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Fueled by players-only meeting, Redskins defense rallies for strong effort

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Fueled by players-only meeting, Redskins defense rallies for strong effort

FEDEX FIELD - The Redskins defense might have played their best 60 minutes of the season on Sunday, and the effort stemmed from a player's-only meeting Saturday night. In the victorious locker room following Washington's 20-14 win over the New York Giants, word emerged that defensive captain Dashon Goldson talked to the team Saturday night with a simple message.

"Stop losing," was how Redskins WR Pierre Garçon boiled down Goldson's message. 

Ricky Jean François explained the meeting with a bit more detail.

"It had to be said eventually, just telling everybody that we have the players on the team. Now we just need to go out there and play like we have the players. We don’t need all the big names that most teams usually carry, all we just need is the heart of a Redskin," François said. "Just go out there and play ball, execute your assignment. If you do your job, believe me all 10 other people will do the same."

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While the Redskins offense did enough to win the game, the much-maligned defense carried the squad to the win over New York. Through pressure and strong work in the secondary, Eli Manning threw three interceptions and missed countless other throws. The Giants only rushed for 33 yards in the game, and much of that total came early in the first quarter on a drive that recorded no points. 

"They were big," 'Skins head coach Jay Gruden said of Manning's three picks. "It justifies when you play with great effort, great things are going to happen."

Two things were obvious Sunday watching Washington: The team moved on from the beatdown received in Charlotte last week, and a few lucky bounces go a long way.

"We had pressure on their quarterback," Gruden said. "We had a great hit by Kyshoen Jarrett, ball pops up and [Will] Blackmon gets an interception."

For much of the season, particularly in a loss at New England, bounces have not gone Washington's way. Sunday against the Giants - in the biggest game FedEx Field has hosted in three seasons - they did. Whether that's a result of luck, of effort, or some combination of both, the players think it's a recipe that can continue.

"That meeting was well needed. I hope it sunk into everybody’s head, and today it did," François said. "I hope it sinks into their head for the rest of the season that you know you have the capability of beating any team that's in front of you."

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Expect Redskins to bring back Trey Quinn next week as Jamison Crowder's status remains unclear

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Expect Redskins to bring back Trey Quinn next week as Jamison Crowder's status remains unclear

The Redskins need help at wide receiver, and while head coach Jay Gruden allowed a potential trade might bolster the group, the return of rookie Trey Quinn might do the same. 

Quinn landed on the injured reserve after the season opener in Arizona when he injured his ankle on a punt return. The IR designation means Quinn must miss eight weeks of action but can return after that period. 

"We’ll get Trey Quinn back here pretty soon," Gruden said Monday on the Redskins Talk podcast. 

Quinn could be back as early as Week 9 against Atlanta, and it sounds like Gruden expects to see him then.

A record setter at SMU and the final pick of the 2018 NFL Draft, Quinn's return could immediately help the Redskins at their inside slot receiver position. Jamison Crowder has missed the last two games for Washington, and reports say he could miss a few more weeks. 

Of the trio of injured Redskins skill players, Chris Thompson, Paul Richardson, and Crowder, Gruden said the slot WR has "probably got the furthest to go" before he can return from injury. Last week, Crowder was spotted in the Redskins practice facility riding a scooter and with a boot on his ankle. 

With Crowder out an elongated period of time, Quinn could step right in. Both on the smaller side and more quick than fast, Quinn is best suited to play the inside receiver position and can also return punts.

Asked if Quinn is a natural fit to fill in for Crowder, Gruden replied, "exactly right."

Fellow rookie receiver Cam Sims also landed on the IR after Week 1, but Gruden did not indicate that he would be brought back on the same timeline as Quinn. 

"We’ll probably just take one of them. Right now I think Trey is probably closer to returning than Cam ."

NFL rules stipulate that the team can bring only two players back from the injured reserve over the course of a season. So if the 'Skins bring back Quinn as soon as he is eligible next week, it makes sense for the organization to wait before using their final retrievable IR slot on another wide receiver.

Gruden's comments make two things clear: The organization sees Quinn back on the 53-man roster ASAP, and Crowder's return seems to be a serious question mark. 

Washington also seems likely to have a roster spot for Quinn next week. Special teams ace Jehu Chesson has already been up and down on the Redskins roster twice, and it would be little surprise if Quinn's return means Chesson gets released. Should that happen, Washington might again try to bring Chesson back to their practice squad. 

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As injuries linger at WR, Jay Gruden believes a trade might help Redskins

As injuries linger at WR, Jay Gruden believes a trade might help Redskins

The Dallas Cowboys traded for Amari Cooper on Monday, and with that, alarms go off around the NFL that it's wheeling and dealing season. The trade deadline hits in one week, and for teams looking to bolster their squad before the second half of the year, it's time to see what areas could improve. 

For Redskins head coach Jay Gruden, the injury situation at wide receiver means that his team could use help at the position. 

"We could probably use one more there if we could," Gruden said Monday on the Redskins Talk podcast. 

Asked if there was one area the team could bolster via trade, the coach explained that if wideouts Jamison Crowder or Paul Richardson could come back from injury right away, the Redskins would have no need to trade for another receiver. Unfortunately for the Redskins, neither injury situation is very clear, and some reports show that Crowder could miss a few more weeks working back from an ankle injury. 

"I think if you look at our team right now with the injuries to Crowder and obviously the uncertainty with Richardson you might want to add another receiver, but I like what [Michael] Floyd’s done coming in here," Gruden said. 

Floyd had one catch for 20 yards in the Redskins win on Sunday over the Cowboys, but he's a physical veteran that has the coach excited. Gruden also complimented what Maurice Harris and Brian Quick have done in the absence of Richardson and Crowder.

While the Cowboys struck first in the receiver trade market, more players remain reportedly available, including Broncos WR Demaryius Thomas and Dolphins WR DeVante Parker. 

Thomas is a five-time Pro Bowler in Denver, but at 30 years old and with some trade value, it makes sense for John Elway to consider his market. The Broncos are 3-4 and have an underperforming offense. 

Parker was a first-round pick in 2015 but has not had a 1,000-yard season in Miami. Making matters more complicated, Parker's agent Jimmy Gould called Dolphins head coach Adam Gase "incompetent" to a host of different media outlets. Parker has only been active twice this season though he contends health is not an issue. 

Gruden remains confident that 2016 first-round pick Josh Doctson will get going, and he is a similar big target as Thomas and Parker. Should Richardson miss significant time, the Redskins would lack a true speed threat.

There's certainly no clear indication that Washington will make a move before the NFL trade deadline, but as things stand now with injuries, there is a need. Remember, too, the Redskins are long on 2019 draft picks with 10 selections in seven rounds.



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