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As injury questions mount for Colt McCoy, what's the impact on Dwayne Haskins?

As injury questions mount for Colt McCoy, what's the impact on Dwayne Haskins?

Colt McCoy deserves better. He's one of the hardest working and nicest players in the NFL. He holds innate leadership traits. His coaches appreciate him and his teammates respect him.

Despite all of that, it seems that for the Redskins 2019 season, McCoy's chances at winning the starting quarterback job are over.

"It's not good for Colt obviously but like I said, what's most important for Colt is to get that [leg] to where he can fire off of it, push off of it. It's his right leg, so he's not getting enough fire off of it push off of it and until he feels like he's 100 percent doing that, I'm not going to put him back there," Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said on Sunday. 

The news about McCoy comes after he missed practice on Sunday and missed Washington's second straight preseason game last Thursday. The veteran quarterback still hasn't gotten past the broken tibia suffered last December, and that included multiple surgeries to try and fix the problem. Now, nearly 10 months later, the problem still isn't fixed. 

"Oh man, it might not be the end of camp, it might be two or three weeks into the season. We don't know yet," Gruden said of McCoy's return. "There's no timetable for him until he feels like he's 100 percent to push off that leg. Until that time comes, he's going to be rehabbing."

As tough as the news is for McCoy, it potentially means something very different for rookie Dwayne Haskins. 

With McCoy in the fold, most informed observers thought he would win the starting job Week 1 in Philadelphia. Now that doesn't seem very likely. Does that mean the rookie could get the gig?

Case Keenum would say no. He's also a veteran passer, and he's started both preseason games with McCoy out. Keenum hasn't been great, but he's been fine, and odds are he starts ahead of Haskins. 

That said, the door for Haskins to emerge as the starter is undoubtedly more open than it was before the latest McCoy news. On the most simple level, two weeks ago Haskins had to beat out Keenum and McCoy to get the start. Now it seems like the Ohio State star just needs to beat out Keenum. 

Haskins still seems like a long shot to start Week 1 in Philadelphia, and that seems like a smart, prudent approach for the Redskins. Maximizing Haskins' immense potential is about years, not weeks, and Washington would not be served by rushing the rookie on the field. 

That said, Haskins might get more chances with the starting group this Thursday in Atlanta. Gruden explained that Haskins already got some time with some starters on the offensive line, and that could increase. 

It's also undeniable that Haskins presents the highest upside of the quarterback group. He was the 15tth overall pick for a reason. He has the biggest arm on the team and showed his big-play ability last week against the Bengals. 

On Sunday Colt McCoy said his return would be "sooner rather than later." He also explained that he visited renowned foot specialist Dr. Robert Anderson during training camp. His injury is from last December, and it's still not right. McCoy could be back tomorrow, or he could be back in October. Nobody knows, including the player or the coach. 

The uncertainty around McCoy doesn't guarantee Haskins will take the field any sooner this fall. But it does make the scenario easier to see. 

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The Redskins need these three to be at their best in Week 2 against the Cowboys

The Redskins need these three to be at their best in Week 2 against the Cowboys

Come about four o'clock on Sunday afternoon, the Redskins and their fans will either be feeling quite good with a 1-1 record or the exact opposite of quite good thanks to an 0-2 start.

Washington will of course need Case Keenum to try and come close to replicating what he did in the opener against the Eagles and could really use a vintage Adrian Peterson Performance. 

Beyond them, though, who needs to be on point for the Redskins? These three absolutely qualify.

Ryan Kerrigan

The Burgundy and Gold's defensive line is down two players already and will be relying upon a couple of guys who basically just arrived. They may have trouble generating pressure up the middle thanks to that, meaning Kerrigan better be ready to do so on the edge.

If the home team allows Dak Prescott to stand in the pocket and pat the ball like Carson Wentz did in Week 1, then it'll be another long day for the entire unit. But if Kerrigan, who plays especially well against division foes, can be a constant threat to Prescott, then that'll make a big difference.

In 2018, Kerrigan forced a game-changing fumble at FedEx Field when facing Dallas. Hopefully he can follow that up with another productive outing this year.

Paul Richardson

Richardson had a fine stat line versus the Eagles, but he did have one drive-killing drop and didn't come up with any of the deep catches he's being counted on to create. Terry McLaurin was clearly the star of the receiving corps, while Richardson played more of a supporting role.

Now, perhaps McLaurin will shine again. Even if he does, Jay Gruden would still love for Richardson to also contribute with a splash play or two. Keenum showed he's willing to take chances downfield, so Richardson will need to use his speed and give Keenum a target for those chances.

The Redskins' most obvious path to a win Sunday will be to pound the ball with Peterson and control the clock as best as they can. That said, if Richardson can flip the field and help the offense score quickly instead of trying to string together 10-play drives, that'll make an upset more likely.

Greg Manusky

Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore, after just one game in the role, is drawing comparisons to Sean McVay. He brings his offense loaded with playmakers to Landover for Week 2, and will be squaring off with Manusky's group. It's on Manusky to match Moore.

Manusky had a tumultuous offseason and the defense's Week 1 showing in Philadelphia didn't do much to improve his standing as defensive coordinator. And as mentioned earlier, he'll be rolling out a D-line that's missing some major talent as well as a secondary that has injury issues as well.

Those won't be viable excuses for another game in which his players can't get off the field on third downs or force any turnovers, though. His defenders simply have to play better, sure, but he's going to have to put them in positions to succeed as well, or else he'll be scrutinized even more. 

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NFC East Week 2 Preview: It may be early, but this week is monumental for Redskins' playoff hopes

NFC East Week 2 Preview: It may be early, but this week is monumental for Redskins' playoff hopes

The NFL season is only 16 games, meaning each outcome every week carries a large amount of weight.

But it is still a long season, overreacting to Week 1 is for the most part unwarranted. There are still 15 games left, and no team is eliminated from postseason play after just one loss.

The Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles opened up their 2019 campaigns with victories over divisional rivals, the New York Giants and the Washington Redskins, respectively. 

Here is what to expect from each team in Week 2.

Week 2 NFC East Preview:

Dallas Cowboys (1-0, 1-0 in NFC East):

The Cowboys opened their season in a dominant fashion, jumping out to a 25-point lead on the Giants in the third quarter. Dak Prescott turned in arguably the best game of his career, throwing for over 400 yards and four touchdowns. 

This week, Dallas travels to FedExField for a second-straight divisional clash. In his three years as the starting QB for Dallas, Prescott has absolutely owned Washington. He's won five of six starts versus the Redskins, throwing for six total touchdowns and zero interceptions. He's also added four rushing touchdowns on the ground over that same span.

Dallas will look for that same production out of their fourth-year QB as they hope to continue their recent dominance over their rival. 

They did fall in Washington a year ago, as the Redskins held running back Ezekiel Elliott to just 33 rushing yards. The Cowboys will certainly need more from their star running back to leave Washington victorious.

Philadelphia Eagles (1-0, 1-0 in NFC East):

A dominant second half was enough for the Eagles to escape an upset bid from the Redskins in Week 1. Now, they travel to Atlanta for a Sunday Night Football clash against the Falcons.

Atlanta was one of the more disappointing teams from Week 1, failing to score any points until the fourth quarter in a 28-12 loss to the Minnesota Vikings. The Falcons will certainly need more production from their star wide receiver Julio Jones, who mustered just 31 receiving yards in the team's opener.

The Eagles secondary struggled at times against Washington, allowing rookie Terry McLaurin to eclipse the 100-yard mark in his NFL debut. Heck, Case Keenum finished with 380 passing yards against them in the loss. This group will certainly have to be better in Atlanta if they want to leave the Mercedes-Benz Stadium with a win.

Washington Redskins (0-1, 0-1 in NFC East):

It may just be Week 2, but Sunday's clash against Dallas feels like a must-win. After failing to hold on to a 17-point lead in Philadelphia a week ago, Washington simply cannot afford to go 0-2 to start the season, especially because that would mean two division losses as well.

To do that, they'll have to beat a Cowboys team that has had tremendous success at FedexField. In the 22 matchups on the Redskins home turf, Dallas has won 14 of them. Washington did, however, hold off a late Dallas comeback at FedExField a year ago, winning 20-17.

Stopping Ezekiel Elliott will be crucial for Washington, who will be without one of their best defensive players in Jonathan Allen. In the Redskins victory over Dallas a year ago, Elliott ran for just 33 yards. In his other four games against Washington, all Dallas victories, No. 21 has rushed for an average of 112.8 yards against the Burgundy and Gold. 

The injury bug has already bit Washington in 2019. Besides Allen, the Redskins will be without running back Derrius Guice, tight end Jordan Reed and defensive lineman Caleb Brantley against Dallas.

New York Giants (0-1, 0-1 in NFC East):

The Giants, simply put, looked like one of the worst teams of football in Week 1. A couple of late touchdowns made the final score a little more respectable, but have no doubt about it, they were outplayed by the Cowboys in all three phases in a 35-17 loss.

After defeating one New York team, the Buffalo Bills will look to defeat the other in Week 2 when they travel to Metlife Stadium for a second week in a row. Second-year QB Josh Allen engineered a 16-point comeback over the Jets a week ago, giving the Bills their first win of the season.

For the Giants to earn their first victory of the season, they must feature Saquon Barkley more. Their dynamic running back had a strong opener against Dallas, rushing for 121 yards. The issue was he only received 11 carries, as the game flow forced the Giants to dial-up an aerial attack after falling behind early.

Thankfully for Giants fans, the Bills offense should not put up points the way the Cowboys' offense did a week ago.

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