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Players on the Redskins' roster bubble, offensive edition

Players on the Redskins' roster bubble, offensive edition

A couple of weeks ago I looked at the players who are locks to make the Redskins’ 53-man roster. There are 39 players (18 offense, 18 defense, 3 specialists) who are going through the offseason program working on refining their games and not on ensuring that they have jobs after the September 2 cut to 53.

There also are players who don’t have a realistic shot at making the roster. These players are fighting for one of the 10 practice squad jobs or, failing that, a shot at making another team’s roster or at least getting a call when a team needs an injury replacement.

RELATED: The Redskins week that was

In between, there are the players on the bubble. They have a legitimate shot at making the 53 but they are not sure things. Some of these players must prove that they have recovered from injuries while others, like some of the late-round draft picks, need to show that they have what it takes to make it in the NFL.

Here are the offensive players on the bubble watch. We’ll look at the bubble on defense later this week.

Offense (12)

O-line: Tackles Vinston Painter and John Kling, C Chase Roullier

Painter is the fourth tackle right now but he will have to beat out the massive Kling (6-8, 320) to hang on to it. It looks like Roullier has a path to a roster spot but he will have to do a lot between now and September to convince Jay Gruden that he is a viable backup to Spencer Long.

MORE REDSKINS: Will the train stay on the tracks at Redskins Park?

Wide receiver/tight end: WR’s Maurice Harris, Ryan Grant, Robert Davis, and Brian Quick, TE’s Jeremy Sprinkle, Niles Paul, and Derek Carrier

We have the two extremes of the bubble here. Harris is nearly a lock but he must fight off two of the other three to ensure his spot. On the other end is Carrier, who is caught up in a numbers game with Sprinkle and Paul, tight ends who are0 much better bets to end up on the 53 behind Jordan Reed and Vernon Davis.

Backs: RB’s Mack Brown and Keith Marshall

You will note that Matt Jones, who was the unquestioned No. 1 back a year ago, is not even on the bubble. His decision to skip OTAs likely has sealed his destiny to end up on the waiver wire. Marshall is on the edge of the bubble but if he can stay healthy the 2016 seventh-round pick could have a shot.  

Stay up to date on the Redskins! Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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After releasing Martez Carter the Redskins are thin at running back

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Associated Press

After releasing Martez Carter the Redskins are thin at running back

The Redskins are very thin at running back right now. 

Today at practice the Redskins had three running backs on the field. Rob Kelley and Kapri Bibbs are fully healthy while Chris Thompson is limited as he recovers from a broken leg he suffered last November. 

Injuries have hit the depth at running back. The most recent casualty was Martez Carter, who was waived with an injury designation. 

The move was surprising since Carter had some good runs against the Jets during their preseason game on Thursday and he did not appear to be injured during the game. 

Coach Jay Gruden did not offer any more details as to what the injury to Carter was, only that he is no longer with the team. 

Also sidelined with lower leg injuries are Samaje Perine and Byron Marshall. According to media reports, Perine will be out one week and Marshall for two to four. Gruden would not confirm the timelines, saying only that they are undergoing treatment and the timetable for their returns in unknown. 

The Redskins will bring in some running backs to try out on Sunday. They will need at least one and probably two in order to get through the upcoming preseason game against the Broncos on Friday. 

In other personnel moves, the Redskins waived linebacker Jeff Knox and defensive end Jalen Wilkerson and signed offensive tackle Kendall Calhoun, defensive back Darius Hillary, and wide receiver Allenzae Staggers. 

More Redskins news

-Redskins vs Jets: Must-see photos from the game
-AnalysisFive Redskins-Jets observations

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCS and on Instagram @RichTandler

 

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RB roster battle is fun to watch, but injuries will force tough decisions

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USA Today Sports

RB roster battle is fun to watch, but injuries will force tough decisions

Too much attention gets paid to roster construction during training camp. Projecting the 53-man roster has become its own August cottage industry, much like Bracketology flourishes in March.

The truth of the matter is regardless of projections, more than anything else, injuries dictate what players ultimately land on the Week 1 roster. 

Right now, that is apparent with the Redskins' running back position. Derrius Guice headlined the group after Washington grabbed him in the second round of April's NFL Draft. After injuring his knee in the first preseason game, however, Guice won't play in 2018. 

That means the other five guys battling for a spot now move up in the pecking order. Rob Kelley and Chris Thompson will make the team, even though Thompson is yet to play in the preseason and is still battling back from a broken leg last November. 

Samaje Perine, Byron Marshall, and Kapri Bibbs played with the 'Skins last season and were locked in a tense battle for spots. Then, Perine and Marshall got hurt Thursday night. Perine is expected to miss a week, while Marshall could miss up to four weeks. 

Can both Perine and Marshall still make the Redskins 53-man roster? 

Of course. 

Is that a certainty? Definitely not. 

Bibbs gets a major opportunity now, and he has looked good so far in camp and preseason games. Additionally, for Bibbs, it often gets lost that he actually played well in Washington last season. In three games he had more than 200 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown. 

If Marshall truly needs a month to get his lower leg injury settled, that won't be until after the deadline to trim rosters. The Redskins could move him to the injured reserve list before then, but that would mean Marshall would not be eligible to play for the Burgundy and Gold until Week 7. Also, the team only gets two moves off of IR for the season. Would they want to use one on their fourth running back?

Perine's injury situation seems less severe, and barring a setback or further injury, he will be on the roster. 

That means Thompson, Kelley, Perine, and Bibbs. Maybe Marshall too, but that will be determined by his rehab schedule. 

Martez Carter made impressive runs against the Jets, and while it seems easy to dismiss his roster candidacy, remember Rob Kelley was an undrafted free agent out of a small Louisiana school just a few years ago.

Complicating matters is the reality that Washington's front office is absolutely going to be watching what other NFL teams do at roster cut time. Other running backs could emerge, especially from teams like Detroit that already have a crowded running back room and added more players via the draft. 

Coaches like to say competition on the field is what makes roster decisions. And yes, that's a big part of it. The violent nature of the NFL, the ultimate Next Man Up league, plays a huge factor as well. 

Trimming a roster because of injuries doesn't mean there aren't mistakes made. It sure looks like Washington screwed up last year by cutting QB Nate Sudfeld, even though the team felt compelled to keep extra offensive linemen. 

It might be trite, but the NFL is a long, grueling season. The Redskins know that. The team lost more players to injury than any other NFL squad last season. 

So when looking at 53-man roster projections, know there are two more preseason games left, and sad but likely, more injuries to come. 

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