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DeAngelo Hall says he's close to returning to the Redskins' lineup

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DeAngelo Hall says he's close to returning to the Redskins' lineup

DeAngelo Hall has missed the last four games with a sprained toe, but the veteran cornerback said on Monday that he expects to return soon.

How soon? Well, that depends on how the toe responds to an increased workload this week.

“It’s definitely on the table—for myself and a lot of other guys in this locker room that’s been banged up,” Hall said, asked if he hopes to suit up against Tom Brady and the Patriots on Sunday. “We’ll keep working throughout the week.”

“[Tuesday] we actually have a day off, but I’ll probably be working harder [Tuesday] than I did [Monday],” he added. “It’s really just about trying to keep the progress going. See how it responds the day after, just make sure it’s not too painful or hurting too bad. …I’m off the week-by-week thing now. Now, it’s just kinda day-by-day.”

It’s been a rough couple of years for Hall, who turns 32 later this month. He missed all but three games last season with a torn Achilles’ tendon that he ended up re-injuring at home. Then against Giants in Week 3, Hall suffered a Grade 2 plantar plate rupture in his right foot. Hall says it’s a similar injury to the one that forced tight end Logan Paulsen to have season-ending surgery. Paulsen’s injury, however, was a Grade 3 or compete tear, Hall said.

Hall, who started the first three games at left cornerback, also acknowledged that his recovery has progressed slower than he had anticipated.

“Normally when they tell me two-to-three weeks, I’m back in a week-and-half or I’m back that next week,” Hall said. “So, for somebody to tell me four-to-six weeks, and it’s been five, six weeks, that’s been tough to deal with. But we’re right in the thick of things [in the NFC East] and I couldn’t ask for a better situation to come back to.”

He added: “I wanted to be out there so bad for the Atlanta game [in Week 5], but I couldn’t move at all. No matter how hard I tried to convince myself or trick myself, it wasn’t going to happen. You want to rush yourself back. But at the same time, your body is only going to let you do what you can do.”

On Monday, Hall participated in the early portion of practice and completed some individual drills. But he was withheld from full speed, one-on-one drills vs. pass catchers, indicating there's still some concern about pushing the injury too hard, too soon. If he hopes to suit up at Foxborough, he’ll need to start and finish an entire practice on either Wednesday, Thursday or Friday. If he can’t, the focus will shift to the Saints game.   

“When you’re a defensive back, you have to use those toes to push off,” Hall said. “I really have to be able to plant on a dime. That’s what really has been holding me up as opposed to if I was a safety or played another position, I probably could have been back a week ago. But when you’re a corner, you have to go in a split-second. You can’t think about it. If you do, it’s six points.”

Hall’s impending return will provide a boost for a Redskins’ secondary that’s been besieged by injuries ever since starting strong safety Duke Ihenacho went down with a wrist injury early in the opener. Meantime, the team’s other starting cornerback, Chris Culliver, has missed the past three games with a knee injury. But he’s also nearing a return to the field. 

MORE REDSKINS: Doc Walker breaks down the Patriots' underrated defense

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Need to Know: Tandler’s Take—Dramatic improvement to Redskins rushing defense

Need to Know: Tandler’s Take—Dramatic improvement to Redskins rushing defense

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, October 16, five days before the Washington Redskins host the Dallas Cowboys.

Talking Points

A better 3-2

For the third straight year, the Redskins are 3-2 after five games. As you know, they did not make the playoffs after either of the last two seasons. But they are in better shape in the standings now than they were in 2016 or 2017. Last year they were in second place in the division, a game and a half behind the 5-1 Eagles. They were worse off two years ago as they were in third place behind the 3-1 Eagles and the Cowboys, who were 4-1. 

It’s still very early, but it’s better to be in first place nearly a third of the way into the season than it is to be in second or third place and being in a position where you have to chase one or two teams. 

Take it away

The Redskins had three takeaways against the Panthers—the fumble recovery on the punt, Josh Norman’s interception, and the fumble forced by Norman and recovered by Mason Foster. They did not give the ball away. The last time they got at least three takeaways without giving the ball up was on Christmas Eve, 2016 in Chicago. Perhaps not coincidentally, that is the last game in which Norman had an interception until Sunday. 

After being either even or in the positive in takeaway ratio in four of their five games this year, the Redskins are now tied for fourth in the NFL with a plus-four turnover margin. If they can stay on the even or plus side from week to week they will have a very good chance at being successful. 

Rushing D much improved

After finishing 32nd in the NFL in rushing yards allowed in 2017, the Redskins are currently sixth, giving up an average of 90.2 yards per game. The improvement has come even though they have faced premiere running backs David Johnson, Alvin Kamara, Mark Ingram, and Christian McCaffrey. They have allowed no more than 104 yards on the ground in any of their five games. Last year's opponents ran for 127 yards or more 10 times. Their defense will be tested on Sunday against the Cowboys, who average 147 rushing yards per game on the ground, second in the NFL. 

Looking in the mirror

When the Redskins take a look at the Cowboys they might feel like they are watching themselves. Both teams run the ball well, although Ezekiel Elliott is more consistent than Adrian Peterson. Alex Smith has better passing stats than Dak Prescott but both teams are in the bottom third of the league in passing yards. The defenses on both teams are strong. Washington is sixth in yardage allowed per game and the Cowboys are fifth. 

And both teams have started off the season alternating wins and losses. Dallas started with a loss to the Panthers then beat the Giants, lost to the Seahawks, won over the Lions, suffered an OT loss to the Texans and then thumped the Jaguars. It will be an interesting match up on Sunday.

The agenda

Today: Off day, no media availability

Upcoming: Cowboys @ Redskins 5; Redskins @ Giants 12; Redskins @ Eagles 48

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Week 6's Redskins game marked another successful celebration of the THINK-PINK! campaign

Week 6's Redskins game marked another successful celebration of the THINK-PINK! campaign

During the Redskins-Panthers Week 6 matchup, the FedEx Field end zones ditched their usual gold trim for some pink instead. As it turns out, burgundy and pink go quite well together.

The reason for the change was to celebrate the Redskins Breast Cancer Awareness game as well as the 20th anniversary of Tanya Snyder's THINK-PINK! campaign.

Mrs. Snyder started the movement two decades ago by passing out 8,000 handmade pink ribbons at the team's stadium meant to remind people that early detection of breast cancer can make a major difference.

Now, her campaign has gone league-wide and is the reason you see so many players wearing pink in October, fans waving pink towels in the stands and other awareness-raising initiatives throughout the NFL.

"Very, very, very proud," Snyder said while handing out ribbons before the Washington-Carolina game. "We're not finished, but we are making a difference with early detection. So I'm beaming." 

For more information on Snyder and the NFL's breast cancer efforts, head to redskins.com/thinkpink. And for more details about the events held at FedEx Field during Week 6, check out the video above.

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