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Recent Redskins roster decisions at WR, RB baffling in light of Simmie Cobbs departure

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Recent Redskins roster decisions at WR, RB baffling in light of Simmie Cobbs departure

The Redskins lost practice squad wide receiver Simmie Cobbs this week after the New Orleans Saints claimed the undrafted rookie

On its own, that's not major news. Cobbs showed promise in training camp and many around Redskins Park believe he has made a lot of progress working on the scout team this fall. 

Losing practice squad players happens, but the circumstances around Cobbs' departure are unique. For starters, the Redskins tried to keep Cobbs, but he decided to leave for New Orleans anyway.

On the surface, that move is obvious: Play with Drew Brees on a Super Bowl contender or play with a fourth-string QB on a team riding a four-game losing streak. 

Dig deeper, however, and it's not that simple. None of this is. 

Cobbs chose to go to a new team and a new city rather than the squad that signed him out of Indiana University.

Cobbs chose to learn a new playbook and new terminology with just three weeks remaining in the regular season rather than play in the offense he knows and has been practicing since May. 

As Cobbs explained, it bothered him that the Redskins did not want to sign him until New Orleans made a move. He called it a "no-brainer" to go to New Orleans. 

Frankly, Cobbs is right. 

For weeks, the Redskins have carried a bizarre five running backs on their 53-man roster, even as injuries forced significant churn on the offensive line. Washington has not kept more than three running backs active on game day, yet two more sit occupying roster spots. Adrian Peterson and Chris Thompson are absolute roster locks, but beyond that, none of the other rostered players have performed in a manner forcing the 'Skins to keep them. 

Samaje Perine has only been active four games this season, and those were mostly due to injury. He has five carries this year. The Redskins decided to use one of their two injured reserve return designations for Byron Marshall, who has three carries on the season and is best known at this point for a key block he missed on the play that broke Alex Smith's leg. Kapri Bibbs has played relatively well in limited work, but in last week's loss to the Giants, he was inactive with Perine. 

Add all of that up and it appears the Redskins have at least one more running back than they need. In their defense, Thompson's lingering ribs injury forced Washington to play it safe at running back for a number of weeks, but Thompson has now been back on the field for the last two games.

What does all of this mean for Cobbs? 

Building a 53-man roster is like a jigsaw puzzle. Each piece must fit with the others, and players on the back end of the roster must be able to help on special teams. 

Cobbs would fit that bill. And this week seemed like the obvious time to bring him up as Josh Doctson worked his way back from the concussion protocol and the team was carrying just five WRs total. 

It's not like Washington was getting a lot of production at the receiver position anyway. Doctson's roster spot is locked in, as is Jamison Crowder's but after that are questions. Mauirce Harris has always shown great hands but he's been on and off the Redskins roster. Veteran Michael Floyd was a midseason addition that has five catches in 10 games. Brian Quick and Jehu Chesson are both primarily special teams players. 

Cobbs, on the other hand, is an intriguing rookie with size and potential. The Redskins are 6-7, and while still in the hunt for the final Wild Card spot, the team is starting a fourth-string QB and playing their fifth and sixth-string guards.

Now isn't the time to take chances on an undrafted rookie; two weeks ago was.

Remember two weeks ago, when the Redskins only used 52 of 53 roster spots for a Monday night loss in Philadelphia? The team literally didn't fill out their full roster. 

Let's not confuse Cobbs with Jerry Rice quite yet, but at the same time, let's look at the big picture.

The Redskins roster has been a mess due to injury, that's understandable. The team has been forced to carry more offensive linemen than expected, and the running back situation clearly dragged longer than the brass could have expected. At least, that's what fans should hope happened with the running back situation. 

Regardless, the Redskins reluctance to give Cobbs a chance, even without much production or potential on the bottom of the WR depth chart, made his decision to join the Saints an easy one. 

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Jordan Reed ruled out for Monday night and could be 'weeks' away, per source

Jordan Reed ruled out for Monday night and could be 'weeks' away, per source

The Redskins ruled Jordan Reed out for Monday night's game against Chicago and the star tight end could be "weeks" away, a source told NBC Sports Washington. 

ESPN's Adam Schefter first reported that Reed would miss the Redskins game against the Bears on Monday, where Washington seeks to get their first win of the season. Reed hasn't played since he sustained a concussion in the third preseason game against the Falcons on August 22nd.

A huge part of head coach Jay Gruden's offense when healthy, Reed has dealt with injuries throughout his career. He has never played a complete 16-game season in seven years in Washington, and even more worrisome is the head injury situation. This marks his seventh documented concussion since he played college football at the University of Florida. 

Without Reed, the Redskins only have Jeremy Sprinkle and Vernon Davis at tight end. The team played with just two tight ends last week against the Cowboys, but that is unusual. 

Juggling injuries elsewhere with Quinton Dunbar, Colt McCoy and Cassanova McKinzy, at some point the Redskins might need to consider placing Reed on the injured reserve. 

Each time Gruden has been asked for an update on Reed, the head coach explains that as part of the NFL's concussion protocol there are no updates. The medical exams are handled by independent doctors, not the Redskins medical group. It's also worth noting that Reed is unable to speak with the media while in the NFL concussion protocol. 

There have been signs of optimism in spurts for Reed. 

He practiced each day prior to the opener against Philadelphia but was ruled out late in the week. In Week 2 against Dallas, he started the practice week but then missed Friday's session before being ruled out for the game.

In advance of the Bears game on Monday night, Reed was on the field on Wednesday but did not go again the rest of the week when the media was allowed to watch practice. 

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Fantasy Football WR Rankings 2019: Week 3

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Fantasy Football WR Rankings 2019: Week 3

Week 2 is in the books and rosters are beginning to take shape. Here are the top wide receivers for Week 3.

For a tiered breakdown of each fantasy football position, click below:

Quarterback Rankings: Week 3
Running Back Rankings: Week 3
Wide Receiver Rankings: Week 3
Tight End Rankings: Week 3

Flex Rankings: Week 3

TIER 1: MUST STARTS

1. Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons
Opponent: at Colts
2019 Stats: 11 Receptions, 137 Receiving YDS, 3 Receiving TD, 42.7 PTS, 2019 WR8
Previous Ranking: 3

2. DeAndre Hopkins, Houston Texans
Opponent: at Chargers
2019 Stats: 13 Receptions, 151 Receiving YDS, 2 Receiving TD, 40.1 PTS, 2019 WR15
Previous Ranking: 1

3. Keenan Allen, Los Angeles Chargers
Opponent: vs. Texans
2019 Stats: 16 Receptions, 221 Receiving YDS, 1 Receiving TD, 44.1 PTS, 2019 WR5
Previous Ranking: 5

4. Amari Cooper, Dallas Cowboys
Opponent: vs. Dolphins
2019 Stats: 10 Receptions, 150 Receiving YDS, 2 Receiving TD, 37 PTS, 2019 WR19
Previous Ranking: 11

5. Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints
Opponent: at Seahawks
2019 Stats: 20 Receptions, 212 Receiving YDS, 41.2 PTS, 2019 WR10
Previous Ranking: 2

6. Odell Beckham Jr., Cleveland Browns
Opponent: vs. Rams
2019 Stats: 13 Receptions, 232 Receiving YDS, 1 Receiving TD, 42.2 PTS, 2019 WR9
Previous Ranking: 9

TIER 2: WR1's

7. Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers
Opponent: vs. Broncos
2019 Stats: 11 Receptions, 142 Receiving YDS, 25.2 PTS, 2019 WR39
Previous Ranking: 6

8. Kenny Golladay, Detroit Lions
Opponent: at Eagles
2019 Stats: 12 Receptions, 159 Receiving YDS, 2 Receiving TD, 39.9 PTS, 2019 WR16
Previous Ranking: 16

9. Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Opponent: vs. Giants
2019 Stats: 6 Receptions, 89 Receiving YDS, 14.9 PTS, 2019 WR71
Previous Ranking: 7

10. JuJu Smith-Schuster, Pittsburgh Steelers
Opponent: at 49ers
2019 Stats: 11 Receptions, 162 Receiving YDS, 27.2 PTS, 2019 WR33
Previous Ranking: 10

11. T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts
Opponent: vs. Falcons
2019 Stats: 12 Receptions, 130 Receiving YDS, 3 Receiving TD, 43 PTS, 2019 WR7
Previous Ranking: 13

12. Sammy Watkins, Kansas City Chiefs
Opponent: vs. Ravens
2019 Stats: 15 Receptions, 247 Receiving YDS, 3 Receiving TD, 57.7 PTS, 2019 WR1
Previous Ranking: 8

13. Cooper Kupp, Los Angeles Rams
Opponent: at Browns
2019 Stats: 12 Receptions, 166 Receiving YDS, 29.2 PTS, 2019 WR29
Previous Ranking: 14

TIER 3: High-end WR2's

14. Chris Godwin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Opponent: vs. Giants
2019 Stats: 11 Receptions, 174 Receiving YDS, 2 Receiving TD, 40.4 PTS, 2019 WR14
Previous Ranking: 22

15. Adam Thielen, Minnesota Vikings
Opponent: vs. Raiders
2019 Stats: 8 Receptions, 118 Receiving YDS, 1 Receiving TD, 25.8 PTS, 2019 WR35
Previous Ranking: 12

16. Tyler Lockett, Seattle Seahawks
Opponent: vs. Saints
2019 Stats: 11 Receptions, 123 Receiving YDS, 1 Receiving TD, 29.3 PTS, 2019 WR28
Previous Ranking: 20

17. Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals
Opponent: vs. Panthers
2019 Stats: 13 Receptions, 217 Receiving YDS, 1 Receiving TD, 40.7 PTS, 2019 WR12
Previous Ranking: 18

18. Marquise Brown, Baltimore Ravens
Opponent: at Chiefs
2019 Stats: 12 Receptions, 233 Receiving YDS, 2 Receiving TD, 47.3 PTS, 2019 WR4
Previous Ranking: 28

19. Julian Edelman, New England Patriots
Opponent: vs. Jets
2019 Stats: 10 Receptions, 134 Receiving YDS, 25.6 PTS, 2019 WR36
Previous Ranking: 15

TIER 4: On the cusp

20. D.J. Moore, Carolina Panthers
Opponent: at Cardinals
2019 Stats: 16 Receptions, 165 Receiving YDS, 1 Fumble, 30.5 PTS, 2019 WR27
Previous Ranking: 21

21. Stefon Diggs, Minnesota Vikings
Opponent: vs. Raiders
2019 Stats: 3 Receptions, 86 Receiving YDS, 1 Receiving TD, 15.6 PTS, 2019 WR69
Previous Ranking: 24

22. Josh Gordon, New England Patriots 
Opponent: vs. Jets
2019 Stats: 5 Receptions, 92 Receiving YDS, 1 Receiving TD, 20.2 PTS, 2019 WR50
Previous Ranking: 17

23. Alshon Jeffery, Philadelphia Eagles
Opponent: vs. Lions
2019 Stats: 5 Receptions, 49 Receiving YDS, 1 Receiving TD, 1 Rushing TD, 22.1 PTS, 2019 WR44
Previous Ranking: 19

24. Robert Woods, Los Angeles Rams
Opponent: at Browns
2019 Stats: 10 Receptions, 103 Receiving YDS, 25 Rushing YDS, 22.8 PTS, 2019 WR42
Previous Ranking: 23

25. Tyrell Williams, Oakland Raiders
Opponent: at Vikings
2019 Stats: 11Receptions, 151 Receiving YDS, 2 Receiving TD, 38.1 PTS, 2019 WR18
Previous Ranking: 25

26. Calvin Ridley, Atlanta Falcons
Opponent: at Colts
Previous Ranking: 29

27. Emmanuel Sanders, Denver Broncos
Opponent: at Packers
Previous Ranking: NR

28. Tyler Boyd, Cincinnati Bengals
Opponent: at Bills
Previous Ranking: 27

29. Terry McLaurin, Washington Redskins
Opponent: vs. Bears
Previous Ranking: NR

30.  Jamison Crowder, New York Jets
Opponent: at Patriots
Previous Ranking: NR

For a tiered breakdown of each fantasy football position, click below:

Quarterback Rankings: Week 3
Running Back Rankings: Week 3
Wide Receiver Rankings: Week 3
Tight End Rankings: Week 3

Flex Rankings: Week 3