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After some encouraging signs, Jordan Reed gets ruled out for Week 2's Cowboys game

After some encouraging signs, Jordan Reed gets ruled out for Week 2's Cowboys game

The signs this week were encouraging for Jordan Reed. He practiced on both Wednesday and Thursday and even did some team work, as he looked to come back from the concussion he suffered on August 22 and play for the Redskins in Week 2.

But the whole vibe around Reed's situation changed on Friday, when he was a surprise absence in Ashburn during Washington's final preparation for the Cowboys game. Then, after practice, Jay Gruden confirmed that Reed will not return to the field this Sunday.

"Just didn't work out this week as far as feeling 100-percent to play a game," Gruden said when asked if the tight end had experienced some sort of setback or issue.

Sometimes that's the way it goes with concussions, and Reed has unfortunately suffered a handful as a pro. Yet it felt like he was on the right track toward getting back, considering the injury happened a little more than three weeks ago and he was doing individual drills back before the regular season opener.

Something changed, however, and so, too, will the Redskins playbook.

"He's a special guy," Gruden told reporters. "If he's in the game, you have to design a few plays for him. So, those plays just got red-penned, they just got axed."

Reed isn't the only key Redskin who will miss the matchup. Jonathan Allen and Caleb Brantley (who is being placed on IR) are out as well, and Fabian Moreau is doubtful. Then there's Derrius Guice, who'll also be moved to IR. 

All of that means that the Burgundy and Gold, who were already underdogs against Dallas, will have an even tougher fight to try and even their record. To do so, they'll need contributions from some lesser-known names along the defensive line, Adrian Peterson to churn up yards and time on the ground and a few fortunate bounces or calls to go their way.

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Brandon Scherff could very well ask for a contract that tops the one Brandon Brooks just signed

Brandon Scherff could very well ask for a contract that tops the one Brandon Brooks just signed

On Monday, one Brandon in the NFL signed a deal that another Brandon in the NFL absolutely noticed.

The first Brandon is Brandon Brooks, a guard whom the Eagles gave a four-year contract extension worth just more than $56 million that'll kick in starting in 2021. His current agreement with Philadelphia runs until 2020 and carries remaining base salaries of $8 million and $7.5 million.

The second Brandon is Brandon Scherff, also a guard and one who's scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent in a few months. If Scherff truly gets a chance to negotiate with the Redskins or on the open market, he'll likely look for something very close to or even exceeding the numbers Brooks got from Philly.

Brooks' extension has a $14.05 million annual value, which slots just ahead of the Cowboys' Zach Martin when it comes to the highest-paid guards in the sport. Scherff absolutely deserves to ink something that puts him right next to those players, if not ahead of Brooks and all others at the position.

One thing that works in No. 75's favor is his age. Scherff is about to turn 28 years old. Brooks, meanwhile, is already 30. Washington's lineman should have plenty of productive campaigns in his future, wherever that future is. 

Another interesting similarity between Brooks and Scherff is their durability. Both have have returned from a significant injury they suffered in 2018 — Scherff tore his pectoral, while Brooks tore his Achilles — that look like outliers in otherwise reliable careers.  

Scherff is certainly in the same realm when it comes to talent and production as Brooks, too. They've each earned two Pro Bowl nods, and while Brooks may be thought of as the best guard in the league, Scherff isn't far behind.

Plus, as anyone who's followed NFL contracts this decade knows, it often doesn't really matter if the next elite guy to sign is truly better, it just matters that he's elite and he's next to sign.

Those are all factors Scherff could point to when it's time for him to cash in. When will that time come, though?

The Burgundy and Gold, who reportedly offered Scherff an extension worth $13 million a year this past September that didn't really do much for the 2015 first-rounder, could franchise tag him if they want. That move, of course, would be profitable for Scherff but limit his ability to negotiate. 

Now, whether the Redskins go that route or give him something more stable, it's hard to imagine them letting him get away. Trent Williams will very likely never suit up for Washington again, and having to roll out an offensive line in 2020 without Williams and Scherff would be a very unfortunate situation.

Scherff, however, will likely make the organization pay up to ensure that doesn't happen. He said in October he hopes to be a Redskin until he retires, but it doesn't appear he'll do that on a discount. With the way he's played and how his peers are being compensated, he shouldn't have to, either.

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Bill Callahan explains exact moment Dwayne Haskins proved ready to be QB1

Bill Callahan explains exact moment Dwayne Haskins proved ready to be QB1

It took 10 weeks, but the Redskins finally turned the franchise over to rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins.

On Monday, Washington interim head coach Bill Callahan stated that Haskins will be the team's QB for the remainder of the season and that the organization is ready to move forward with the 15th overall pick starting this Sunday against the Jets. It's a major moment for the team and for their future, as well as for Haskins. 

"Let’s face it, let’s give Dwayne an opportunity. We’re at a juncture where we don’t want to be record-wise, so this is a good opportunity for him to take advantage of every rep, practice-wise and game-wise, so we can see growth in his play," Callahan said Monday.

The decision to go with Haskins comes after the rookie appeared in three NFL games, including his first start Week 9 in Buffalo. Against the Bills, Haskins played the best football of his brief NFL career. Though his team lost and he didn't throw any touchdowns, Haskins looked in command of the team's offense and capable of running the team. 

That was big, because it didn't always look like that. And for Callahan, the coach shared a moment with Haskins after a poor performance that set the stage for the rookie's growth. 

"It was interesting, he came in a few weeks ago and wanted to know what he could do better to win. That was after the Minnesota game," Callahan explained via the Redskins Talk podcast.

"He took it to heart. That loss stuck deep into him. He wanted to know exactly what he could do. He came in on a Saturday, on our off day, and we visited for a good hour or so and just talked about what he could do better, how he could perform better, how he could prepare better."

Week 8 the Redskins played the Vikings on Thursday Night Football and got back to Ashburn very early Friday morning. For Haskins to be in the building that Saturday showed that his performance bothered him. It was obvious after that loss too, as the rookie seemed quite upset in the locker room after an ugly performance that included a bad interception in a big spot for his team. 

"I think that resonated," Callahan said. "He came in at 9 o'clock, so he was up early. It meant a lot, it had to be bothering him from the game Thursday night into Saturday morning. It meant a great deal to him."

The Redskins coach explained that it wasn't just the interception that was bothering Haskins, but his overall level of play in the loss.

"He took the loss really, really hard. He's a prideful guy," Callahan said. "But in a nutshell, when you get stung like that, he didn't want to see that happen again. It was a good sign, a real positive sign."

For Redskins fans searching for reasons for optimism in a lost season, Callahan's story might be an important one. Plenty of rookie passers struggle, but what's important is what comes after the struggles. 

Haskins was not good in his first two appearances this season. Neither spot was ideal, coming in off the bench, on the road, and his team trailing. Still, he struggled, throwing four interceptions in just 22 pass attempts. 

In his first start, however, things looked different. There were no interceptions. He completed 68 percent of his passes. 

Haskins wasn't great against Buffalo, but he had improved. He looked like a different player than the upset rookie that lingered at his locker late into the night in Minnesota. 

What happened in between? That meeting with Callahan, not to mention a full week of practice with the first-team offense. 

Going into the Jets game on Sunday, Haskins will have gotten all the first-team work for nearly a month. That should help.

Something else happened too. As Callahan explained it, Haskins got stung, and the rookie quarterback doesn't want to feel that way anymore. 

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