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Redskins' 2012 playoff run gives Riley confidence

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Redskins' 2012 playoff run gives Riley confidence

Inside linebacker Perry Riley is confident that the Redskins can make the postseason. Why? Because he was on a Redskins team that did it before. He looks back to the team’s last division title in 2012.

“Knowing that we were 3-6 and won seven straight you know you can do it. It’s been done—we’ve done,” said Riley, who is in his sixth NFL season. “It’s not like [something abstract], it’s something that has been done, can be done. We’ve done it. So the mindset is a lot more confident than it was back in 2012 when we started winning."

Riley's contribution to that playoff run will have to wait a little while. He will miss three to six weeks after suffering a stress fracture of the fifth metatarsal bone on the right foot. Riley spoke to reporters after sustaining the injury but before the diagnosis of the fracture and multiple missed games. 

“We should be able to win five in a row. Looking at the records and and the teams, we feel like we have a great chance of running the table and getting in the playoffs at 10-6 and letting the rest take care of itself.”

The Redskins are in better shape now than they were at the same point three years ago. They are currently 5-6, tied for first in the division with the Giants with an edge over New York in the tiebreakers. After 11 games in 2012 they were also 5-6 but they were tied with the Cowboys for second place a full two games behind the 7-4 Giants. They were in the hunt but they needed help in the form of Giants losses.

This year they don’t need help. If they win out, they are in. Even if they don’t go 5-0 the rest of the season they could get in. That’s the advantage of being in first place.

“We control our destiny,” said Riley. “We can go as far as we take ourselves. We know the importance of this last month of football. We’re going to do everything in our power to get it done for the fans.”

After two years of playing out the string starting prior to Thanksgiving, Riley appreciates where the Redskins are.

“It’s definitely a good feeling to come into December and have meaningful games and also be in first place,” said Riley. “We see the importance of it. This team is as hungry as any team I’ve been on since I’ve been here. We want the playoff berth, we want the home game, we want to win the division, we want to win out. You can feel it. The way we come to work, the way we practice, everyone pays attention in meetings, don’t have the little side conversations. Everybody’s locked in, you can feel it from everybody. It’s not just one or two people, not just the vets. Young guys, everybody is paying attention to detail.”

Riley is having surgery done to get a pin put in to repair the fractured bone. He will undergo a few weeks of rehab and the team medical staff will assess his condition from there. With Keenan Robinson still out with a shoulder injury, Mason Foster will play in Riley's place. 

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Injuries to Marshall and Perine will open the door for Kapri Bibbs to make the Redskins

Injuries to Marshall and Perine will open the door for Kapri Bibbs to make the Redskins

Following the Redskins' Week 2 preseason win over the Jets on Thursday, Jay Gruden said both Byron Marshall and Samaje Perine were "OK" after the two running backs each left the game with injuries. Marshall's was labeled a lower-leg issue, while Perine's injury was called a twisted ankle.

Timetables for their recoveries were then reported on Friday, and while the two members of the backfield escaped anything too severe, they will each be sidelined for decent chunks of time.

Perine will miss a week, according to Mike Garafolo. Marshall, meanwhile, is looking at a longer two-to-four week recovery, per Tom Pelissero. Those pieces of news hurt them in more ways than one.

Derrius Guice's torn ACL in Week 1 of the team's exhibition schedule meant that Marshall and Perine both had a big-time opportunity to step up and earn a spot on Washington's 53-man roster, spots that were harder to envision for them when Guice was healthy.

Overall, the two were slated to compete with Kapri Bibbs for what will likely be two spaces on the depth chart behind the absolutely safe Chris Thompson and Rob Kelley. Now, though, they'll be forced to sit until they're healed up, giving Bibbs more chances in practice and the two remaining August contests to earn Jay Gruden's trust.

Against New York, Bibbs struggled on the ground but led the offense with seven grabs, including a 29-yard gain off a screen play. That performance absolutely brought him closer in the race with Marshall, who scored vs. the Patriots a week earlier. Next, he'll need to prove he can run effectively between the tackles vs. the Broncos in Week 3, which will put some heat on Perine as well.

The 'Skins have 15 days left until they have to finalize their regular season roster. As things stand now amongst the running backs, Bibbs presently has a real shot at stealing a job from the two shelved RBs. But with the way this race has unfolded thus far, that can all change in a split second. 

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Redskins 53-man roster projection, ver. 2.0

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Redskins 53-man roster projection, ver. 2.0

<< Click here to see Redskins 53-man roster projection ver. 2.0 >>

The Redskins are halfway through the preseason and the first two games may have done more to muddy the waters when it comes to who will make the 53-man roster than they did to clarify things. 

Here is my second training camp prediction of who will make the final cut for the Redskins. See where players are safe and where the hot spots are for competition. 

Among the big battles taking shape:

—An injury and one player’s impressive preseason have juggled the wide receiver depth chart. 

—With Orlando Scandrick cut, the cornerback position looks set but the rookies had better not do anything to shake the coaches’ confidence in them. 

—There are seven safeties who may be worthy of roster spots, but only four are likely to make it. 

—Despite the Hogan-led rally last night, it still looks like the roster will have only two QBs. 

<< Click here to see Redskins 53-man roster projection ver. 2.0 >>

Redskins 2018 news:

-Redskins vs Jets: Must-see photos from the game
-Analysis: Five 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