Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, November 16, three days before the Washington Redskins play the New Orleans Saints at Mercedes Benz Superdome.


Today’s schedule: Practice 1 p.m.; Jay Gruden and Greg Manusky news conferences and open locker room after practice, approx. 3 p.m.

Days until:

—Redskins @ Saints (11/9) 3
—Giants @ Redskins Thanksgiving (11/23) 7
—Redskins @ Cowboys Thursday night (11/30) 14

Quick Redskins news hits

The Redskins rounded out their roster by signing inside linebacker Zach Vigil. He was with the team all offseason and in training camp and the preseason so he is familiar with the defense.

State of the Redskins

Note: I have decided to abbreviate the State of the Redskins post and omit the stats. I will occasionally include them when I break this out into a separate post.

Top storylines

The injury bug continues to bite—It’s the old two steps forward, one step back scenario. The Redskins have most of their starting offensive line back but now two starters, RB Rob Kelley and ILB Will Compton, have been put on injured reserve. Maybe they can take another couple of steps forward this week if they can get DE Matt Ioannidis and TE Jordan Reed back. But the way this season is going it will be time for another shoe to drop.

Rushing game missing—The Redskins have not rushed for 100 or more yards in a game since the loss to the Chiefs right before the bye. Not surprisingly, they have been 2-3 in that stretch, with the wins coming against the woeful 49ers and in near-miracle fashion in Seattle. Like most teams, the Redskins need a sustained running game if they are going to have sustained success.


No home cooking—The Redskins’ loss to the Vikings dropped them to 2-3 at FedEx Field. That’s after going 4-4 there last year. It’s probably not a coincidence that the last time they played well at home when they went 6-2 in 2015, they made the playoffs. Yes, the visiting team jerseys in the stands are annoying but it’s up to the Redskins to play well enough to keep their voices out of it and put a compelling product on the field, and a compelling experience in the entire stadium, to make ticket holders feel they are getting great value and hold on to their tickets.

Record: 4-5, 3rd in NFC East
vs. NFC East: 0-3
vs. NFC: 3-4
vs. AFC: 1-1
Home: 2-3
Away: 2-2

Next three games

Sunday @ Saints—The Saints’ offense has remained strong while their defense has gone from awful to better than average. With Drew Brees as good as ever throwing the ball and running backs Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara pounding the rock, this is the toughest game left on the Redskins’ schedule.

Thanksgiving vs. Giants—It’s easy to look at this as a game where the Redskins carve up the Giants, a team in utter disarray and without many key players. But the team and fans would be well advised to look at New York’s Sunday night win in Denver a few weeks ago and not write off their NFC East rivals.

Nov. 30 @ Cowboys—The Redskins go back-to-back Thursday nights for the first time ever. The Cowboys will be without Ezekiel Elliott, who won’t have a court hearing on his suspension being lifted until the day after this game. They looked bad without Elliott, and perhaps more importantly, left tackle Tyron Smith against the Falcons. We will see how they look in two weeks.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.

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