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Need to Know: Redskins on a good streak in win and in games

Need to Know: Redskins on a good streak in win and in games

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, December 27, five days before the Washington Redskins host the New York Giants.

Timeline

Today's schedule: No availability

Days until: Giants @ Redskins, New Year’s Day 5; Wild card playoff round starts 11; Division playoff round start 18

Injuries of note:
S Whitner (quad), C Long (ankle), CB Dunbar (concussion), TE Reed (shoulder), WR Jackson (jaw), RB Kelley (knee), LB Cravens (upper arm)
Gruden Monday injury report

Ramping up for Redskins vs Giants

—Since 1999 the Redskins have had five games where a win would put them in the playoffs in Week 16 or Week 17. They are 5-0 in those games. After the Lions loss last night, the Redskins will get a chance for a sixth-straight win to get in.

—I’ll go into a little more depth about the Giants tomorrow but a couple of things jump out. They are minus-five in turnovers; no other team with a winning record is worse than minus-one. On the season the Giants have committed 27 turnovers, eight in their last three games. A Redskins team that just picked off five passes is going to be looking for errant passes from Eli Manning, who has the third worst interception percentage among qualifying quarterbacks who haven’t been benched.

—The Giants haven’t been able to get much traction in the rushing game, ranking 29th in yards, 30th in average per attempt, and dead last in rushing touchdowns. Eli to wide receivers Odell Beckham and Sterling Shepard accounts for just under 40 percent of New York’s offense.

—For a long while this year it looked like no Redskin would go over 1000 yards receiving for the season. Now, two receivers have a very good chance. DeSean Jackson has 971 yards so he is just one Kirk Cousins rifle shot deep down the middle from going over 1000. Pierre Garçon has 945 yards; he has not had fewer than 55 yards in any of his last four games. The Redskins have not had two receivers go over 1000 in the same season since Albert Connell and Michael Westbrook did it in 1999.

—You probably already know this but here are some numbers to back it up. The Redskins are the worst team in the NFL on third and long. On third and 10 yards or more the league converts at a 21.2 percent clip. The Redskins’ opponents have converted at a 35.2 percent rate. The only surprising thing about these stats, via the indispensable Pro Football Reference, is that the Redskins actually do stop teams on third and long nearly 65 percent of the time.

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Thomas Davis is excited for Reuben Foster's return: 'He was born to play the linebacker spot'

Thomas Davis is excited for Reuben Foster's return: 'He was born to play the linebacker spot'

Washington linebackers Thomas Davis and Reuben Foster are at two very different points in their respective NFL careers.

The former is entering his 15th NFL season and is on the tail-end of an incredible career, while the latter is still trying to find his place in the NFL. The two are separated by 11 years in age.

Yet, both linebackers are expected to have significant roles in Washington's defense come this fall, a team they have yet to play a snap for. In a Zoom conference call with local media on Friday, Davis shared his excitement for what Foster has the chance to bring to Washington's defense.

"Reuben is a physical specimen," Davis said. "I was telling somebody the other day you have people who are born to play a position. When you look at Reuben, he’s one of those guys. I feel like he was born to play the linebacker spot."

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It's been a long and windy road -- both on and off the field -- for Foster since Washington claimed him off of waivers in November of 2018.

Foster was released two years ago by San Francisco after two separate domestic violence accusations. Washington claimed the linebacker, yet he would not play for the team at all that season after immediately landing on the Commissioner's Exempt List.

Later that year, Foster's former girlfriend recanted her testimony on the first incident, and charges were dropped on the second. The linebacker got clearance from the NFL to play shortly after.

Foster returned to the field for OTAs in 2019, but his first practice with his new team ended rather quickly. On just the third snap of the session, Foster suffered a gruesome, non-contact knee injury, tearing multiple ligaments. His recovery took longer than usual, as he lost feeling in his toes in January -- months after the surgery. 

Earlier this week, Foster was removed from the active/PUP list and placed on the team's active roster, 21 months after he was originally claimed by Washington and 15 months after his devastating injury. Foster spoke with reporters shortly after Davis did on Friday, and opened up about his life from the past year and a half.

RELATED: WHAT ARE REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS FOR REUBEN FOSTER IN 2020?

If there's someone who can relate to Foster's rehab process, it's Davis. Over a 23-month span from 2009-2011, Davis suffered three (!!) separate ACL tears.

Yet, Davis bounced back from those injuries in tremendous fashion. Since returning from the final ACL tear in 2012, Davis has been extremely durable. Over that span, he's earned three Pro Bowl nods and was named to the NFL's All-Pro squad in 2015. Even at age 36, Davis racked up 112 tackles for the Chargers last season.

"Just seeing [Foster] make progress each and every day has truly been special," Davis said. "As a guy who has his own rehab story, to see Reuben being able to do the things he’s doing day in and day out, I’m extremely impressed and I’m excited for him."

With so many twists and turns in his young NFL career, Foster has finally reached the point where he can make football his top priority.

And now in Washington, he has someone he can look up to as a mentor in Davis.

“I try to talk to Reuben as much as I possibly can," Davis said. "Reuben, he’s excited, man. He’s energetic, he’s up-tempo. He’s always just ready to get back on the field as much as he possibly can when he was that opportunity. He’s just out there working hard and we’re just trying to constantly encourage him to continue to fight, continue to work and just let the chips fall where they may at the end of the day."

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SEE IT: This Washington Redwolves concept keeps team's identity intact

SEE IT: This Washington Redwolves concept keeps team's identity intact

Another day, another Washington Redwolves concept. 

Except this time, we may have found a winner. 

On Friday afternoon, an unaffiliated team account, @WashRedwolves posted a concept by Raymond Santiago that combines the classic Burgandy & Gold color scheme with the highly requested Redwolves logo.

Take a look:

RELATED: HOW THIS RED WOLVES DESIGN COULD BE A SIMPLE TRANSITION FOR WASHINGTON FANS

As you can see nothing really changed from the team's current uniform, just the Redwolves logo rather than the numbers they're currently rocking.

And that's absolutely fine. 

Because the team seems to be committed to keeping the identity intact as much as possible post-name change, less would serve as more. 

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