Here is what you need to know on this Friday, December 30, two days before the Washington Redskins host the New York Giants.
—Today's schedule: Practice 12:00; Jay Gruden press conference, player availability after practice approx. 1:30
—Days until: Giants @ Redskins, New Year’s Day 2; Wild card playoff round starts 8; Division playoff round start 15
Injuries of note:
Injured reserve: S Whitner (quad)
Out: CB Dunbar (concussion), LB Cravens (upper arm)
Limited: TE Reed (shoulder), RB Kelley (knee), DE Baker (ankle)
Latest injury report
Five Redskins under pressure against the Giants
QB Kirk Cousins—This is, in essence, a playoff game for the Redskins and those are the games in which quarterbacks are judged. If he doesn’t play well and the Redskin lose, this game and the actual playoff game that the Redskins lost last year (Cousins didn’t play particularly well against the Packers) will be part of the discussion as his new contract is debated and negotiated.
WR DeSean Jackson—He’s another player who will be up for a new contract and needs a strong finish. But within the context of the game, he will need a big catch or two for the Redskins to generate some offense, especially if Jordan Reed isn’t at 100 percent. It looks like Giants cornerback Janoris Jenkins may sit with an injury and that could open the door for Jackson.
DE Chris Baker—In the Week 3 game in the Meadowlands, Baker got a hard sack of Eli Manning. Before he got hit, Manning was on a roll; after it he was very ordinary. Another similar sack would get Manning out of the game in a hurry as Ben McAdoo would not be willing to risk injury to his quarterback if it looks like he is in danger.
CB Josh Norman—It seems unlikely that Odell Beckham will play the whole game but all he needs is one play to put the Redskins in a hole. Norman will be on him and when he can’t prevent Beckham from making a catch he needs to make sure he gets the receiver to the ground.
S Duke Ihenacho—Not many liked the play of Donte Whitner but he was starting over Ihenacho. This week it will be Ihenacho getting the snaps at strong safety with Whitner on injured reserve. Ihenacho needs to show that he’s dependable. He also needs to fix one big problem. Ihenacho leads the team in missed tackles with 15. Nobody else has more than 11. If he is going to lock down the position for as long as the Redskins’ season lasts, he needs to shore up that area.
Tandler on Twitter
If the #Redskins make the playoffs, five of the bottom 10 teams in the NFL in total defense will be playing on: WAS, MIA, OAK, KC, ATL— Rich Tandler (@TandlerNBCS) December 29, 2016
In case you missed it
- Gruden: Reed is 'on the right track'
- Beckham, Norman glad matchup hype has faded
- Gruden says Jackson has not lost any of his speed
- Beckham on playing Redskins: It's hard not to look past this game
- Joe Barry '1000' percent focused on Giants despite growing noise
- The most engaging Redskins stories of 2016
- Gruden not worried about Josh Norman vs Odell Beckham
- Barry: Cravens' rookie season 'frustrating' for everyone
- Why the Redskins should take a D-lineman in the first round
- Redskins don't care who plays for Giants