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Need to Know: Five Redskins to watch vs. Panthers

Need to Know: Five Redskins to watch vs. Panthers

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

Talking points

After a bad loss in New Orleans, a number of Redskins will be in the spotlight on Sunday. Here are five players to watch during Redskins vs. Panthers.

QB Alex Smith

Against the Saints, Smith posted a passer rating of 69.9, his worst since he had a 56.1 rating for the Chiefs in a December 2016 game against the Titans. Usually, Smith is on this list just because he is the quarterback and he doesn’t play well the Redskins are unlikely to win. But after a performance like he had against the Saints he will be under the microscope much more than usual. A few poor performances in a row and chatter about his age and his fit in the offense will grow. 

G Brandon Scherff

The offensive line has been inconsistent, and Scherff has been part of their problems. In the last two games, he has allowed a sack, a QB hit, and two hurries. Those aren’t bad numbers for your average NFL guard but typically Scherff doesn’t allow the quarterback to get bothered that often in a month’s worth of games. Scherff going to get paid $12.5 million under his fifth-year option next year and he’s going to be looking for a long-term deal that pays him at least that much annually. He needs to be much better.

TE Jordan Reed

Reed was getting on a roll before Monday night. He averaged 4.6 receptions and 56 yards before getting just one for 21 yards in New Orleans. Since the start of the season, Reed’s workload has remained on the light side, around 40 snaps per game as he continues to work his way back from toe surgery that limited his offseason conditioning program. He will get worked into the lineup more and more often over the next few weeks and any game he could explode with a 100-yard, multi-touchdown game. 

OLB Preston Smith

Ryan Kerrigan got out of the zero-sack club against the Saints and now it’s Smith’s turn. At this point last year Smith had four sacks. And he finished with eight. He also got off to a slow start in 2016 with no sacks through his first five games and he finished the year with 4.5. A similar performance this year would not look good on his resume and it won’t help his ability to collect big money as a free agent when the season is over. 

CB Josh Norman

I don’t think you need much elaboration here. He was bad enough against the Saints to get benched for a series after halftime. Former teammate DeAngelo Hall said that Norman is more focused on being a celebrity than he is about being a good player. His first interception since Christmas Eve in 2016 would go a long way towards quieting the noise. 

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The agenda

Today: Practice 1:00; Jay Gruden and Greg Manusky press conferences and open locker room after practice, approx. 3:00

Upcoming: Panthers @ Redskins 3 days; Cowboys @ Redskins 10; Redskins @ Giants 17

MORE REDSKINS VS. SAINTS:

 

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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.

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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