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Injury report for Redskins-Packers: Three questionable for Washington

Injury report for Redskins-Packers: Three questionable for Washington

Redskins

Questionable

WR DeSean Jackson (shoulder)—After sitting out last week’s game against the Vikings Jackson has been a limited participant in practice and took part in team drills in the latter part of the week. He looks like his normal self in the part of practice that is open to the media and he believes he is ready to play but we’ll have to see if he can go on Sunday.

LS Nick Sundberg (back)—He tweaked his back in the weight room and he did not practice on Thursday or Friday. The team brought in some long snappers to try out on Friday; they will have until 4 p.m. Saturday to make a roster move.

MORE REDSKINS: IS RUNNING THE KEY TO SOLVING RED ZONE WOES?

OT Morgan Moses (ankle)—Moses missed the end of the Bengals game with the ankle sprain. He played last week, missing three plays after aggravating the injury. The third-year player practiced in full this week. Moses is experiencing some pain but it is likely that he is out there on Sunday night.

Not on injury report

S Will Blackmon (thumb)—Like Moses, it seems likely that Blackmon would have missed a game with his injury if not for the bye week. But he had the surgery about 24 hours after they got off the plane back from London and he will play with a couple of pins in his left thumb and a cast to protect it.

RELATED: NO MORE DAVIS DOUBTERS

Packers

Out

G T. J. Lang (ankle)—Lang has been very durable, has missed just two games since becoming their starter in 2011. He suffered an ankle injury in the first quarter last week against the Titans and did not return. Don Barclay, who has filled in when needed since coming to the team in 2012, finished out the Titans game and will start in Lang’s place.

ILB Jake Ryan (ankle)—Ryan also suffered an ankle injury early against the Titans and left the game early. His absence will leave Blake Martinez and Joe Thomas as the only inside linebackers on the roster. Clay Matthews has played on the inside before but Packers media are reporting that he will play on the outside.

T J.C. Tretter (knee)—Tretter will miss his third straight game with an MCL sprain.

Questionable

OLB Clay Matthews (hamstring)—He has missed the last three games with the hamstring issue. The star pass rusher could be a game time decision. It looked like he was on track to play last week but a late setback had him sidelined again.

TE Jared Cook (ankle)—Cook has missed the last six games with the ankle issue.

“I look at Jared and Clay in a similar fashion,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. “I thought they came out of the practice yesterday and did some good things. Today and tomorrow, hopefully we’re progressing to those guys playing on Sunday.”

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Josh Norman takes the high road when asked to reflect on his time with Washington

Josh Norman takes the high road when asked to reflect on his time with Washington

Josh Norman wasn't the most beloved player in Washington during his tenure with the organization, but he certainly was one of the more interesting.

Media members never knew when a routine interview at the corner's locker would turn into a passionate rant or some bizarre metaphor. That sort of unpredictability basically made every one of his pressers a must-attend event.

So, when Norman's time with the Burgundy and Gold came up during his Thursday Zoom call with reporters in Buffalo, it felt like a place where the now-Bills defender could really sound off. But instead, Norman kept things pretty simple in his answer.

"I don’t stick on what went wrong," he said. "I look at the positives. When everybody is trying to look at the negatives, they’re just harking on that and they think they know who you are just because of that. At the end of the day, I take a lot of bullets and I don’t come out and shoot them back. What for? It’s not needed."

If Norman wanted to lash out at his former coaching staff for how they used him or grumble about how he was essentially benched for the end of the 2019 campaign, it would've been somewhat understandable. He certainly deserves from blame for his less-than-sterling tenure with Washington, but others were culpable as well.

To his credit, however, he chose to mostly focus on his new employer.

"It feels so fresh," Norman said about the vibe with the Bills.

He did find a way to close out that particular part of the call with one unique quote, though. 

"What we’re trying to bring here is something truly special," he said. "I’m just gonna sprinkle a little bit of my pixie dust on it."

Well, for the sake of Bills fans, let's hope that pixie dust is different than whatever he was sprinkling in D.C. these last few years. The recipe for that pixie dust should probably be thrown away, honestly.

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Does Alex Smith make sense as Washington's quarantine emergency QB?

Does Alex Smith make sense as Washington's quarantine emergency QB?

Washington head coach Ron Rivera has a plan if he or any of his assistanct coaches contract the novel coronavirus during the ongoing pandemic. It's one that makes sense after Eagles head coach Doug Pederson tested positive for COVID-19 and was forced to miss practice time as a result. 

"We’ve talked about that as far as those things are concerned, the big thing is somebody will move up in terms of those," Rivera said about a coach testing positive. "We are fortunate, as in today’s game, that pretty much every position has a position assistant and they are younger coaches that have come in and are getting opportunities to learn and develop their craft. What may happen, depending on who gets sick, that person (position assistant) will elevate."

Rivera's plan for missed time from coaches is smart because the virus is everywhere, but what's the plan at the game's most important position? 

The Burgundy and Gold find themselves in an interesting spot at quarterback.

Presumed starter Dwayne Haskins looks to be poised for Week 1, healthy and slim and hearing great things about himself from coaches. Kyle Allen is positioned to be the backup, a capable player who knows the offensive system. Should Haskins get injured or disappoint, Allen can step in. 

That leaves Alex Smith. 

The veteran passer is in the midst of a Hollywood comeback story. He suffered a compound fracture of his leg about 20 months ago, and after multiple infections and more than a dozen surgeries, is fighting his way back to the football field. He's passed his medical physical, but not his football physical, and has been listed on Washington's Active/Physically Unable to Play list. That means he's not able to participate in team drills but he can work out at the facility and take full part in meetings and film sessions. 

RELATED: BURNING QUESTIONS: WHO WILL BREAK OUT FOR WASHINGTON IN 2020?

Smith's status could change at any moment, if he can pass the football physical. 

It's unclear if that will ever happen, but it could also present an opportunity. 

With Haskins and Allen playing maybe Washington would be wise to shut Smith down and have him in some form of isolation working out on his own. 

Why?

What happens if COVID-19 sweeps the Washington locker room, or even just the QB room, and suddenly there is nobody to line up under center? Then Smith could become the best option. 

It's a long-shot, maybe even ludicrous idea, but everything going on right now is some version of ludicrous. 

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Nobody could have predicted any of this a year ago, and the suggestion of bubbles and quarantines and contact tracing would have sounded like something from a science fiction movie. 

Well, now we're living in a science fiction movie. Accept the weird and try to roll with it. 

The teams that will excel this fall will do so because of adaptability and preparedness. There is zero guarantee that a quarantine QB makes sense, and even less confidence that he would play. But there's also zero guarantee Smith will ever pass the football physical and be able to play anyway. 

In the 1987 season Washington went 3-0 during that year's NFL players' strike, largely because the front office was prepared for the work stoppage and quickly built a team of replacement players. That winning streak propelled the team to a Super Bowl win. 

It happened because Washington acted smart, saw what possibly could happen with a player strike and executed a backup plan at a high level. 

Word is history repeats itself, and while there should be labor peace this fall, if 2020 has proven anything it's that whatever can go wrong will. Plan accordingly.

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