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Grading the Redskins: Best marks of the season

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Grading the Redskins: Best marks of the season

Note: Due to the compressed schedule, this week’s edition of Redskins’ unit grades will be abbreviated. A full version will return next week. 

Offense

Grade vs. Eagles: A-

Comment: Quarterback Robert Griffin III was near perfect (14 of 15 and four passing touchdowns plus 84 yards on the ground), the unit did not commit a turnover and it amassed 31 or more points for the fourth time this season (after scoring as many points just three times the previous five seasons). But … the unit committed seven of the team’s 13 penalties, including five false starts. That’s an unacceptable total -- even for the league's most penalized team -- and it will cost them against a better opponent.

Defense

Grade vs. Eagles: B+

Comment: Led by London Fletcher (12 tackles) and Perry Riley (3 tackles for loss, 2 quarterback hits, a sack and a defended pass), the unit yielded its lowest point total in five seasons and fewest yards against (257) in 15 contests. They also harassed quarterback Nick Foles into a pair of interceptions and sacked the rookie four times. But … the unit’s most complete effort of 2012 came against quarterback making his first career start, an injury-depleted offensive line and a staggering program that, in the second half at least, looked more than a bit disinterested.

Special teams

Grade vs. Eagles: B

Comment: Kai Forbath continued to be perfect on field goals, connecting from 25 yards out to improve to 9 for 9 since joining the team. But the first-year kicker was "poor" on kickoffs in the words of Coach Mike Shanahan, putting only one of his five kicks into the end zone for a touchback. Although the coverage team ensured it wasn’t a problem, Forbath needs to improve in that area. Nick Sundberg, meantime, had an uneventful day (exactly what you want from a long snapper) in his return from a broken arm. On a first quarter punt, Riley was flagged for illegal formation, forcing Sav Rocca to kick again (with a sore knee).

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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

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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.

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