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The Final Countdown: Redskins 9th best play of 2016, fake punt edition

The Final Countdown: Redskins 9th best play of 2016, fake punt edition

As should be expected when a team goes 8-7-1, there were plenty of good moments and a lot of frustrating times during the Redskins’ 2016 season. Over the next couple of weeks, Redskins Insiders Rich Tandler and JP Finlay will take detailed looks at the 10 best plays of 2016 and at the 10 worst.

No. 9 best play of 2016

Redskins at Giants Week 3

3:33 left in Q3, Redskins ball 4th and 12 at their own 48, Redskins trailing 24-23

Tress Way pass deep left to Quinton Dunbar to NYG 21 for 31 yards (Dwayne Harris).

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Tandler: The first thing you have to like here is Gruden’s guts in going for it in that situation. The field position was good but they had 12 yards to go. Way took a step like he was going to punt and launched a pass deep down the left side near the sideline. The throw was accurate for a punter’s attempt but the Giants’ Trevin Wade was right with Dunbar. The former receiver turned back inside and made a nice catch while falling to the ground. The Redskins’ drive continued and on the first play of the fourth quarter Dustin Hopkins’ field goal put the Redskins ahead to stay.

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Finlay: Few plays make the entire press box react, but this fake punt did just that. The down and distance, and the 'Skins situation in the early season, combined with the laser of a pass thrown by Tress Way, proved to be a key turning point in the game. Winning in New York was imperative; the 'Skins had already dropped to 0-2 on the year and could not afford to go to 0-3. Beating the Giants launched Washington on a four-game win streak, and it would not have been possible without Way's pass or a really great catch from Dunbar. Remember, Dunbar also had an interception in that game, quite the effort for the second-year wideout turned cornerback. 

10 best plays countdown

10 worst plays countdown


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Trent Williams was definitely not playing Sunday against Houston, but now he might

Trent Williams was definitely not playing Sunday against Houston, but now he might

On Wednesday, Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said that six-time Pro Bowl left tackle Trent Williams would not play on Sunday against the Texans. 

"That's for sure," the coach said. 

By Friday, the tune had changed. Drastically. 

Gruden said that Williams' status on Sunday will come down to the medical staff. The coach added that Williams has to be comfortable in whatever cast will support his dislocated thumb.

As for Williams, he would not say for sure that he's going to play. But after talking with him for a few minutes in the Redskins locker room, it seems like the medical staff will be hard pressed to keep him off the field. 

Williams missed the Redskins last two games after injuring his thumb in a victory over the Giants. Without him, the Redskins offensive line performed admirably, but both tackles Morgan Moses and Ty Nsekhe are fighting through a number of injuries. 

The thumb injury required surgery, which happened about two weeks ago and came with a rough four-week timetable for recovery. Williams is attempting to cut that in half. 

Asked about Williams possibly playing Sunday, Redskins running back Adrian Peterson said he wants his friend and teammate to be smart about his future. Peterson said "there's a lot of football left" but the running back also added that there were situations watching Texans film this week where "it'd be real nice to have Trent out there."

Williams himself said that it must be tough for Peterson, as the two are close friends. Obviously, the running back wants the star tackle out on the field, but he also cares about his long-term future. 

Notes: Redskins K Dustin Hopkins landed on the injury report earlier with a groin injury in the week and the team brought in other kickers for tryouts on Tuesday. On Friday, Hopkins said he was pain-free and planned to "give it a go" Sunday against Houston. 


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With Samaje Perine ruled out for Week 11, expect Byron Marshall to be activated off IR


With Samaje Perine ruled out for Week 11, expect Byron Marshall to be activated off IR

The main news on Friday at Redskins Park was the surprising return to the practice field by Trent Williams. 

That wasn't the only notable development when it comes to injuries, though. 

During his end-of-the-week podium session, Jay Gruden ruled Samaje Perine out for Sunday's game against the Texans. The second-year back has a calf injury and won't be able to go in Week 11.

As of Friday afternoon, that leaves the 'Skins with just two healthy running backs in Adrian Peterson and Kapri Bibbs. Chris Thompson is on the active roster as well, but he's dealing with rib issues and he's going to be absent when Houston visits.

This means you should expect to see Byron Marshall in Burgundy and Gold come kickoff. Marshall has been on IR with an ankle injury since the start of the year but said he's been healthy for a while now and would be ready to step in as the third back.

The majority of offensive snaps the past few weeks have gone to Peterson and Bibbs, so Marshall shouldn't figure into things too much when the Redskins have the ball. He showed flashes in some spot duty in 2017, though, so if need be, he could be productive for Gruden.

With Trey Quinn already back on the 53, if/when the team elects to bring back Marshall, the Redskins will be out of IR activations. NFL rules stipulate each club only gets two per season.

UPDATE: Marshall was activated off of IR Saturday afternoon. WR Brian Quick was released to make room.