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Need to Know: Five Redskins under pressure vs. the Seahawks

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Need to Know: Five Redskins under pressure vs. the Seahawks

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, November 3, two days before the Washington Redskins go to Seattle to play the Seahawks.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Practice 12:20 p.m.; Jay Gruden news conference, open locker room after practice, approx. 2 p.m.

Days until:

—Vikings @ Redskins (11/12) 9
—Redskins @ Saints (11/9) 16
—Giants @ Redskins Thanksgiving (11/23) 20

UPDATE Key injury update
Out:
OT Williams (knee), G Lauvao (stinger), G Scherff (knee), C Long (knees), WR Crowder (hamstring), TE Reed (hamstring)
Limited: G Scherff (knee), RB Kelley (ankle), CB Breeland (knee, groin)
The big change here is the upgrade of Scherff from out to limited. Although he didn’t do anything beyond individual drills (and he didn’t do much then), the fact that he was able to get out there and move is a good sign for Sunday. That doesn’t mean he’s definitely in but it’s a step in the right direction.  

Five Redskins under pressure vs. the Seahawks

QB Kirk Cousins—With the offensive line likely to be hurting still, Cousins will have to provide the team with a lift. The Redskins’ running game is still a mess with the line likely missing three starters and top running back Rob Kelley still dealing with an ankle injury, according to Jay Gruden. Cousins likely will need to pass for 300 yards or more if the Redskins are going to pull off the upset.

RB Chris Thompson—I usually have an offensive skill player who hasn’t been productive in this spot. But at this point in the season, unless and until a receiver or another running back breaks out, the pressure has to go on Thompson to continue to produce both on the ground and catching passes.

C Chase Roullier—This is a heck of a spot for a rookie sixth-round pick. But he is the backup center and with the starter likely to be out, it will be up to Roullier to get the protections communicated up and down the line in one of the loudest stadiums in the NFL. Roullier is likely to get some help from Cousins and the moment will not be too big for him. Still, it’s a tall order.

ILB Zach Brown—It’s not fair to say that the Seahawks are a one-man team but it is safe to say that they go as Russell Wilson goes. If the Redskins are going to contain Wilson, the team’s second-leading rusher, Brown is the player in the front seven who has the speed and the sure tackling ability to do that. Greg Manusky indicated that the Redskins will occasionally use a spy to try to contain Wilson and Brown seems to be the likely candidate for that job.

CB Josh Norman—Actually, I could put either Bashaud Breeland (assuming he plays) or Kendall Fuller here as well. The Seahawks have a very good trio of wide receivers with Doug Baldwin and Paul Richardson on the outside and Tyler Lockett in the slot. When the Redskins are in man coverage, the corners have to stay with their receivers while Wilson scrambles and buys time. They also need to be sure they are aware when Wilson takes off and crosses the line of scrimmage so they can help bring him down. There will be a lot of stress on the cornerback position and Norman will need to shine.  

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.

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As injuries linger at WR, Jay Gruden believes a trade might help Redskins

As injuries linger at WR, Jay Gruden believes a trade might help Redskins

The Dallas Cowboys traded for Amari Cooper on Monday, and with that, alarms go off around the NFL that it's wheeling and dealing season. The trade deadline hits in one week, and for teams looking to bolster their squad before the second half of the year, it's time to see what areas could improve. 

For Redskins head coach Jay Gruden, the injury situation at wide receiver means that his team could use help at the position. 

"We could probably use one more there if we could," Gruden said Monday on the Redskins Talk podcast. 

Asked if there was one area the team could bolster via trade, the coach explained that if wideouts Jamison Crowder or Paul Richardson could come back from injury right away, the Redskins would have no need to trade for another receiver. Unfortunately for the Redskins, neither injury situation is very clear, and some reports show that Crowder could miss a few more weeks working back from an ankle injury. 

"I think if you look at our team right now with the injuries to Crowder and obviously the uncertainty with Richardson you might want to add another receiver, but I like what [Michael] Floyd’s done coming in here," Gruden said. 

Floyd had one catch for 20 yards in the Redskins win on Sunday over the Cowboys, but he's a physical veteran that has the coach excited. Gruden also complimented what Maurice Harris and Brian Quick have done in the absence of Richardson and Crowder.

While the Cowboys struck first in the receiver trade market, more players remain reportedly available, including Broncos WR Demaryius Thomas and Dolphins WR DeVante Parker. 

Thomas is a five-time Pro Bowler in Denver, but at 30 years old and with some trade value, it makes sense for John Elway to consider his market. The Broncos are 3-4 and have an underperforming offense. 

Parker was a first-round pick in 2015 but has not had a 1,000-yard season in Miami. Making matters more complicated, Parker's agent Jimmy Gould called Dolphins head coach Adam Gase "incompetent" to a host of different media outlets. Parker has only been active twice this season though he contends health is not an issue. 

Gruden remains confident that 2016 first-round pick Josh Doctson will get going, and he is a similar big target as Thomas and Parker. Should Richardson miss significant time, the Redskins would lack a true speed threat.

There's certainly no clear indication that Washington will make a move before the NFL trade deadline, but as things stand now with injuries, there is a need. Remember, too, the Redskins are long on 2019 draft picks with 10 selections in seven rounds.



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A day after loss to Redskins, Cowboys trade for Raiders WR Amari Cooper

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A day after loss to Redskins, Cowboys trade for Raiders WR Amari Cooper

The Dallas Cowboys are in desperate need of a playmaking wide receiver. The lack of talent at wide receiver has been evident throughout the first seven weeks of the 2018 NFL season, with wide receivers accounting for just five of the Cowboys' eight passing touchdowns.

Following the 20-17 loss to the Redskins on Sunday, the Cowboys decided to make a quick fix, trading a 2019 first-round pick to the Oakland Raiders in exchange for star wide receiver Amari Cooper, according to multiple reports.

Cooper, the No. 4 overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, has just 22 catches for 280 yards and one touchdown in the first six games. The former Alabama star had an equally disappointing 2017 campaign and has grown frustrated with his role in John Gruden's new regime.

Cooper will instantly become the Cowboys best deep threat and will allow Cole Beasley to shine both in the slot and spread out wide. Beasley leads the Cowboys with 33 receptions for 350 yards and two touchdowns.

Rookie Michael Gallup, who scored the Cowboys' only passing touchdown against the Redskins, has the second most targets among Dallas receivers, hauling in 10 of his 22 targets for 190 yards. Tight end Geoff Swaim has 19 catches for 205 yards and running back Ezekiel Elliott has 25 catches for 175 yards.

Prescott is averaging just 202.2 passing yards per game, and while Cooper may not be a true top-tier wide receiver, he is the next best thing and will allow the offense to be more dynamic in its play-calling.

Cooper will make an estimated $13.9 million in base salary in 2019, meaning the Cowboys will have to pay a pretty penny to keep him.

The move makes it clear that the Raiders are shifting toward a full rebuild. It also shows that Dallas understands it didn't have enough firepower to compete for a divisional title.

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