Need to Know: Five Redskins under pressure vs the Cardinals


Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, December 1, three days before the Washington Redskins play the Arizona Cardinals.


Today's schedule: Joe Barry news conference 12:40; Practice 1 p.m.; Jay Gruden and Sean McVay news conferences and open locker room after practice approx. 3 p.m.

Days until: Redskins @ Eagles 10; Panthers @ Redskins 18; Redskins @ Bears Christmas Eve 23

Injuries of note:
Did not practice:
TE Jordan Reed
Limited: G Brandon Scherff (ankle), OT Ty Nsekhe (ankle)
Full: LS Nick Sundberg
Wednesday injury report

Five Redskins under pressure against the Cardinals

RB Rob Kelley—After his worst game as the starter against the Cowboys (14 carries, 37 yards) Kelley will need to pick it up against the Cardinals, who have the No. 11 rushing defense in the NFL. He’s not to the point where he should be looking over his shoulder just yet but they are running out of games to let Kelley regain his stride.

G Brandon Scherff—Defensive end Calais Campbell made the Pro Bowl each of the last two seasons and he could be headed for his third straight. Scherff is looking to make his first Pro Bowl and if he can handle the 6-8, 282 lb. Campbell he could take a step in that direction. More importantly, if Scherff can handle the matchup the Redskins' running game will open up and Kirk Cousins will have more time to throw. 


MORE REDSKINS: Redskins pass defense getting lit up on third downs

TE Vernon Davis—My guess right now is that Jordan Reed will be on the field against the Cardinals but he will play only in certain situations and he won’t be asked to block. The “normal” tight end duties will fall on Davis. He did well filling in when Reed was out earlier this year and he will need to keep that up against Arizona.

LB Su’a Cravens—While it won’t be a one-on-one battle the whole day it may be that Cravens will be largely responsible for covering RB David Johnson out of the backfield. The second-year back also lines up in the slot and it wouldn’t be surprising to see Cravens follow him out there. Johnson had 103 yards receiving against the Falcons last week and Cravens will need to come up and make tackles on him.

RELATED: Redskins' TE Reed out of practice, two OL limited

CB Josh Norman—The lone Cardinals receiver who is having a good year is Larry Fitzgerald, who is averaging seven receptions for 71 yards per game. It seems likely that Norman will be assigned to shadowing him and if Norman can shut him down the Cardinals will have a tough time moving the ball through the air.

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