Looking at the Redskins schedule this week, it's absurd Washington played Sunday night and must play again Thursday afternoon. After holding back for some time, Jay Gruden opened up.
"I don’t think it’s really fair, no, but we have to deal with it," Gruden said.
Washington put together their best game of the year Sunday night in a 42-24 win over the Packers, and Gruden's squad must hope they can repeat that effort Thursday against the NFL's best Dallas Cowboys.
The coach explained that the 'Skins staff gameplanned for the Cowboys somewhat during their bye week, but that came three weeks ago now, and both Washington and Dallas have likely brought in new concepts and plays in different situations.
Beyond tailoring the plan of attack specific to Dallas, the Redskins also need to worry about their players. Football games are tough on player's bodies; there's a reason the sport is generally played with a week off between games.
"The biggest thing is you worry about the health of your football team. This is a physical football game we played last night and we’re at the point in the year where guys are a little bit beat up," Gruden said.
Though the Skins sustained no serious injuries against Green Bay, players like Josh Norman, Will Blackmon and Morgan Moses are already nursing injuries. With just three days between games instead of the normal six, that means substantially less medical treatment and rehab opportunities.
"Guys still have a bunch of bumps and bruises that aren’t on the injury report here and there that they have to take care of their bodies for. It’s going to be tough."
Gruden made clear he wanted his players to rest Monday as Tuesday would be a full day. The Redskins will install the bulk of their game plan on Tuesday and complete their installations on Wednesday before a charter flight to Dallas Wednesday evening.
Despite the tough travel schedule and condensed rehab for players, Gruden remains confident in his team. Even against the 9-1 Cowboys.
"The good thing is we are familiar with Dallas. They’re obviously a very, very good team playing at a very high level. But I think we can get our guys ready to roll."
An argument can be made that Gruden's team should have beaten Dallas in the team's first meeting in September. Though the Redskins lost that game, the players will likely remember the narrow defeat. The coach certainly does.
"We had a three-point lead down there in the red zone with about nine minutes to go and threw the pick and they went down and scored and beat us here, so for us to keep pace in the division and have a chance at a division title, we’ve got to play our best gameThursday.”
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