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Need to Know: Redskins will be in search of takeaways vs. the Bears

Need to Know: Redskins will be in search of takeaways vs. the Bears

CHICAGO—Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, December 24, eight days before the Washington Redskins host the New York Giants. .


Today's schedule: Redskins vs. Bears 1:00

Days until: Giants @ Redskins, New Year’s Day 8; Wild card playoff round starts 14

Injuries of note:
LB Cravens (upper arm), CB Dunbar (concussion)
Questionable: TE Reed (shoulder), LB Compton (knee), OLB Kerrigan (elbow), DE Baker (ankle)
Final injury report

Final thoughts on Redskins vs. Bears

Reed likely out, spotlight on Davis: On Friday, the Redskins listed TE Jordan Reed as questionable. That designation means that there is better than a 50% chance the player will play. But according to multiple reports Reed will not suit up for the game. That is not surprising considering that he did not practice all week and that just five days ago he was in agony because of the shoulder. Vernon D,avis, who has had 10 receptions for just 71 yards in the three games that Reed has been out or limited and had a few drops against the Panthers, will need to step up.

Searching for takeaways: The Redskins have had one takeaway in their last three games and being on the minus side of the turnover ledger played a big part in them losing two of those games. Bears QB Matt Barkley has thrown seven interceptions in his five game appearances including three last week against the Packers. Also, Chicago has lost nine fumbles on the season. There will be opportunities there and the Redskins need to take advantage of them.

Improving their chances: As of right now, the website has the Redskins with a 26 percent chance of making the playoffs. If they beat the Bears that chance goes up to 42 percent. A win over the Giants on New Year’s Day would boot that to 72 percent. A lot of fans have checked out in the team’s playoff chances but they have a good percentage of their fate in their own hands. For the record has the Redskins with a 62 percent chance of beating the Bears

Prediction: Before last Monday night, I would have picked the Redskins to win today without hesitation. But after they laid that egg against the Panthers I have to hesitate. Even though each game, as Kirk Cousins likes to say, is its own entity it’s easy to see how there will be some carryover effect. I think that the night game-short week-road game cycle affected them against the Cowboys on Thanksgiving and I wouldn’t be surprised if it was evident today. But I think that the Redskins will find a way to slog through it. The Panthers have not been bad since their Week 7 bye, going 5-3 since then. The Bears have lost five of six. Rob Kelley gets 100 yards rushing, Cousins throws for about 250 and the defense does enough of the bend but don’t break thing to get the job done.

Redskins 24, Bears 20

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Redskins rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins teams up with Raiders' receiver Antonio Brown for an offseason workout

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Redskins rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins teams up with Raiders' receiver Antonio Brown for an offseason workout

With training camp right around the corner, Washington Redskins rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins teamed up with the most high-profile Oakland Raiders' offseason acquisition, wide receiver Antonio Brown. 

Brown and Haskins went through a private route session that featured some pretty impressive ball placement and one-handed snags. 

This isn't the first time Haskins and Brown have worked with each other. In 2018 Haskins spent his spring break on the beach in South Florida throwing to "AB" and Falcons wide receiver, Mohamed Sanu. 

Haskins has also got some work in with other NFL talent this offseason as just last week he posted a post-workout photo with Indianapolis Colts wide receiver, Parris Campbell Jr.; Haskins and Campbell were teammates at Ohio State last season.

There's an old adage that "you're only as good as the company you keep," if this is the case Redskins fans have a lot to look forward to from "Simba" this season. 


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10 Training Camp Questions: How dangerous is the Brandon Scherff contract situation?

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10 Training Camp Questions: How dangerous is the Brandon Scherff contract situation?

The Redskins report to training camp on July 24th, and for the next 10 days, JP Finlay will count down the 10 biggest questions the Redskins face going into the 2019 season.

10) Will the Redskins develop depth on the D-line?

9) Can the Redskins count on Montae Nicholson?

8) Want better offense? Get more out of the tight ends 

7) Will Jimmy Moreland actually win the slot CB job from Fabian Moreau?

6) After losing Reuben Foster, how's the Redskins LB situation?

5) Will potential match production for Redskins WRs?

When a team picks in the Top 10 of the NFL Draft, folks around the NFL expect that player to become a Pro Bowler. For Washington, that exact scenario unfolded with right guard Brandon Scherff. 


Selected fifth overall in 2015, the Redskins took Scherff to play right tackle and anchor the offensive line opposite Trent Williams. That idea quickly faded, helped by the emergence of Morgan Moses, and Scherff moved inside to play guard. For four years, it's worked out great, with Pro Bowl selections in 2016 and 2017. 

Scherff is a mauler in the best sense of the word. He has great footwork and Redskins head coach Jay Gruden has called the former Iowa Hawkeye the best pulling guard in the NFL. Scherff is strong and nasty, words that won't win beauty pageants but absolutely win in the trenches of the NFL. 

Considering all of that, a contract extension for Scherff should be easy. Right?


Currently in the final year of his rookie deal, multiple reports stretching over the last six weeks indicate that the organization is way off in their extension offers to Scherff. He might not command the biggest contract in the league, but he will get paid like a top three guard. In 2019, that means a lot of money.

Cowboys guard Zach Martin makes $14 million a year. Jaguars guard Andrew Norwell makes $13.3 million a year. Scherff might not get to Martin's salary, but he will probably get to Norwell, whether Washington pays it or not.

That means the Redskins need to pony up the cash now because as each day passes, the team is approaching an ugly set of options. Scherff and his representatives might continue to negotiate during the season, but it doesn't make a lot of sense. Once free agency becomes in view, players tend to wait for it. Just ask Kirk Cousins. 

In fact, the situation between Scherff and the Redskins has some resemblance to the Cousins saga from a few years ago. 

In that case, Washington low-balled their homegrown quarterback in their first set of negotiations. From there, things went sideways, and the team used consecutive franchise tags on Cousins before he finally left via free agency. 

If the Redskins can't get a deal done with Scherff, the team could use a franchise tag in 2020. But that's a dangerous game of roulette. 

The time to get a deal done with Scherff is now, if not last month. Redskins team president has said in the past that deadlines drive deals, but with Scherff, there is no exact deadline. He can decide to stop working on a contract extension at any moment, particularly once the pads come on at training camp. 

The Trent Williams holdout might be complicating things a bit, if Williams only wants more cash and the issue isn't about much more than that. The truth is a Scherff extension would actually free up cap space in the short term, as his signing bonus would be spread out over the life of the contract, and some of that salary cap relief could go to Williams right away. 

Williams' status isn't the hold up between Scherff and the Redskins. Whatever is the actual holdup best be resolved soon, or the Redskins are beginning down an all too familiar franchise path.