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After rash of injuries, looking at Redskins updated offensive line and receiver depth chart

After rash of injuries, looking at Redskins updated offensive line and receiver depth chart

Last year, the Redskins suffered through one of the worst injury seasons in franchise history. Few thought it could happen again, but history has a way of repeating itself. 

On Sunday in Tampa, Jay Gruden's team will be without a number of offensive starters: Paul Richardson, Trent Williams, Brandon Scherff, Shawn Lauvao and Chris Thompson. Additionally, a number of important players are questionable against the Bucs, and that includes Morgan Moses and Jamison Crowder, who hasn't played in the last four games. 

All of this means significant upheaval on the depth chart, particularly along the offensive line and at the receiver position. 

Below is a best guess as what the depth charts will look like in Tampa after spending the week watching practice and talking with players and coaches. 

Offensive line

Left tackle - Ty Nsekhe
Left guard - Jonathan Cooper
Center - Chase Roullier
Right guard - Tony Bergstrom
Right tackle - Morgan Moses

Notes:

  • Moses made clear in conversations he wants to try and push through a sprained MCL and play against the Bucs. Whether or not he's able to will be a different situation. All week, Moses looked gimpy on the leg, but Friday he did go through team drills. Moses will certainly test the knee Sunday morning, and should he not be able to go, Gruden said that rookie Geron Christian would get the start. Christian was not overly impressive last week in relief duty against Atlanta, but outside of a handful of very bad plays, he was steady. 
  • One thing to keep in mind: For most of the week at practice, newly signed Austin Howard lined up at right tackle instead of Christian. Still, Gruden was unequivocal about Christian's role if Moses can't play. The coach said, "If Morgan can't go then we probably have to put [Geron] Christian in at tackle and move some people around." Howard has played nothing but tackle in a seven-year NFL Career, including starting all 16 games for the Ravens last season at right tackle.
  • Cooper signed this week as a free agent, but has a reasonably impressive resume for a player that was available in mid-season. A Top 10 pick in 2013, Cooper started 13 games for the Cowboys last season at left guard. 

Wide receiver

The situation at wide receiver is a bit more fluid, both because of the nature of the position and because of Jamison Crowder's murky status for Sunday. If Crowder can go, and that's a big if, the situation would be much more clear. What is crystal clear is Josh Doctson will start and play the X receiver position.

If Crowder plays, he will man the slot receiver role and Maurice Harris will be lined up outside opposite Doctson as the Z receiver when the team lines up in their three wide receiver personnel grouping. If Crowder can't play, things get more interesting. Harris moves inside to play the slot, and Michael Floyd and Brian Quick will split time at the Z receiver. 

Notes:

  • Speaking Friday, Gruden on Crowder's availability: "He did a little bit more today. He did pretty good. We'll have to see a little bit more tomorrow, see how he's feeling and go from there." Hardly a ringing endorsement than Crowder will play.
  • If Crowder can't play, Harris mans the slot. His backup at that position? Likely Jordan Reed.
  • Jehu Chesson is technically the backup for Doctson, but Chesson is a special teams ace that the Redskins would probably hesitate to line up much on offense. Should something happen to Doctson, some combination of the other healthy WRs would rotate to the X spot. 
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Chase Young, potential Redskins No. 2 pick, does not plan to work out during NFL Scouting Combine

Chase Young, potential Redskins No. 2 pick, does not plan to work out during NFL Scouting Combine

Chase Young has thrown a wrinkle into this week's NFL Scouting Combine, as the Ohio State pass rusher does not plan on participating in drills during the event. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported the news first.

Young will still fly to Indianapolis for the combine, as he will be present for medicals and interviews, according to Rapoport. All 32 NFL teams are permitted to individually interview 45 different NFL Draft prospects at the combine.

With LSU quarterback Joe Burrow likely headed to the Bengals with the first pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, Young is widely expected to be selected by the Redskins with the No. 2 overall pick.

As it stands now, Young's draft stock practically as high as it possibly could be. Thus, his decision to sit out combine drills is not necessarily a surprising choice. The 20-year-old also has the opportunity to showcase his talents during Ohio State's Pro Day, which will occur sometime between the middle of March and the beginning of April.

Several current Redskins, including Young's former Buckeye teammates Dwayne Haskins and Terry McLaurin, have lobbied for the Burgundy and Gold to select Young.

NFL experts have wavered back and forth on what Washington should do with the pick. NBC Sports' Peter King thinks Washington could "remake their franchise" by trading the pick and acquiring multiple assets. Chris Simms doesn't think the Redskins should lock in on Young, either.

But most NFL experts believe Young to Washington should be a done deal. Danny Kanell says the team should take Young and not look back. NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah said Washington should take Young unless a team "blows their doors off" with a trade offer. Almost every single mock draft across all websites has the Redskins inking Young with their pick.

The NFL Draft is eight weeks away and a lot can change between now and then. The Scouting Combine workouts begin on Thursday with tight ends, quarterbacks and wide receivers taking the field.

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Former Redskins QB Josh Johnson destroys Defenders in Week 3

Former Redskins QB Josh Johnson destroys Defenders in Week 3

Former Redskins quarterback Josh Johnson carved up the visiting DC Defenders for 278 yards and three touchdowns Sunday night in the Los Angeles Wildcats' commanding 39-9 victory.

The Wildcats obliterated Cardale Jones (13-of-26, 4 INT) and the Defenders, who fall to 2-1 on the season.

Johnson completed passes to eight different receivers, including William and Mary standout Tre McBride, who was traded from the Defenders to the Wildcats in the preseason.

McBride finished the night with five catches for 109 yards and two touchdowns.

Johnson played for the Redskins during the 2018 NFL season, suiting up for the final four games after the team lost both Alex Smith and Colt McCoy to season-ending injuries. Johnson led the Redskins to a 16-13 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars during Week 15, throwing for 151 yards and a touchdown.

Johnson was selected by the Wildcats in the XFL Supplemental Draft in Nov. 2019. 

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