Time for our weekly review of the Washington Redskins snap counts, plus some big picture after the 31-23 Week 12 road loss at Dallas.
♦ Matt Ioannidis, now a clear frontline option along the defensive line, played only 20 snaps after suffering a lower-leg injury. His absence thrust rookie Tim Settle into action. The former Virginia Tech standout only received 26 snaps from Weeks 3-11, but played 21 against the Cowboys – and he more than held up. According to the graders at Pro Football Focus, Settle rated as Washington’s top defender after finishing with three tackles including one for loss.
Settle played two more snaps than veteran Stacy McGee. Both could receive more snaps Monday night at Philadelphia If Ioannidis isn’t ready. Jay Gruden said Friday that the third-year lineman “landed on his calf and it’s bruised right now, a little bit of swelling.”
♦ Trey Quinn (73 percent) out-snapped Maurice Harris (57 percent) for the second consecutive game since the rookie returned from the injured reserve list. The real intrigue is less with this direct competition and more about Quinn providing the Redskins with an alternative for Jamison Crowder. The usual starting slot receiver is a 2019 free agent after earning $1.9 million this season.
Quinn, the final pick in the entire 2018 NFL Draft, signed a four-year, $2.5 million contract. He would only earn $750,000 in his fourth and final season on his rookie deal. Whether the front office and coaching staff would feel comfortable going from Crowder to Quinn is another story, but the monies involved are a major factor.
Crowder (ankle) hasn’t played since Oct. 8. Meanwhile the rookie scored his first career touchdown Thursday, though he only averaged 5.2 yards on his five receptions, and served as the punt returner.
“I was impressed with Trey and his competitive spirit both in the return game and obviously at receiver and blocking,” Gruden said. “He is a tough guy. I like him."
♦ Kapri Bibbs didn’t make the Week 1 roster despite a strong training camp and preseason. Injuries elsewhere eventually elevated him from the practice squad and into the rotation. Another rise came Thursday with Adrian Peterson dinged in game and the Redskins trailing.
Bibbs played a season-high 56 percent of the snaps, most of any running back on the team, and had 36 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown on six touches.
That includes Byron Marshall, who beat out Bibbs for a final spot even with an injury that kept him sidelined for Week 1 and eventually landed him on IR. In his second game since rejoining the active roster, Marshall only played one snap.
♦ The decision to go with three rookies at cornerback is starting to become problematic. Quinton Dunbar played only 26 snaps over the previous five weeks, but went for 61 (87 percent) against Dallas. That sounds like good news, but Dunbar’s leg nerve injury flared up as the game progressed, and yet he remained in the game. Dunbar and Fabian Moreau allowed a combined eight catches on 11 targets for 193 yards and two TDs, per PFF.
"I think as the game went on [the injury] must have gotten a little bit worse,” Gruden said. “I can’t speak for Quinton right now. I know he didn’t finish the game very well and I know he was in some pain there in the very end.”
One has to think the Redskins would have gone with another cornerback if they felt comfortable with their other options. Greg Stroman and Danny Johnson have taken a whirl with the starting defense at times this season and showed good form at times. Stroman received one snap Thursday and Johnson only played on special teams. Adonis Alexander was inactive. Going with the kids works long-term. It's seemingly limiting options now as the Redskins pursue the NFC East title.
♦ Sign of the season: In terms of snap percentages, Tony Bergstrom (62.06), Harris (50.0) and Jeremy Sprinkle (29.27) have been on the field more than Crowder (28.05) and Chris Thompson (23.58).
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