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Ravens game is vital for Redskins’ bubble players

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Ravens game is vital for Redskins’ bubble players

According to Joe Theismann, the Redskins’ preseason game against the Ravens this Saturday is the most important game of the career of Robert Griffin III. That is a debatable position since Griffin has started a game that clinched the NFC East title for the Redskins and started a playoff game the following week.

But there is no question that Saturday is very important to a few dozen players who are fighting for the last half dozen or so roster spots that are up for grabs. Redskins coach Jay Gruden said that while the team has given plenty of thought to the process if reducing the roster from its current 89 players to no more than 75 by 4 p.m. on Tuesday and again down to 53 a week from tomorrow.

"You're thinking about it,” said Gruden. “You're always trying to think ahead, but you don't want to try to predetermine cuts, that’s for sure. You want to let these guys have a chance to make plays and give them a chance to show what they have on special teams on game day and maybe change your mind.

“I think everybody has got a preconceived notion of ‘this guy, this guy or this guy,’ but a lot can change on Saturday night given the opportunity they get and the plays they make. So, there's a lot riding on this game for a lot of people. Those people say these games aren't meaningful. It's very meaningful to a lot of guys and very, very important to a lot of guys. We expect them to come out and battle for their NFL lives because that's what they're doing."

The problem that the guys on the wrong side of the bubble have is that they will have a very limited opportunity to show what they can do on Saturday. It’s the “dress rehearsal” preseason game. The starters on both sides of the ball are likely to play the entire first half and it wouldn’t be surprising if Robert Griffin III and the starting offense stick around a series or two into the third quarter. That means that there will be two or three dozen snaps at most for the bubble players to split up. Every play will be vital. One mistake could cost them a job.

Or a mistake could cost them a shot at sticking around to get one more shot. Of the 75 players who will be on the roster for the fourth preseason game, about 30 of them, the starters and front-line reserves, will either not put pads or will play very limited snaps. The 45 or so who will play get their last chance to make a case to make the Redskins or perhaps at least one of the 10 practice squad spots. They also will get a chance to put some good work on film and that could persuade another team to pick them up if they don’t make the Redskins’ 53.

But if they don’t make it past the Tuesday cut, they won’t get that chance. 

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

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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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