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Why ailing Zach Brown has plenty of incentive to keep playing

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Why ailing Zach Brown has plenty of incentive to keep playing

Redskins linebacker Zach Brown missed practice for a second straight day on Thursday, putting doubt into his availability for the game against the Cardinals.

Brown is leading the league in combined tackles and, probably, in injuries.

The team’s injury report says that he is dealing with four of them—toe, Achilles, and ankle with an illness piled on top of those.

“They’re hindering him quite a bit,” Jay Gruden said of Brown’s laundry list of ailments.

“Sickness is starting to clear up a little bit but he’s still a little sore. We’ll see if he makes any progress tomorrow. It’d have to be pretty significant, but we’ll have to wait and see.”

MORE REDSKINS: IS GALETTE ON HIS WAY OUT?

The illness might clear up but the other injuries are unlikely to go away until a few weeks into the offseason. He is getting treatments that include massage, laser, and acupuncture but rest is the only thing that will get rid of the problems.

Some have wondered why Brown persists with multiple injuries and the team now mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. For one thing, playing is what he does.

“I like to play the game,” said Brown last week.

RELATED: WEEK 15 POWER RANKINGS

“I like to play the game with passion and I hate to lose. I try my best to help people do better, just trying to help some of the young guys. At the end of the day, you rest when the season’s over.”

There are financial considerations as well, on a couple of different fronts. Brown will be a free agent in 2018 and he is risking further injury that could lower his value on the market. He says that does not factor into is thinking.

“Last two years I was on the free agent market, it’s the way I play,” he said. “If that was the case I would have just shut it down already.”

There are other, more immediate financial considerations as well. Brown has per-game roster bonuses of $15,625 that are paid if he is on the list of 46 active players. And he has incentive bonuses of up to $2.3 million according to Over the Cap. It’s safe to say that at least some of those bonuses will be attainable only if Brown is able to play effectively in all or nearly all of the scheduled 16 games.

RELATED: REED LIKELY TO STAY IN 2018

Brown hasn’t spoken about the incentive bonus money being important and, given his answer to the free agency question, he probably wouldn’t. But this is not a player who has made a ton of money in his career. According to Spotrac, if he hits on his roster bonuses and on his likely to be earned incentives this year he will have about $7.7 million in career earnings. That’s a good chunk of money but once you take away taxes, a cut to his agent and other various and sundry expenses it’s not “set for life” money. It’s likely that his bank account would notice whatever he can collect in incentives.

Gruden has said that Brown is a player who could go on Sunday even with only one practice under his belt. We will know a lot more about his status this afternoon when his practice status for Friday and his game status for Sunday will be announced on the injury report.

 

 

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Need to Know: Looking ahead at the Redskins' 2018 depth chart on offense

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Need to Know: Looking ahead at the Redskins' 2018 depth chart on offense

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, December 15, two days before the Washington Redskins play the Cardinals at FedEx Field.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Practice 12:05 p.m.; Jay Gruden news conference and open locker room after practice, approx. 2 p.m.

Days until:

—Broncos @ Redskins Christmas Eve (12/24) 9
—Redskins @ Giants (12/17) 16
—NFL Draft (4/26/18) 132

Redskins 2018 depth chart—offense

The one constant at Redskins Park is change. What will the Redskins’ depth chart look like in Week 1 in 2018? I’ll take a look into the crystal ball at the offense today; look for the defense sometime in the next few days.

Quarterback

Starter: Colt McCoy
Backup: Baker Mayfield (draft)

This could go in a lot of different directions. It’s certainly possible that Kirk Cousins will be back but I have a hard time seeing either a long-term deal or the Redskins biting the bullet on the $35 million franchise tag. Certainly, they could sign another veteran free agent as a placeholder and they could draft a different quarterback. But I think the veteran and early draft pick is the model.

Running back

Starter: Samaje Perine
Backups: Chris Thompson, Rob Kelley

I think that there should be an upgrade here and perhaps if the right player falls into their lap in the draft they will jump. But history tells us they don’t value the position enough to invest a high pick or significant free agent dollars. If they don’t acquire anyone, it’s the status quo. It could work out if Perine takes the next step and Kelley stays healthy.

Tight end

Starter: Jordan Reed
Backups: Vernon Davis, Niles Paul, Jeremy Sprinkle

Reed will be back to give it another go in 2018. The question mark here is Paul, who is a free agent. It’s more likely than not that he’ll be back.

Wide receiver

Starters: Josh Doctson, Jamison Crowder, Ryan Grant
Backups: Michael Gallup, Robert Davis, Brian Quick

Gallup is a productive receiver out of Colorado State who should be available in the second and maybe the third round. It may not be Gallup but I do think that the Redskins have to take a receiver sometime in their first 100 picks and start getting him in the system. That receiver eventually will push Grant back into being a backup. It’s also possible for Davis to develop enough to be the short-term starter.

Offensive line

Starters (left to right): Trent Williams, Spencer Long, Chase Roullier, Brandon Scherff, Morgan Moses
Backups: Ty Nsekhe, Tyler Catalina, Kyle Kalis, 1-2 free agents and draft picks

Roullier was playing well for Long at center before the rookie himself went on the injury list. If he resumes his solid play when he returns, the plan may be to keep him at center and re-sign Long, who is an unrestricted free agent, to play left guard. 

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.

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The Cardinals could be the cure to the Redskins' pass rushing issues

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The Cardinals could be the cure to the Redskins' pass rushing issues

The Redskins have not had a very good year when it comes to sacking the opposing quarterback. They have 31 sacks for the season, 17th in the NFL.

They had a then-NFL best 32-game streak with at least one sack came to an end in Week 10 against the Vikings.

Ryan Kerrigan is doing well with 9.0 sacks to his credit. Preston Smith has five but only a half since Week 6. Matt Ioannidis and Jonathan Allen were forming a solid interior pass rush tandem early in the year but Allen went on injured reserve with a Lisfranc injury and Ioannidis suffered a broken hand that limited his playing time and effectiveness.

MORE REDSKINS: IS GALETTE ON HIS WAY OUT?

But the cure to the Redskins’ pass-rushing ills just may be coming to town on Sunday in the form of the Arizona Cardinals and quarterback Blaine Gabbert.

The Cardinals have given up 44 sacks on the season; that’s 31st in the NFL.

Things have gotten worse in the last couple of weeks, with Gabbert going down a combined 15 times against the Rams and Titans.

If you think that the Cardinals may have hit rock bottom, consider that two starters, left tackle Jared Veldheer and right guard Earl Watford, won’t be playing due to injuries.

Will Holden, a rookie fifth-round pick, will start at left tackle and Evan Boehm, who lost his job to Watford earlier this season, will be the right guard.

Of course, the Redskins have to go out and make it happen. The entire Cowboys offense was slumping until they met the Redskins a couple of weeks ago. They can’t be a haven for a struggling unit once again.

In any case, it is an opportunity that is in front of the Redskins. It’s up to them to take advantage of it.

RELATED: REED LIKELY TO STAY IN 2018

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.