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Need to Know: First look at Redskins vs. Panthers

Need to Know: First look at Redskins vs. Panthers

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, October 10, four days before the Washington Redskins host the Carolina Panthers. 

Talking points

One good thing about a short week after a bad loss is that you must immediately turn your attention to the next game—or you have to try to, anyway. The hangover effect and some other factors as the game against the Panthers come into focus. 

Can't let one loss turn into two

The Redskins’ loss to the Saints dropped the Redskins to 0-6 on Monday nights since the start of the 2015 season. In the games following the previous five losses the Redskins are 3-2, so they have shown some ability to rebound following the Monday night futility. After the drubbing they took against the Saints, it will be even more important for them to bounce back and win a conference home game. 

The Cam factor

The Redskins played at Carolina in Cam Newton’s rookie year. On one play, Brian Orakpo sacked him with a classic blindside hit, the kind of blow that usually ends up with the ball on the ground and with the quarterback shaken up. Not only did Newton hang on to the ball, but he also bounced right back up and returned to the huddle. The first thought that came to mind was 'Man, this guy is going to be trouble to deal with.'

The Redskins are 0-4 against the Panthers since they made Newton the first overall pick of the 2011 draft. It’s not a coincidence. Newton has been sharp against Washington, completing 62 percent of his passes (his career average is 58.8 percent) for 251 yards per game with nine touchdowns, no interceptions, and a passer rating of 115.4, about 20 points higher than his career rating. He also has averaged 28 rushing yards per game with two rushing touchdowns. 

Inconsistent Panthers

Carolina is 3-1 on the season. Putting those four games under a microscope, you see some of the oddities that you see when looking at the results of most NFL teams at this point in the season. They are the only team who has lost to the 1-4 Falcons, and they are the only team to whom the 4-1 Bengals have lost. Last Sunday, the Panthers blew a fourth-quarter, double-digit lead at home against the Giants, needing a 63-yard Graham Gano field goal at the end to pull out the win. 

The win over the Giants prevented this from being a game between a pair of 2-2 teams. The difference between the teams is that the Panthers have an identity, with Newton and RB Christian McCaffrey on offense and LB Luke Kuechly and DT Kawann Short on defense, while the Redskins are still searching for their brand. The Washington defensive line has the makings of becoming the core of their identity, but it’s too early to make any kind of a firm declaration there.   

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The agenda

Today: Jay Gruden and Alex Smith press conferences, open locker room 4:45

Upcoming: Panthers @ Redskins 4 days; Cowboys @ Redskins 11; Redskins @ Giants 18

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2020 NFL Mock Draft 12.0: Who needs to standout in Indianapolis?

2020 NFL Mock Draft 12.0: Who needs to standout in Indianapolis?

The NFL Scouting Combine begins next week, and there are several NFL Draft prospects looking to raise their stock.

Our latest mock draft takes a look at which players could use a solid performance at the scouting combine.

<<CLICK HERE FOR OUR LATEST MOCK DRAFT>>

After being a frequent top-5 pick in our early mock drafts, Alabama wide receiver Jerry Jeudy's stock has slid a little. Could a solid performance in Indianapolis reestablish the wideout as this year's best in the class, and maybe warrant a top-5 pick?

Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa likely will not participate at the combine as he continues to recover from his dislocated hip. Could Oregon's Justin Herbert take advantage of Tagovailoa's absence and catapult himself into the debate of the best signal-caller in the draft alongside LSU's Joe Burrow?

Ohio State edge rusher Chase Young, who many expect the Redskins to use the No. 2 pick on, will put his incredible athletic ability on display. Could the 20-year-old make the Bengals rethink their decision of using the No. 1 pick on a QB?

<<CLICK HERE FOR OUR LATEST MOCK DRAFT>>

Every year, we see several prospects who come out of nowhere during the combine and establish themselves as first-round picks. We saw it last year with Montez Sweat, Juan Thornhill, and Justice Hill.

But remember, a great combine doesn't always equate to being a first-rounder. Seahawks receiver D.K. Metcalf stole the show a year ago at the combine but fell to the end of the second round of the draft.

Next week's scouting combine is the first major event of the offseason as the NFL shifts focus to free agency and the draft.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports. Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Capitals and Wizards games easily from your device.

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Jordan Reed is still in concussion protocol six months after the injury, per report

Jordan Reed is still in concussion protocol six months after the injury, per report

The seventh documented concussion of Jordan Reed's football career is still affecting him six months later.

According to a report from The Athletic CharlotteReed is still in concussion protocol from a helmet-to-helmet collision that occurred during a preseason game against the Atlanta Falcons in August. 

Reed did not play a snap in 2019, as the team placed him on injured reserve in October.

The tight end is under contract through 2020, as Reed enters the final year of a five-year, $46 million extension he signed with the team in 2015.

But whether he's on the roster or not is uncertain, as NBC Sports Washington's JP Finlay reported that Reed's tenure is likely over in Washington. NBC Sports Washington's Julie Donaldson reported Monday that she doesn't expect Reed to return to Washington, either.

"Do we have our tight end? Probably not," Redskins head coach Ron Rivera said on Redskins Nation on Feb. 4. "That’s a big question mark." 

According to Finlay, the Redskins can still release Reed, even if he remains in protocol.

In his six NFL seasons, Reed has never played more than 14 games in one year. Following his breakout season in 2015, Reed never was able to replicate that success.

To address their need at tight end, the Redskins are one of three teams vying for the services of tight end Greg Olsen, who was released by the Carolina Panthers a few weeks ago. Rivera coached Olsen in Carolina for eight seasons.

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