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Kirk Cousins must step up and a look at progress and setbacks during the Redskins week that was

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Kirk Cousins must step up and a look at progress and setbacks during the Redskins week that was

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, October 14, one day before the Washington Redskins play the 49ers at FedEx Field.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: No media availability

Days until:

—Monday night Redskins @ Eagles (10/23) 9
—Cowboys @ Redskins (10/29) 15
—Redskins @ Seahawks (11/5) 22

The Redskins week that was

A look at some of the top posts and hot topics from the past week on www.RealRedskins.com and www.NBCSportsWashington.com.

Five who must step up the rest of the season—I drew some heat for including Kirk Cousins on this list. And although his last two games have been solid, his body of work for the season is not quite up to his standards and not quite what the Redskins need. Against the Eagles and Chiefs, the Redskins had the ball with a chance to win in the late going and didn’t get it done. While the quarterback is not completely responsible for getting it done in those situations he gets the credit when they do pull out the game and he gets a lion’s share of the blame when they don’t. That effect is magnified when the QB is taking up 14 percent of the salary cap. 

Redskins looking to snap 12-year streak vs. 49ers—We don’t write much about point spreads but the fact that the Redskins are double-digit favorites for the first time this decade (last in 2009) was an interesting reflection on the state of the team, at least how the team is perceived. And their struggles when they have been heavy favorites is also reflective of how the team tends to play down to the competition.

Redskins player one-liners—offense—Come for talk about the underachieving (except for Ryan Grant) receivers and stay for looks at the state of the offensive linemen.

Progress in some areas, others still lagging—The Redskins went into the offseason looking to improve the performance of the defense on third downs and the production of the offense in the end zone. At the quarter pole of the season, they have achieved one but not the other.

First look at Redskins vs. 49ers—Maybe the Niners should have won a game or two this year instead of being 0-5. Pro Football Reference pegs their “Expected W-L”, based on their points scored and give up, at 1.6-3.4. Forget the concept of decimals here, round them to the nearest whole number and you get 2-3. But don’t let that make you think that they are a good team; they’re not. If the Redskins really are taking that next step into the top 10 teams in the league, as Football Outsiders’ DVOA metric and some power rankings have them, they should easily handle Kyle Shanahan’s squad.

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.

Check out what was happening on Friday at Redskins Park via this Twitter Moment.

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Tandler and Finlay with your Fast Friday Redskins news roundup.

Posted by Rich Tandler on Friday, October 13, 2017

From the locker room

Most of the time players express confidence about their ability to play when talking to the media. Not Trent, not here.

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With Josh Norman out and Rob Kelley doubtful, what will the Redskins do?

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With Josh Norman out and Rob Kelley doubtful, what will the Redskins do?

The Redskins will be without cornerback Josh Norman for Sunday’s game and it looks like another starter and a couple of key reserves will be out against the 49ers as well.

Norman (broken rib) and backup tackle Ty Nsekhe (core muscle) are both listed as out on the final injury report. Starting RB Rob Kelley is doubtful as is reserve safety and special teams contributor Deshazor Everett (hamstring).

Third-year cornerback Quinton Dunbar will start in Norman's place and rookie Josh Holsey will be active on game day for the first time. 

Starting RB Rob Kelley (ankle) did not practice all week and he is listed as doubtful. He did some work on the ankle out on the field with an athletic trainer and while Gruden said that he looked better, the chances of him playing remain slim.

Kelley injured his right ankle during the game in Kansas City on October 2. He did not practice all week and on Wednesday Jay Gruden said he was a “long shot” to play. Samaje Perine will get the start and Mack Brown will be active as his backup.

MORE REDSKINS: ANSWERING FAN QUESTIONS

Everett also was injured during the Chiefs game. He did not practice all week either. The Redskins will go with first-year player Stefan McClure as their backup safety behind the starters. Earlier this week, Gruden said that cornerback Kendall Fuller could fill in at safety in a pinch.

Starting left tackle Trent Williams (knee) is questionable for Sunday. He did not practice on Wednesday or Thursday and he was very limited Friday. As you can see in this video, he is glad the game is being held Sunday.

Williams has played thorough some painful injuries in the past and it would be surprising if he missed the game on Sunday. T.J. Clemmings, who started 31 games for the Vikings over the past two seasons, would start if Williams can’t play.

RELATED: FIVE REDSKINS WHO ARE UNDER PRESSURE VS THE 49ERS

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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Answering fan questions—Mack Brown, D with Norman out, trade possibilities

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Answering fan questions—Mack Brown, D with Norman out, trade possibilities

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, October 13, two days before the Washington Redskins play the 49ers at FedEx Field.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Practice 12:05 pm; Jay Gruden and Matt Cavanaugh news conferences, open locker room after practice, approx. 2 pm

Days until:

—Monday night Redskins @ Eagles (10/23) 10
—Cowboys @ Redskins (10/29) 16
—Redskins @ Seahawks (11/5) 23

Answering fan questions

I put out a request for question on Twitter @TandlerNBCS and on my Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS. Here are the answers. And you don’t have to wait for a call for questions; feel free to hit me up any time.

If you’re concerned about the strength of your cornerbacks you can either put the quarterback under heavy pressure as you suggest or you can drop seven or even eight into coverage and try not to give the passer anywhere to throw. Brian Hoyer gets rid of the ball quickly, an average of 2.9 seconds. That would suggest that the better strategy would be to drop back more in coverage and take away Hoyer’s passing lanes. But it should be noted that Derek Carr gets rid of the ball quickly as well and the Redskins sacked him four times. I would mix it up but lean towards dropping more back and daring Hoyer (5.3 net yards/attempt) try to beat me.

The Redskins’ RB depth chart doesn’t work like that. Thompson is really on his own depth chart as the back on third down and other passing situations like two-minute drives and times when the team is trailing late. The other two active backs are one and two. The thing is, we really don’t know what Gruden will do in terms rotating the other two backs. In the opener, Rob Kelley played the whole game. In the other three games, the starter got hurt (Kelley vs. LA and KC, Perine vs. OAK) before the backup got a substantial workload. So assuming that Kelley is out it is likely that Perine will start and Brown will be active. We’ll just have to see how things play out to see if Brown gets any carries.

Hall is eligible to start practicing after this week. When he does start practicing there is a three-week window during which the team can move him to the 53-man roster. After the three weeks, the team must activate him, release him, or put him on season-ending injured reserve.

Is there a role for Hall? At first glance, he seems to be a better option as the fourth safety than Stefan McClure. He could play cornerback in a pinch although he likely is low on the list of options for an emergency corner. And the team might want his veteran presence around for a playoff push.

In short, I doubt it. It’s simply not the way they do business (which makes them more the rule around the NFL in that regard and not the exception). They might go after DRC if he is released but the Giants have said they’re not going to do that. Henry could be an upgrade but I don’t see a move being made. I think that a season-ending injury at a position of limited depth prior to the trade deadline would be the only thing that would cause the Redskins to make a trade this year.

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.

View Thursday's news and notes from Redskins Park via a Twitter Moment

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From the locker room

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