<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>
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.”
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.
Get out of here with being thankful for good health and family and all that other nonsense.
The thing you should've been most grateful for on Thanksgiving was the tremendous group postgame interview the Redskins did after beating the Giants 20-10 at FedEx Field.
This year, group celebrations are the thing to do in the NFL, and they've been fine. The Steelers' choregraphed hide-and-seek was cute, and the Eagles have actually looked like the best baseball team in Philadelphia at times this season.
But those collective efforts have NOTHING on Kirk Cousins hand feeding Brandon Scherff a giant turkey leg or Ryan Kerrigan and Jamison Crowder cheers-ing with their own massive legs:
Can we all take a moment and look at how happy Morgan Moses is to rip a bite off of his drumstick?:
And please check out DJ Swearinger piggy-backing on random-signing-turned-starting-center Tony Bergstrom:
Four days after walking off the field following a sickening loss in New Orleans, the Redskins got to shove meat down their gullets. Winning in the NFL is more fun than losing in the NFL.