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Need to Know: Redskins' sizzling rushing game fizzles vs. Giants

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Need to Know: Redskins' sizzling rushing game fizzles vs. Giants

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, September 25, nine days before the Redskins host the Eagles.

Notes and numbers from Giants 32, Redskins 21

—After rushing for 343 yards in two games, the Redskins couldn’t get it going on the ground. They gained just 88 yards on 20 carries, a 4.4 average per carry. But their performance actually was worse than that. Their last carry of the night was a 26-yard draw by Chris Thompson on the last play of the game when the Giants were in a Hail Mary prevent defense. If you take out that run the numbers are 62 yards on 19 carries, a sad 3.3-yard average.

—Rashad Ross had a perfect too little, too late moment with his 101-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. The scoring return did break a streak of 75 consecutive Redskins games without a special teams touchdown. That had been the NFL’s longest active streak of games with no special teams TDs. It would have been nice if it had meant something but the game was well out of hand by that point in time.

—The Redskins had a stranglehold on the time of possession in their first two games, holding it for over 37 minutes each game. They held it for only 28:30 today. The Giants managed to give them a dose of their own medicine by sticking with running the ball. They had 31 rushing attempts even though they averaged just 2.7 yards per carry.

—The Redskins defense didn’t play poorly overall. But over the last two games they have a combined one sack and zero takeaways. They got away with producing no game-changing plays on defense against the Rams. The team couldn’t survive the inability of the defense to give a struggling offense a short field to work with.

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Today’s schedule: Off day

Days until: Eagles @ Redskins 9; Redskins @ Falcons 16; Redskins @ Jets 23

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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

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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.

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