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Need to Know: Final look at Redskins-Cardinals—Bottling up David Johnson

Need to Know: Final look at Redskins-Cardinals—Bottling up David Johnson

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, December 4, seven days before the Washington Redskins play the Philadelphia Eagles.

Timeline

Today's schedule: Redskins vs. Cardinals 4:25 pm

Days until: Redskins @ Eagles 7; Panthers @ Redskins 15; Redskins @ Bears Christmas Eve 20

Injuries of note:
Out:
TE Jordan Reed (shoulder), DE Anthony Lanier (leg)
Questionable: G Brandon Scherff (ankle), OT Ty Nsekhe (ankle), Bashaud Breeland (ankle), LS Nick Sundberg (back)
Final injury report

Redskins vs. Cardinals
FOX, Sunday, 4:25 p.m., Dick Stockton and Chris Spielman
Line: Cardinals -2.5

Final thoughts on Redskins vs Cardinals

—It needs to be a Ryan Kerrigan day if the Redskins are going to win. Or a Preston Smith day, something rarely seen this year. Or perhaps Arizonan Trent Murphy will get a couple of sacks for his friends and family. Carson Palmer has been ineffective this year because he has been under constant pressure. Washington needs to keep that up.

—It’s going to be interesting to see what happens with Josh Norman and Larry Fitzgerald. The Cardinals don’t just put Fitz into the slot as a wrinkle; they do it all the time. Norman isn’t comfortable covering in the slot but Joe Barry and Jay Gruden will be very uncomfortable if Fitzpatrick dominates Kendall Fuller. Maybe they will try to start off with Norman on the outside but they will adjust quickly. I know I’ve been back and forth on this all week but the Redskins will not use their base defense very often since the Cardinals like to spread the field so much. There will be no “standard” set for this game.

—The Redskins gain 6.4 yards per play, second in the NFL. The Cardinals allow 4.7 yards per game, first in the NFL. As usual, Washington may have to get their score into the upper 20’s to win. That might require a takeaway or a big special teams play.

—A lot of running backs would like to be in a “slump” like the one David Johnson is in now. After gaining at least 83 yards in five straight games, including going over 100  yards in three straight, Johnson has a combined 240 rushing yards in his last four games. Sixty yards per game is respectable but not dominant. The Redskins will gladly sign up for that going in but the Cards will want to get him going against Washington’s leaky rushing defense.

—I think the Redskins will be able to pressure Palmer but Johnson probably has a big day on tap. Unlike some other teams who have played the Redskins this year, if the Cardinals get a good running game going they won’t abandon it. On the other side of the ball, the Redskins’ offense will be slowed down but not shut down. My prediction, which I make with no hesitation but without much confidence:

Redskins 27, Cardinals 21

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Arizona State punter Michael Turk dominates the bench press at NFL Combine

Arizona State punter Michael Turk dominates the bench press at NFL Combine

As far as reputations go in the NFL, punters are not generally known as the tough, strong guys on the team.

Arizona State punter Michael Turk is working to change that.

At the NFL Combine on Thursday, Turk stepped up to the bench press with 225 pounds on the bar waiting for him. What did he do? Just casually ripped off 25 reps.

Yes, you are seeing that correctly. A punter just put up 25 reps on the bench press. That number is impressive as is, for anyone of any position. However, let's put it in context to show just how strong Turk is.

Jadaveon Clowney, Chandler Jones and Rob Gronkowski are all known as some of the strongest humans to ever hit the football field. Their bench reps? 21, 22 and 23, respectively. Michael Turk, the punter, out-did them

Turk will need his legs to impress teams and scouts as he looks to head to the NFL, but he clearly has plenty of power in the upper body as well. If whatever team he lands on wants to run a fake punt, defenders won't have an easy time taking him down.

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Report: Trent Williams wants a new deal or a trade from Redskins

Report: Trent Williams wants a new deal or a trade from Redskins

INDIANAPOLIS -- While recent meetings between Redskins head coach Ron Rivera and disgruntled left tackle Trent Williams helped repair the relationship between star player and team, the situation isn't resolved.

In fact, Williams still wants to be traded if he can't get a new contract, according to a new report from NFL Network.

Williams did not play a single snap for Washington in 2019. Not one. That came as the result of a cancer scare that he didn't believe was adequately handled by the Redskins medical staff. He also lost trust in former team president Bruce Allen. Importantly too, Williams wanted a new contract with lots of guaranteed money. 

Rivera has overhauled the Redskins medical staff and Allen is obviously gone from the team, but the contract hurdles remain. 

For the Redskins a new deal for Williams might not make a lot of sense. He will turn 32 in July and hasn't played a full 16-game season since 2013. He's also a great player, so perhaps an extension could make sense. 

The best read on the situation is Williams likely won't play on his current contract, which has one-year remaining and a salary-cap charge of $14.5 million. None of that money is guaranteed. 

Right now, it seems like both sides are playing nice. The Redskins don't want to come out and say they're not going to pay Trent. And Trent's side doesn't want to come out and demand a trade. The meetings with Rivera and Williams mattered in that a resolution that pleases both sides is possible. 

What seems impossible, or at least unlikely at this point, is that Williams wears the Burgundy and Gold this fall unless a new contract emerges.

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