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Need to Know: Fan questions—Aggressive D, Jabrill Peppers at 17?

Need to Know: Fan questions—Aggressive D, Jabrill Peppers at 17?

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, April 11, 16 days before the April 27 NFL draft.


Days until:

—Offseason workouts begin (4/17) 6
—Redskins rookie camp (5/12) 31
—Redskins OTAs start (5/24) 43
—First Sunday of 2017 season (9/10) 152

Fan questions—

I’ve taken some fan questions recently that require a long form answer. This morning I’ll do some quick hitters.

I’m not sure I buy Peppers to the Redskins at No. 17; he seems to be a better value later in the first round. But I will say that “jack of all trades” in today’s NFL is a feature, not a bug. The NFL is moving towards players who can play multiple spots. With the no-huddle offenses in vogue, it helps to have a player who can line up in their safety spot, at nickel linebacker or cover the slot. It also helps in case of injuries or when the other team likes to spread things out. Peppers can be quite a weapon for a defensive coordinator who can figure out how to use him. And if he can play some snaps on offense, so much the better.

While some aspects of the offense will change, I don’t see the Redskins using the I formation as a primary way of lining up. Jay Gruden would much rather line up with three wide receivers and/or two tight ends than two running backs. That gives him more options. On the seven or so plays per game that they do want to use a fullback it likely will be Paul.

That is something that remains to be seen. They have four potential double-digit sack edge rushers as I discussed in this post yesterday so they certainly have the personnel up front to be aggressive. It will come down to how much confidence Greg Manusky has in the secondary’s ability to cover on an island. The confidence probably will be there in corners Josh Norman and Bashaud Breeland. Whether he has faith in safeties Su’a Cravens and D.J. Swearinger may be another matter.

I usually have done at least a couple of seven-round Redskins mock drafts by now but my first is coming in the next few days. But just taking a stab at it now, I’d go with yours with a few changes. I’d take one of your safeties and make him a running back. I’m not completely buying the Gruden love affair with Rob Kelley; it could be more of a “love the one you’re with” situation. Unless a wide receiver is way too good to pass up when they’re on the clock I’d say they take another offensive lineman, perhaps a tackle. Finally I think there is a very good chance they take a quarterback at some point although I’m not sure what position would be removed if that happens.  

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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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


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.