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Need to Know: Redskins have just enough salary cap space to get through the season

Need to Know: Redskins have just enough salary cap space to get through the season

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, December 19, one day before the Washington Redskins host the Philadelphia Eagles.

Three and out—

1. Yesterday I tweeted out a link to my post about Jay Gruden saying that despite the team’s 3-11 record he won’t play younger players just to see what they can do. A barrage of tweets deriding Gruden’s attitude followed. The bottom line is that the man is paid to win games. Unless he has somehow been relieved of that responsibility, that’s what he needs to do. Spencer Long getting a game or a few series is going to have a very minimal effect on the 2015 Redskins. Gruden should play the best players and that’s what it looks like he is doing.

2. One young player who will get some more playing time is Phillip Thomas. Brandon Meriweather did not practice yesterday and the word is that he will be out the last two games. Both Gruden and Jim Haslett have been impressed with him. Haslett said that Thomas really cut down on the mistakes a lot last week in his second start. Certainly nobody is willing to say that he’s the 2015 starter but it seems that he’s earning himself a shot.

3. Tarik El-Bashir wrote about the contrast between the Eagles’ ability to get the ball into the end zone by means other than the run and the pass (10 return touchdowns) and Washington getting shut out in that department. The Redskins are 26th in the league in scoring with 257 points. If they had scored 70 points on returns they would be tied for 12th.

Out: The Redskins are going to make it across the finish line on fumes when it comes to salary cap space. According to the public record on the NFLPA website they are $18,631 under the cap. To compare, the team with the second-lowest amount of cap room is the Giants, who have almost $325,000 in space, about 17 times the amount the Redskins do. The team with the most space is the Jaguars, who have almost $22 million in space. The average remaining cap rom per team is $5.9 million. Teams can carry over cap room from one year to the next so the Redskins will be at something of a disadvantage in free agency. It looks like they will enter free agency with about $9 million in cap space with the ability to create as much as $20 million more by making some roster moves.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Walkthrough practice at Redskins Park; no media availability

Days until: Cowboys @ Redskins 9; 2015 NFL Draft 132; 2015 season opening Sunday 268

If you have any questions about what's going on at Redskins Park, hit me up in the comments. I'll answer all questions as soon as I can get to them. And I'm always on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Adrian Peterson's kids and the Internet are why he designed that shoe-in-facemask shirt

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@AdrianPeterson

Adrian Peterson's kids and the Internet are why he designed that shoe-in-facemask shirt

Luke Kuechly was just trying to make a tackle.

During the Redskins-Panthers Week 6 matchup, the Carolina star dove to wrap up Adrian Peterson and, like many, many, many before him, failed to bring the RB down.

Unfortunately for Kuechly, something else happened on the play that is going to help it live on much longer than your routine defensive mistake.

That something, of course, is that Peterson's cleat came off in the collision and lodged itself in Kuechly's facemask. And the uniqueness of that is why Peterson is now selling T-shirts commemorating it:

"I thought it was pretty cool," Peterson said Thursday in the 'Skins' locker room when asked why he felt moved to create the shirts, of which there are three to choose from on his site. "My kids got a big kick out of it. Obviously, the Internet did as well."

No. 26 has carried the ball 2,651 times in his career but said he's never had an attempt go like that one that involved his footwear and Kuechly's headgear.

However, because he's a legend, Peterson was able to deal with the lost shoe and still go on to pick up a nice chunk of yards as well as a first down.

"As I'm breaking free and I feel my shoe coming off, the only thing on my mind is, 'OK, let me make sure I plant my foot in a way where I don't slip,'" he explained. "That was the only thing I was focusing on on that play."

Will Kuechly get a shirt, though? After all, without him, they wouldn't exist in the first place.

"I might send him one," Peterson said.

What's lower: the odds of Kuechly wearing that shirt should Peterson ever send it along or the odds of another shoe finding its way into the linebacker's facemask? 

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Crowder, Richardson headline long list of injury questions for Redskins during Dallas week

Crowder, Richardson headline long list of injury questions for Redskins during Dallas week

Redskins head coach Jay Gruden joked about optimism when going over the team's injury report, but that might be the coach's only way to deal with the current situation. 

Receivers Jamison Crowder and Paul Richardson did not practice on Thursday, and their status for Sunday seems murky at best. Crowder was spotted at Redskins Park using a scooter to keep his weight off his injured ankle, and while Richardson was seen walking around, his knee remains an issue. 

There was some good news, however, that Chris Thompson and Shawn Lauvao practiced, albeit in a limited role. 

Getting Thompson back on the field would be a big help for the Redskins offense, and alleviate some pressure off Adrian Peterson. The future Hall of Famer did not practice Wednesday as he is dealing with a host of injuries, including his shoulder and knee. 

The one player Gruden said he did not have optimisim in a return this week was rookie safety Troy Apke. There has been some conversation about possibly moving him to the injured reserve, but that has not happened yet. 

The Redskins currently have one open roster spot as the team released veteran defensive lineman Ziggy Hood earlier this week. With all the concerns at wideout, maybe Washington uses that spot to bring up a practice squad player to support the unit. 

UPDATE (5:20 p.m.): The Redskins announced that they have elevated receiver Jehu Chesson from their practice squad to the active roster.

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