Here is what you need to know on this Friday, November 18, two days before the Washington Redskins play the Green Bay Packers at FedEx Field.
—Today's schedule: Practice 12:05 p.m.; Jay Gruden press conference and player availability after practice, approx. 2 p.m.
—Days until: Redskins @ Cowboys on Thanksgiving 6; Redskins @ Cardinals 16; Redskins @ Eagles 23
Injuries of note
Out: LS Sundberg (back)
Limited practice: WR Jackson (shoulder)
Full: OT Moses (ankle)
Thursday injury report
Redskins vs. Packers
NBC 8:30 p.m., Mike Tirico and Chris Collinsworth
Line: Redskins -3
Around Redskins Park
—There were some Vernon Davis doubters at Redskins Park when the team signed the veteran tight end. “It has been surprising quite frankly,” said Jay Gruden said of Davis’ effectiveness. “I wasn’t sure what we were going to get with Vernon.” Kirk Cousins also had his doubts. “I guess I wondered how much he had left in the tank, didn’t know,” said the quarterback. Davis wiped out those doubts quickly; he has been a productive player at age 32 with and without Jordan Reed in the lineup.
—Su’a Cravens is playing more snaps and in more positions as the season goes on. He got a season-high 37 snaps against the Vikings. The rookie told me that he played Sam linebacker, Will linebacker, inside linebacker, rush end, and even a snap or two as a three technique, lined up over the guard. Some snaps at safety could be coming soon. The effectiveness of the defense down the stretch here could depend on the playmaking abilities of Cravens and Preston Smith, who had a breakout game on Sunday.
—Things seem to be going smoothly for DeSean Jackson as he tries to get back in the lineup. He looked like his normal self on Wednesday and Thursday. Jay Gruden is being very noncommittal which I read is one part uncertainty about the possibility of a relapse and four parts gamesmanship. Jackson declined to talk about it in the locker room after practice.
—The Redskins are going to have to expend some draft and free agent resources on their defensive line next year. But they may have a couple of young players on the roster now who could turn out to be useful rotational pass rushers. Anthony Lanier has played a combined 30 snaps in the last two games. Joe Barry said he’s “raw” but he has “so much natural ability, natural instincts” that he’s “scary”. Former Seahawks third-round pick Jordan Hill is explosive and he has the ideal size for a rush defensive end. The two of them could contribute a play or two down the stretch but the organization is looking for more out of both of them in 2017. It should be noted that Hill may not be around; he will be an unrestricted free agent. Lanier is under team control through 2019.
MORE REDSKINS: TEAM COULD SCRAMBLE FOR A SNAPPER
—This isn’t a must-win game but a victory would give the Redskins a much easier path to the playoffs. Sizing up things right now and knowing that things could change in a heartbeat it looks like a record of 9-6-1 will be good enough to qualify for the NFC playoffs. If they win and are 6-3-1 they would just have to split their remaining six games to get to nine wins. They’d like to do better, of course, but they would have some margin for error. If they lose they need to go 4-2 to get where they need to be. That’s not drawing to an inside straight and the Redskins are capable of doing it but it would be much tougher.
Tandler on Twitter
In case you missed it
- New #RedskinsTalk Podcast - Get to know Robert Kelley
- Playoff loss to Packers still in the minds of Redskins
- Packers coach is high on Kirk Cousins
- Steering clear of Rodgers' tricks
- Redskins could scramble for a snapper
- First down results key for Redskins offense
- Five under pressure against the Packers