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Assessing the Redskins' injury situation: Good news, bad news

Assessing the Redskins' injury situation: Good news, bad news

RICHMOND—Since the start of training camp, the Redskins have had some good injury news and some terrible injury news. 

Let’s start by looking at the bad. There is no way to sugar coat the impact of the loss of Derrius Guice to a torn ACL in the first quarter of the first preseason game. He was going to add a dynamic element to the Redskins offense. While there is confidence that the other running backs on the roster can get the job done, there simply will be no replacing him in the lineup. 

WR Robert Davis, who suffered multiple injuries to his leg and is on injured reserve, is not as irreplaceable. Still, you hate to reduce competition and have your potential depth reduced this early before the games start to count. And you have to feel bad for Manasseh Garner, who tore his ACL against the Patriots, but he wasn’t going to make the team anyway. 

So that’s the bad news.

When looking at the brighter side, Jordan Reed is at the top of the list. A year ago he was on the PUP list with a toe injury that never quite went away all year. This year, the player who would have been the key to the success of the team’s offense with or without Guice in the lineup looks as healthy as ever. We know from Reed’s history that good health could be a temporary condition. But he has recovered well from the surgery that removed a bone that was causing problems from each toe and that’s all you can ask for at this point. 

Also rounding into form after rehabbing from 2017 injuries are Trent Williams and Morgan Moses, the bookend tackles who are keys to providing running room for the healthy running backs. Chris Thompson also appears to be on schedule. Jonathan Allen, who missed the last 11 games of last year with a foot injury, has been a full go since the start of the offseason program. Daron Payne suffered an ankle injury early in camp, but he has been a full participant since Saturday. 

The Redskins also are suffering from the usual minor injuries that hit every team during training camp. WR Josh Doctson has been in and out of practice with heel and shoulder injuries. CB Adonis Alexander and ILB Josh Harvey Clemons have been sidelined with hamstring injuries. DE Matt Ioannidis suffered apparently minor knee and ankle injuries against the Patriots and he should be back soon.

Overall, the Redskins’ injury picture doesn’t look too bad with the exception of Guice, and that’s a big “yeah, but." The team and its fans are keeping their fingers crossed, hoping that it stays that way. 

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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 and on Instagram @RichTandler. 

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Snap counts and judgments from Redskins' 40-16 loss to Giants

Snap counts and judgments from Redskins' 40-16 loss to Giants

Time for our weekly review of the Washington Redskins snap counts, plus some big picture thoughts after that brutal 40-16 Week 14 home loss against the New York Giants.

♦ Quarterbacks – Mark Sanchez (33 of 62), Josh Johnson (29 of 62), Alex Smith (0 of 62)

Smith receives a mention because all that’s gone wrong in his absence – on both sides of the ball. Yes, the injury-fueled changes at quarterbacks are playing a factor in the defense’s notable dip.

We know Smith wasn’t posting prodigious statistics, the kind that keeps scoreboard operators busy and fantasy football owners thrilled. He was helping put the defense in advantageous situations by avoiding turnovers.

Washington committed nine turnovers in its opening 10 games, finishing a plus-12 in turnover margin. In the last three games since Smith’s brutal leg injury, seven turnovers and minus-5 differential.

Keeping possession wasn’t the only positive factor with Smith under center. In the nine games Smith started and finished, the Redskins won the time-of-possession statistic five times. In those five games, Washington went 4-1.

In the last three games, the Redskins lost the clock each time, significantly against the Cowboys and Eagles. Considering the heavy usage for Washington's main defensive linemen, having them on the field more isn’t a good thing.

We must note injuries to the offensive line in the previous stat. The run game faded after Washington lost both starting guards for the season. Not coughing the ball help with regularity helped as well.

Let’s circle back to the two available quarterbacks. It remains wild that the team landed on Sanchez when the Redskins searched a Smith replacement. This isn’t about a side by side comparison to Johnson, who was much sharper upon entering in the second half. New York played soft coverages with a 40-point lead and Johnson took advantage. Don’t expect as many clean looks against an aggressive Jaguars defense Sunday.

Drops and numerous penalties didn’t help Sanchez. He also appeared timid especially when Washington started drives deep in its territory.

This Brian Mitchell hot take doesn’t seem that crazy, to be honest.

♦ One look at the wide receiver and running back snap totals show what kind of game unfolded on Sunday:

Wide receivers – Josh Doctson (55 of 62), Jamison Crowder (54), Maurice Harris (35), Michael Floyd (31), Jehu Chesson (1)

Running backs – Chris Thompson (25), Adrian Peterson (19), Byron Marshall (18)

Trailing by a bazillion points in the first half led to lots of passing and subsequently more three and four-receiver sets. That Jordan Reed suffered a toe injury in the first quarter also led to more receiver-heavy looks. Crowder’s blazing 79-yard touchdown reception stood out, obviously, and we all understand the limitations with the current quarterbacks. It’s just hard looking at that unit and feeling inspired even when factoring in a healthy Paul Richardson. The Redskins need more next season. Adding a tough guy wideout, the kind who a QB can target on 3rd-and-8 would help.

Meanwhile, this was only the second game of the season that no running back played in at least half of the offensive snaps. Peterson played 46 percent of snaps in the Week 9 blowout loss to Atlanta.

Marshall’s presence dropped Kapri Bibbs to the inactive list. Bibbs did not take an offensive snap in the Week 13 loss at Philadelphia.

♦ Safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix played in 100 percent of the defensive snaps (64) for a fifth consecutive week. The man he replaced, Montae Nicholson, didn’t take the field defensively for the third game in a row. During those five weeks, the second-year safety received four snaps.

This scenario requires a deeper dive, but this exchange doesn’t appear to be working, or at least not to the degree Washington hoped when shipping a fourth-round pick to Green Bay for the veteran.

Don’t consider those numbers all about the safety change or even on Clinton-Dix necessarily. All we know for sure is there haven’t been many personnel changes on defense this season. This was one of them.

"I think he's finding his way,” Jay Gruden said of Clinton-Dix Monday. On whether he’d consider going back to Nicholson, Gruden said, “Yeah, we have to look at Montae again. I think nobody gave up on Montae, we traded for a good player, a Pro-Bowl type player in Ha Ha and we wanted to give him every opportunity to come in and play.”

Stay tuned.

♦ Stacy McGee (28) played more Sunday than rookie Tim Settle (20) did for a second consecutive week.

♦ Zach Brown and Shaun Dion Hamilton each played exactly 28 snaps. Hamilton became the surprise inside linebacker starter over Brown and he likely tops the veteran in snaps if not for a shoulder injury suffered in the game. Gruden claimed the lineup change stemmed from Brown missing practice time during the week due to illness.

“We were just going to start Shaun Dion in base just to get it started. Then as the game went on, we were going to see how Shaun Dion did and then move on from there,” Gruden said.

It’s worth noting this change occurred the week after the Redskins claimed Reuben Foster off waivers. Beyond the controversies surrounding Foster, adding Foster is a sign the Redskins are looking for more at ILB. Then they went with Hamilton over Brown. With three weeks remaining, it will be interesting to see if the coaches want to see more from the rookie in this role -- and how Brown reacts if they do.

♦ Offensive lineman Zac Kerin was the only player not to receive any action Sunday. If unfamiliar with Mr. Kerin, don’t fret. He only arrived last week. I wasn't sure if it was "Zac" or "Zach" initially. 

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DeAngelo Hall is open to taking a spot on the Redskins coaching staff

DeAngelo Hall is open to taking a spot on the Redskins coaching staff

After an abysmal showing on Sunday against the New York Giants, many are questioning the future of the Washington Redskins coaching staff.

Former Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall wants to throw his name into this conversation. He wants to be someone that can contribute to the success of his former team. 

In his weekly appearance with the Sports Junkies, Hall spoke on the performance of the coaching staff and whether he would like to be involved with the Redskins. 

"Who better to help guide young men to even to figure out if a guy is selling you a bunch of crap or if he is telling you the truth. I sat in those seats as a 20-year-old rookie telling coaches exactly what they wanted to hear, I knew how to play that game. I can smell B.S. from a mile away," Hall said.

Hall, 35, is only a year removed from playing with many of those guys in the Redskins locker room. Not only that, he played under Jay Gruden and his staff for several seasons. Hall is a fan favorite and is one of the longest tenured Redskins in recent memory. 

"I'm a pretty young guy, I just came out of that locker room. I know how to relate to players," Hall said. "I know, ultimately, who really is about football and who's about the glamorous things that football gives you, because that's ultimately what you want. You want a locker room full of guys who love football, who want to do what it takes to win each and every single game and watching what we saw on the field yesterday, I don't feel like we had a lot of those guys out there."

With four straight losses, the Redskins are now 6-7 and trending in the wrong direction. Jay Gruden, who knows he is under pressure in these final weeks, is in his fifth season with the team. While Hall does not talk about the head coaching position specifically, one can tell in his voice that he just wants to see this team do well. 

For the full interview, watch the video at the top of the page. 

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