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Redskins clear path for Derrius Guice's return, but bigger roster questions loom

Redskins clear path for Derrius Guice's return, but bigger roster questions loom

The Redskins released rookie running back Craig Reynolds on Tuesday, and with that move, cleared a roster spot for Derrius Guice to return next week when he's eligible to come off the injured reserve. 

That part is simple. 

What isn't as simple is what the Redskins will do once Guice is back on the 53-man roster. Washington will then have five running backs on their active roster, a high number. 

So what will happen next?

Guice and Adrian Peterson absolutely have roster spots. No debate. None. Wendell Smallwood has been on the roster since Week 1, and even took Peterson's spot on the active in Week 1. 

After that comes Chris Thompson, a roster lock when healthy. He's missed the last three games after injuring his foot against Miami in Week 6. He hasn't even practiced. The last update on Thompson came from Bill Callahan on Halloween when the head coach said "same" when asked on Thompson's status. There has been no discussion around moving Thompson to the injured reserve, but there also appears to be no progress with his foot injury. 

Beyond the four traditional tailbacks, the Redskins also have fullback Michael Burton on the roster. He's been active in each game since he was signed, and has become a big part of the Redskins special teams group.

It's entirely possible the Redskins just keep all five running backs on the roster. The team has been doing that for the last three weeks, with Thompson landing on the inactive list on game days. It makes for slightly awkward roster construction, but since Burton and Smallwood play special teams, it eases the burden elsewhere, particularly as tight end Vernon Davis hasn't played in some time but remains on the 53.

There also could be a decision coming at safety.

Deshazor Everett and Montae Nicholson are both hurt, and that forced the Redskins to call up Jeremy Reaves from the practice squad in Week 6. if Everett or Nicholson can return from injury, then Reaves could be on the outside, even though he's played fairly well in limited snaps. 

One thing is certain: Guice gets a roster spot. It appears that will be the spot created with Reynolds' release, but it's certainly something to watch after the bye week. 

There's also the conversation about workload in the back field once Guice returns. Since Callahan took over Week 6 and made Peterson the key to the Redskins offense, the veteran running back is averaging 95 rush yards and nearly 19 carries-per-game.

That load seems likely to decrease when Guice returns,  but last week Callahan said the discussion was premature.

"We’ll address that when the time is appropriate, when the game plan is put in and who we’re playing, how we’re going to attack that particular defense and how we’re going to divide the repetitions and rotations and things of that nature. Way too early to decide on reps and counts they’ll have for that particular game," the coach said of splitting carries between Guice and Peterson. 

One more thing to watch after the bye. 

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Report: Trent Williams' dogs killed neighbor's dog

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Report: Trent Williams' dogs killed neighbor's dog

Trent Williams is defending his dogs after neighbors of a home registered to him in Missouri City, Texas say the Redskins' lineman's dogs brutally killed their dog.

The neighbor's dog, Sandy, according to reports, died after being mauled and dragged under an iron fence on their own property. 

According to Williams, the attack began after Sandy instigated conflict with one of Williams' smaller pets. Williams felt his dogs did nothing wrong and said the animals were defending the smaller dog, who is fighting for its life after $5,000 in medical bills. 

Williams told FOX 26 Houston that the situation was "dogs doing what dogs do."

In comments to local television stations, Sandy's owner's described how they found their dog.

"I found my dog halfway ripped apart, head and one leg on the other side of the fence, two of those stakes ripped through the body and one leg just dangling," said Jerry Flowers.

"They drug her head through the fence," Linda Flowers said. "Half of her body was through the wrought iron fence."

Animal control and local police are no longer investigating the incident according to ABC 13. Williams was not cited for the incident.

Williams is on the non-football injury list for the Washington Redskins after ending his holdout halfway through the season. 

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Once the Redskins Ironman, Ryan Kerrigan moved to injured reserve

Once the Redskins Ironman, Ryan Kerrigan moved to injured reserve

The Redskins moved outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan to the injured reserve after he injured his calf last week against Green Bay. He will miss the remainder of the season. 

Kerrigan had started every game for Washington since 2011 until just three weeks ago, one of the most impressive streaks in the NFL at 139 straight starts. 

He missed the Panthers game due to a concussion, was able to come back from the Packers game and then hurt his calf. 

After three straight seasons with double-digit sacks, Kerrigan’s numbers were down this year. He will finish the season with just 5.5 sacks after posting 37 over the last few years. 

Dexter Manley holds the Redskins franchise record with 91 sacks. After bringing down Aaron Rodgers last week in Green Bay before his injury, Kerrigan got to 90 sacks. 

If he comes back healthy in 2020, Kerrigan would look prime to break the franchise record. He will be in the last year of his contract, however, and will account for nearly $12 million against the salary cap.

Should Washington release Kerrigan, which was once unthinkable, it would carry no salary cap hit. 

To replace Kerrigan on the active roster the Redskins signed Caleb Wilson from the Cardinals practice squad.

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