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Redskins 2020 schedule: Trent Williams reunion highlights marquee matchups

Redskins 2020 schedule: Trent Williams reunion highlights marquee matchups

With Ron Rivera leading a completely new brand of Redskins football and everyone currently mired in a pandemic that has taken away all sports, it's safe to say that all 16 games on the team's 2020 schedule will be very anticipated.

That said, there are a couple of contests where the midweek buildup will hit even harder and a few more pregame beers will be consumed. 

Below, you'll find the four marquee matchups on this year's slate for the Burgundy and Gold, the ones that will most excite fans and should draw the most attention.

For the seven of you who still have legit calendars, circle these dates. For the rest of you, just start looking forward to them even more than the rest.

Redskins vs. Eagles, Week 1 — 9/13/20

Choosing the opener may feel like taking the easy way out, but for this season, it fits.

Think about it: For the first time since December 2009, Bruce Allen won't be watching the Redskins from inside the stadium. And for the first time since September 2014, the team's full-time head coach won't be Jay Gruden.

Yet it goes beyond who isn't here. Who is here matters, too.

This will be Chase Young's pro debut. This will be Dwayne Haskins' first start as the quarterback. This will be Terry McLaurin's first chance to build on his sterling rookie campaign. This will be Jack Del Rio's first time running the defense for real. This will be Kendall Fuller's second first trip onto the field for his hometown squad.

Of course, all of those firsts will come under Rivera's first meaningful appearance as the Redskins' leader. His arrival has already changed how so many view the NFC East's longtime loser. And this tilt will mark the true beginning of his era.

Redskins @ Cowboys, Week 12 (Thanksgiving) — 11/26/20

The Redskins have lost in their last four trips to AT&T Stadium, two of which came on Thanksgiving. Despite that ugly recent history, this clash makes the list, because Thanksgiving games will always make a list like this. 

There's certainly the hope that the playoffs will be a possibility this late into the schedule, but even if they're not, going into Jerry World with the whole country watching is significant. 

The Cowboys figure to be an NFC favorite in 2020 and their offense is stacked. Rivera and Del Rio will want to put their fingerprints on this rivalry by shutting them down on one of the league's showcase days.

 

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Redskins @ 49ers, Week 14 — 12/13/20

Facing a participant from the previous year's Super Bowl is a big deal. But that big deal becomes bigger than a large order of Five Guys fries when one of your franchise's most recognizable players from the past decade now suits up for that Super Bowl participant.

The Redskins have been involved in some really intriguing reunion games recently. Their trip to see Kirk Cousins in Minnesota stands out, as does traveling to Philly with DeSean Jackson and Donovan McNabb on their side. Running into Trent WIlliams in 2020, though, may outpace them all.

The way Williams' Washington career ended soured much of what he did during his tenure, so fans should be feeling a lot of animosity going into this one. Plus, Williams will be forced in part to try and neutralize the Redskins' biggest strength — their pass rush — meaning there could be epic one-on-one battles.

Going up against a left tackle is rarely, if ever, the reason why a meeting in the NFL means so much. This date is the exception to that rule. Start the countdown now.

Redskins vs. Panthers, Week 16 — 12/27/20

Rivera is definitely going to downplay how much squaring up with his ex-employer means to him. He's shown in his brief time with the Redskins that he'll take the high road and say the proper things when needed, so expect him to do the same here.

Inside, however, he's going to want to dominate the Panthers. And he's going to make sure his players will have that same desire.

While Rivera will only be in his first season as Washington's coach, he's already acquired a lot of trust and support from those who devote themselves to the organization. Those devotees should return the favor and treat this showdown with the Panthers as seriously as Rivera will.

Just missed the cut: Redskins vs. Ravens, Redskins vs. Seahawks

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Thomas Davis is excited for Reuben Foster's return: 'He was born to play the linebacker spot'

Thomas Davis is excited for Reuben Foster's return: 'He was born to play the linebacker spot'

Washington linebackers Thomas Davis and Reuben Foster are at two very different points in their respective NFL careers.

The former is entering his 15th NFL season and is on the tail-end of an incredible career, while the latter is still trying to find his place in the NFL. The two are separated by 11 years in age.

Yet, both linebackers are expected to have significant roles in Washington's defense come this fall, a team they have yet to play a snap for. In a Zoom conference call with local media on Friday, Davis shared his excitement for what Foster has the chance to bring to Washington's defense.

"Reuben is a physical specimen," Davis said. "I was telling somebody the other day you have people who are born to play a position. When you look at Reuben, he’s one of those guys. I feel like he was born to play the linebacker spot."

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It's been a long and windy road -- both on and off the field -- for Foster since Washington claimed him off of waivers in November of 2018.

Foster was released two years ago by San Francisco after two separate domestic violence accusations. Washington claimed the linebacker, yet he would not play for the team at all that season after immediately landing on the Commissioner's Exempt List.

Later that year, Foster's former girlfriend recanted her testimony on the first incident, and charges were dropped on the second. The linebacker got clearance from the NFL to play shortly after.

Foster returned to the field for OTAs in 2019, but his first practice with his new team ended rather quickly. On just the third snap of the session, Foster suffered a gruesome, non-contact knee injury, tearing multiple ligaments. His recovery took longer than usual, as he lost feeling in his toes in January -- months after the surgery. 

Earlier this week, Foster was removed from the active/PUP list and placed on the team's active roster, 21 months after he was originally claimed by Washington and 15 months after his devastating injury. Foster spoke with reporters shortly after Davis did on Friday, and opened up about his life from the past year and a half.

RELATED: WHAT ARE REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS FOR REUBEN FOSTER IN 2020?

If there's someone who can relate to Foster's rehab process, it's Davis. Over a 23-month span from 2009-2011, Davis suffered three (!!) separate ACL tears.

Yet, Davis bounced back from those injuries in tremendous fashion. Since returning from the final ACL tear in 2012, Davis has been extremely durable. Over that span, he's earned three Pro Bowl nods and was named to the NFL's All-Pro squad in 2015. Even at age 36, Davis racked up 112 tackles for the Chargers last season.

"Just seeing [Foster] make progress each and every day has truly been special," Davis said. "As a guy who has his own rehab story, to see Reuben being able to do the things he’s doing day in and day out, I’m extremely impressed and I’m excited for him."

With so many twists and turns in his young NFL career, Foster has finally reached the point where he can make football his top priority.

And now in Washington, he has someone he can look up to as a mentor in Davis.

“I try to talk to Reuben as much as I possibly can," Davis said. "Reuben, he’s excited, man. He’s energetic, he’s up-tempo. He’s always just ready to get back on the field as much as he possibly can when he was that opportunity. He’s just out there working hard and we’re just trying to constantly encourage him to continue to fight, continue to work and just let the chips fall where they may at the end of the day."

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SEE IT: This Washington Redwolves concept keeps team's identity intact

SEE IT: This Washington Redwolves concept keeps team's identity intact

Another day, another Washington Redwolves concept. 

Except this time, we may have found a winner. 

On Friday afternoon, an unaffiliated team account, @WashRedwolves posted a concept by Raymond Santiago that combines the classic Burgandy & Gold color scheme with the highly requested Redwolves logo.

Take a look:

RELATED: HOW THIS RED WOLVES DESIGN COULD BE A SIMPLE TRANSITION FOR WASHINGTON FANS

As you can see nothing really changed from the team's current uniform, just the Redwolves logo rather than the numbers they're currently rocking.

And that's absolutely fine. 

Because the team seems to be committed to keeping the identity intact as much as possible post-name change, less would serve as more. 

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