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OPEN THREAD: Looking deeper into RG3's concussion

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OPEN THREAD: Looking deeper into RG3's concussion

Anyone watching last Thursday's Redskins win over the Lions saw that QB Robert Griffin III took a number of big hits. In fact, Griffin was blasted on six of his eight drop backs, an absurd number for a team trying to get its starting offense preseason work.

The factors involved seem obvious: a new right side of the offensive line with basically no NFL experience, and a journeyman left tackle injury replacement that is not a starting caliber player. Add the O-line woes to an aggressive Detroit front, and there is a bad recipe for RG3. Combine that with Griffin's struggles in the pocket, and an injury seems almost predetermined.

What is known is Griffin got hurt. What remains a mystery is when, and specifically what play, saw Griffin concussed.

"I don’t know. Can’t tell you," Redskins coach Jay Gruden said when asked what play resulted in RG3's concussion.

More from the coach: "The concussion, whether it is a concussion, whether it is not a concussion, it is up to the doctor to decide whether he thinks it is or not. Sometimes a player says he doesn’t have one, but if he is showing signs of a concussion then the doctor will recommend that he go sees a doctor. That’s basically what has happened."

MORE 'SKINS: 5 PLAYERS WHO NEED TO PRACTICE WELL, OR COULD BE CUT 

In a fashion that seems all too familiar with the Redskins and RG3, the news surrounding the injury sounds bizarre. In the hours following the win over the Lions, some reports suggested Griffin did not have a concussion, rather the Redskins wanted to keep their starting QB from talking to the media. If true, it's a shortsighted strategy, as Griffin is likely obligated to speak with reporters this week during practice.

Gruden has made it clear his plans on playing Griffin this Saturday against Baltimore, assuming his QB is cleared through the NFL concussion protocol. While Griffin certainly needs the work - the Redskins starting offense has looked between bad and mediocre through two preseason games - how many other teams around the league would play a QB coming off a concussion in a preseason game? Isn't the risk too high for a meaningless August contest?

While expressing concern for his QB throughout this most recent injury scare, Gruden has also been fair to point out that football is a tough sport and QBs are going to get hit. Even if Trent Williams resumes his starting left tackle spot Saturday night against the Ravens, the Redskins will still have Morgan Moses and Brandon Scherff lined up to the right side. So far, that combination has not looked ready for the NFL, and in Baltimore they can expect heavy pressure from Pro Bowl caliber players like Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil.

"We need to fix a lot, obviously. We are working with a new right side of our line and had some new tight end issues going on in there and a new left tackle," Gruden said. "So we had some guys that needed the work and it wasn’t very effective to say the least." 

Now that there appears to be some question if RG3 sustained a concussion, or just showed consussion-like symptoms, the events of last Thursday change ever so slightly. Regardless, the QB was battered against the Lions. Will that change against Baltimore?  Seems unlikely.

And yet, what option does Gruden have? The Redskins organization has committed to Griffin as their starting quarterback, and the offensive line that showed up Thursday will largely be the same that shows up Week 1 against Miami. The quarterback - whoever it is - will get hit.

Could that be helped by better pocket awareness? It does seem Griffin is too quick to turn his back and try to run away from pressure in the backfield, opposed to stepping up or sliding over in the pocket, moves that more aware QBs often make. It's possible RG3 wants to rely on his athleticism that got him out of danger in previous seasons, and that after three years of sustaining injuries in the NFL, that level of athleticism is no longer there. 

"It’s all a process, a work-in-process," Gruden said of Griffin. "The key is as you’re going through your process of reading the coverage, transition that and having the peripheral to step up in the pocket, that’s something all young quarterbacks have to work through and he will."

Gruden seems confident RG3 can get better in the pocket. Griffin will need to, quick, or the results are unlikely to be pretty. The line must play better too, though that may not happen fast enough for the Redskins or RG3.

Disagree? Let us know what you think in the comments.

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

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USA Today Sports

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. 

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Reflections on Rich Tandler and a life well lived

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NBC Sports Washington

Reflections on Rich Tandler and a life well lived

I haven’t felt this way since my father passed last April. I’m not comparing the two, at all, but there were some similarities.

Rich Tandler had life experience. Few people accomplish what he did; total life reinvention. 

Think about that. 

After raising his two successful children and a lifetime in the restaurant business, Tandler created a blog. That blog became big enough to eventually become a full-time job, and over time, put him on television and send him all over the world. 

That’s wild. 

We get so caught up in the “startups” and “disruptors” from Silicon Valley that we missed a true internet success story in Rich Tandler. Our world has become extra cynical. The loudest snark wins, especially on the internet. 

Tandler didn’t trade in those currencies. 

He provided good, quality information. He provided insight and analysis from six decades of obsessing over a football team. 

And fans loved him for it. 

The outpouring from folks that read "Need to Know" or listened to the podcast has been incredible. I’ve been flooded with messages from people, and one overwhelming response is that while they didn’t really know Tandler, they feel like they did.

Well, I was lucky to know him pretty well. And his persona on air was the same way off air. 

Tandler helped me a in a lot of ways. I can be impulsive and have a temper, Tandler would calm me down. Whenever I had something important to say, news to break or a sharp angle of criticism, I would run it by Tandler first. Sometimes, maybe often, I would say too much, and he would reign me in. 

Tandler loved pointing out mistakes. If the universe gave honorary degrees for pointing out minor math errors in salary cap blog posts, Tandler would have a Ph.D. 

He was smart and he was sharp. Good natured but feisty. 

He could dish it out plenty in a media room full of alphas. And he literally dished it out; Tandler controlled all the plastic utensils and paper plates that every media member used at Redskins Park. When we were running low on forks, Tandler would put out some not too subtle calls to action. 

I think for a while he considered the podcast an annoyance, but somewhere along the way, we had a breakthrough. He realized its potential, and everywhere we went, listeners came up and told us how much they enjoyed it. 

That made an impact on RT. And seemingly overnight, he was all in. That’s when things really started to gain steam. Wherever I am in my career, Tandler played a huge role in it. 

But that kind of doesn’t matter now. We will keep the pod going but it will never be the same. Not better, not worse, but way, way different. Same thing with writing and TV. The show will go on, but it won't be the same. It will never be the same. 

In the hours since I learned of Tandler’s passing, I’ve done some reading. I drank a bunch. And I ended up landing on some YouTube videos. 

The one I kept going back to was Jimmy V’s famous ESPY speech. Before he died, Jimmy V implored us all to think, laugh and cry every day, and that would lead to a good, full life. 

If there was ever a dude that laughed, it was Rich Tandler. 

His belly laugh was contagious, and his wit was superior. There were the wacky Tandler’s Got Jokes, and the sly one liners about players, plays and our road antics. 

It wasn’t all laughter either. Tandler was smart as hell, and he was always thinking about new ways to present content for Redskins fans. 

Seriously, our organization employs an army of young and talented digital-first thinkers. And Tandler generated more web traffic than all of them. He constantly tried to figure out why people would read something, or the optimal time for us to drop a new podcast. 

Where I’m an idea guy, Tandler was all execution. I’m a terrible planner and constantly late. Tandler would be on time and busting my chops about our lack of schedule. It’s just how we operated. 

As for crying, Tandler didn't do it much. I did see him tear up from laughing a few times, and once because it was real windy when we were taping a segment and something got in his eye. 

I’m not much of a crier either. I’m glad that Jimmy V was, but it’s just not me. 

Thinking about Tandler though in the last 36 hours, there have been some truly hard moments. He was kind and gracious. A true gentleman. 

He never took personal shots at the team we cover, or their front office. Plenty do. He would certainly say when things were bad, and say it loudly. He was binary in a world full of context. 

He was a good dude. He was my coworker, my partner and my friend. 

And damn if it isn’t getting dusty in here all of a sudden.