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How Redskins plan to regroup at safety after Ha Ha Clinton-Dix chooses Bears

How Redskins plan to regroup at safety after Ha Ha Clinton-Dix chooses Bears

ASHBURN -- The news broke moments after Landon Collins revealed a smidgen of information on his injured shoulder – and a fellow safety he hoped would become his teammate once again.

Collins became the seventh former player from the University of Alabama on the Redskins roster when he agreed this week to a 6-year, $84 million contract. Washington re-signing Ha Ha Clinton-Dix would make it eight and reunite the former Crimson Tide safety tag-team.

"I talked to Ha Ha today,” Collins told a small group of reporters near the end of an emotional first day at Redskins Park. “I don't know what he's going to do right now. I just tell him that we want him here. He's visiting Chicago right now, so we'll see what he's going to do with that. But we want him here."

The Bears also wanted Clinton-Dix. He never made it out of Chicago. The two sides agreed to a contract Thursday afternoon.

Doug Williams stood a few feet away from where Collins held court when he heard Clinton-Dix made a decision. For a moment, his eyes showed surprise and at least a tinge of disappointment.

The Redskins senior vice president of player personnel quickly recovered.

“You’ve got to keep working, go forward,” Williams said. “You can’t put on brakes. You got to go find players.”

In terms of a starter, that likely means adding a free agent or targeting a safety in the early rounds of the 2019 NFL Draft. 

Williams provided updates on two in-house options, though both are more about depth for now.

Monte Nicholson opened the 2018 season as Washington’s starting free safety. Midway through the year, Nicholson went to the bench after the Redskins acquired Clinton-Dix from the Packers for a 2019 fourth-round choice. Nicholson’s year ended two weeks early following assault charges.

“We want Montae back. No matter who we sign we still want Montae,” Williams said. “It’s up to him. He’s got to get himself together. He’s doing that. We hope when the time comes he’s there.”

The Redskins drafted Troy Apke in the fourth round last season but received virtually nothing initially for their investment. The Penn State product only played in two games before a lingering hamstring sidelined him and eventually put Apke on injured reserve.

Williams said Apke remains in the team’s plans as they consider an overall safety plan.

“Oh, yeah. His [hamstring] is a lot better,” Williams said. “He was running when he was here. Apke is a big part of it.”

Collins underwent surgery in December for a partially torn labrum that cost the ex-Giant the final four games of the season. 

Asked for an update, Collins said in the same breath “I’m way ahead” of the original 4-6 month recovery timeline and “It's definitely on schedule." As to whether that means he would be ready for any work in the spring, Collins said, “I don't know. I don't know yet.”

What’s clear is Collins provides the secondary with another weapon. The Redskins need more at safety. Maybe that help comes before the weekend or next week or later. Williams plans on practicing patience despite losing Clinton-Dix.

“You’re going to miss people anyway. There’s a whole lot of folks we missed out on already. Every team misses out on people,” Williams said. “I wish we could get everything we want. We’ve still got time. Free agency is not over until it’s over. There’s post-June (1) cuts, the draft. You just have to wait and see what falls your way. If there’s a guy you like and want, make a push at him.”

The Redskins hold the 15th and 46th overall selections. Safety in the first round seems unlikely this year, but several options are projected in the 30-46 range including Delaware’ Nassir Adderley, Washington’s Taylor Rapp and Alabama’s Deionte Thompson. 

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It’s not what you want to hear, but the Redskins won’t be turning to Dwayne Haskins for the Vikings game

It’s not what you want to hear, but the Redskins won’t be turning to Dwayne Haskins for the Vikings game

He may have gone just 9-of-12 for 77 yards in a shutout loss against the 49ers on Sunday, but Case Keenum will remain starter for the Redskins when they travel to Minnesota this coming Thursday.

Bill Callahan confirmed that in his press conference following the rainy Week 7 matchup at FedEx Field.

“We still have a lot of faith in Case and his ability,” the coach told reporters.

That’s not going to be what fans want to hear, and neither is this: Sticking with Case makes a decent amount of sense, at least for a few more days. After that, however, is when it needs to end.

The main reason is because of the quick turnaround from Sunday’s contest to Thursday’s game. The Redskins will gather just twice at their Ashburn practice facility this week and will only conduct walkthroughs. That’s not enough time or enough work for a rookie QB looking to make his debut.

Also, while it will be easy to point at Keenum’s measly stats versus the Niners, it’s necessary to note that the weather made it essentially impossible to throw more than 10 yards downfield unless a receiver was totally by himself. Very few signal callers would’ve been successful in that kind of rain.

Now, unless Keenum completely stars when facing the Vikings, the Burgundy and Gold should finally turn to Haskins. In fact, they should probably give him the nod regardless of what Keenum does. He’ll have a few extra days to prepare for the Bills in Week 9 and Washington needs to start evaluating him.

The Burgundy and Gold could’ve gone to Haskins earlier this year – not playing him in Miami was a questionable decision to many – but it’s understandable why they don’t want to insert him now.

That’ll cause uproar among fans, but wait it out one more game. If he’s not under center for that visit to Buffalo, then any and all uproar will be justified.

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It took until late in the third quarter for anyone to score in the Redskins-49ers game

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It took until late in the third quarter for anyone to score in the Redskins-49ers game

Sloppy field conditions on Sunday for a matchup between the Redskins and 49ers made it seem as if offense would be hard to come by at times.

Until the third quarter, offense was hard to come by at all.

Finally, with around five minutes remaining in the third quarter, the scoreless tie was broken with a 28-yard field goal by Robbie Gould of the 49ers.

Gould added another field goal in the fourth to make it 6-0. 

The low-scoring affair has featured a lot of runs, two missed field goals, turnovers and a lot of sliding around on the field.

Just when it seemed like the Redskins were going to put up a score of their own, Adrian Peterson coughed up the football. Because, of course that would happen during a game like this.

If you're thinking that this contest seems to lack points more than usual, you would be correct.

Subject to change based on how the rest of the game plays out, the teams are on pace to enter a small, sad and historic group.

They say the NFL is becoming an offensive league. This game begs to differ.

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