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Need to Know: Looking ahead—The Redskins' core defensive players in 2020

Need to Know: Looking ahead—The Redskins' core defensive players in 2020

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, July 10, 17 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp in Richmond on July 27.


The Redskins last played a game 190 days ago; they will open the 2017 season against the Eagles at FedEx Field in 62 days.

Days until:

—Franchise tag contract deadline (7/17) 7
—Preseason opener @ Ravens (8/10) 31
—Roster cut to 53 (9/2) 54

The Redskins core in 2020, defense

It is the season for looking into the future, both to the 2017 season and beyond. 

Let’s look at the Redskins three years from now. Who will still be here? Which players will be top performers? Here’s a possible snapshot of the team going into training camp in the year 2020. We’re looking at the defense today; we covered the offense yesterday.

The terms used here largely are self-explanatory but if you want some details look at the post from last year that looks three years down the road.

Defense (age as of Week 1 2020)

Potential blue chip players: Josh Norman (32), Jonathan Allen (25)
Solid starters: Ryan Kerrigan (32), Su’a Cravens (25), D. J. Swearinger (29), Bashaud Breeland (28), Ryan Anderson (26), Zach Brown (30)
Potential starters: Kendall Fuller (25), Preston Smith (27), Mason Foster (31), Will Compton (30), Trent Murphy (30)

Allen is here based on sheer projection. He was projected to be a top-10 pick, maybe even top-five, and he slid due to concerns that his shoulders may be an issue in five or six years. That won’t be a problem in 2020. Norman has been an All-Pro. He will be past his prime by the time 2020 comes around but with his work ethic he still should be effective.

The only one on the solid starters category in whom I have a lot of confidence is Kerrigan. He will still be cranking out 10-sack seasons although the team may be in search of an eventual replacement. I think Brown will be a solid starter somewhere, but he is on a one-year contract. Breeland is in a pivotal year and the rest have potential but a lot to prove.

When I did this exercise a year ago, Smith was coming off a very strong finish to his rookie year and he was listed as a potential blue chipper. After an inconsistent 2016, he may or may not have a long-term future. Fuller struggled as a rookie but the organization has confidence that he will settle in. Foster and Compton are both free agents after this season and the team could decide to pick just one to move forward with. This is a big year for Murphy, also in the last year of his contract.

Contracts: Norman, Allen, Kerrigan, and Anderson are under contract through 2020. Cravens, Swearinger, and Fuller are signed through the 2019 season. Smith is in the fold through 2018 and Breeland, Brown, Foster, Compton, and Murphy will be free agents next spring.

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.