made his left knee bend at an unnatural angle. But rookie DL Jonathan Allen will be out 3-4 weeks with a Lisfranc sprain. Kicker Dustin Hopkins is on injured reserve and replacement Nick Rose will make his first NFL kick on Monday. All eyes are on Josh Norman, who has not been ruled out of Monday’s game with broken rib he suffered against the Chiefs.
Thompson on a roll—Chris Thompson is on pace to get 1,000 receiving yards. He has 340, the most on the team by far. That’s great for Thompson but you’d like to see a receiver within 100 yards of him after five games. Terrelle Pryor is third on the team, behind Thompson and Vernon Davis, with 209 yards. If the Redskins offense is going to reach its full potential, Pryor, Jamison Crowder, or Josh Doctson has to start catching up with Thompson’s productivity.
Missing Rob Kelley—Rob Kelley has been out two full games and has missed more than a half of two others with ankle and rib injuries. He’s averaging 4.5 yards per carry and his substitute, rookie Samaje Perine, is averaging 3.0. The Redskins sure could use that extra yard and a half per carry.
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Record: 3-2, 2nd in NFC East
vs. NFC East: 0-1
vs. NFC: 2-1
vs. AFC: 1-1
Rankings and changes from Week 6
Offense (yards/game): 374.2 (2th, +2 from Week 6)
Defense (yards/game): 316.0 (12th, -3)
Points for: 117 (14th, -1)
Points against: 113 (19th, -1)
Passer rating offense: 106.4 (3rd, +1)
Opp passer rating: 81.8 (9th, +2)
Yards/rush attempt: 4.1 (17th, -8)
Opp. yards/rush attempt: 4.0 (17th, -2)
Third down conversions: 40.6% (12th, +7)
Opp. Third-down conversions: 40.3% (20th, -2)
Weighted DVOA (Football Outsiders): 24.1% (6nd, -4)
Playoff chances per FO: 51.7%, +2.5 percentage points from last week
Trending in the right direction: They were below average in third down conversions on offense but going seven for 14 on Sunday got them up to 12th.
Trending in the wrong direction: They averaged 2.8 yards on 33 rushing attempts against the 49ers, dragging their average per attempt on the season from a solid 4.5 yards down to 4.0. It becomes difficult to stick with the run when it isn’t as effective as it needs to be.
Next three games
Monday @ Eagles (5-1)—It’s kind of an odd scheduling format here that the Redskins finished with the Eagles before they play either of their other NFC East rivals. Right now, the Eagles have the best record in the NFC and their quarterback is a legitimate MVP candidate. It will be a tall task to for the Redskins to keep from falling 2.5 games behind the Eagles with Philly holding a head-to-head sweep.
October 29 vs. Cowboys (2-3)—The two losses to the Cowboys last year were on the long list of reasons why the Redskins failed to make the playoffs. Washington’s run defense has improved but mobile quarterbacks like Dak Prescott still give them problems. Will Zeke Elliott play? Consult with your local bar association for guidance.
November 5 @ Seahawks (3-2)—Seattle looked vulnerable at times early in the year but they have it back together despite an offensive line that is held together with duct tape and chicken wire. This could be the Redskins’ toughest test of the season.