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Redskins' Cousins doesn't feel pressure, tunes out critics with HGTV


Redskins' Cousins doesn't feel pressure, tunes out critics with HGTV

Despite ragged individual performances the past two games and his Redskins struggling to stay relevant, Kirk Cousins insisted on Wednesday that he’s not feeling any additional pressure this week.

“There’s always pressure to play well,” Cousins said after practice at Redskins Park. “When you play in the NFL as a quarterback in a place like Washington, D.C., there is going to be that pressure.”

“But,” he added, “it’s also important to apply pressure [and] not feel it. I think when you allow yourself to feel that pressure it can create the wrong outcome.”

Coach Jay Gruden has said that he’s sticking with Cousins as his starter, despite the fourth-year quarterback’s recent struggles. Through six games, Cousins has thrown six touchdown passes and eight interceptions, including a pair of costly picks the past two weeks. Cousins’ passer rating of 77.4 ranks 31st—just behind Tampa Bay rookie Jameis Winston and ahead of Indianapolis’ Andrew Luck and Denver’s Peyton Manning.

Asked earlier this week how long it takes to get a good feel for whether an inexperienced quarterback can become a quality starter, Gruden said: “That’s a great question, and hopefully that’ll be answered here in the next few weeks. In the next five, six, seven, eight games. …Let’s see how he progresses. Let’s see what happens here at the end of the year and go from there.”  

Maybe that’s why Cousins isn’t feeling any additional pressure. Or, maybe it’s because Cousins avoids his critics on sports talk radio and social media.

“I don’t listen to what they're saying,” Cousins said. “I turn on NPR instead of 106.7 [The Fan] or [ESPN] 980 sometimes. I turn on HGTV instead of ESPN. I think there are times where you can intentionally block it out, if you’re asking how to do that. I don’t have a lot of social media on my phone. So it’s not quite as accessible to me as maybe it is to some other guys.”

Which is probably a good thing considering the divide among fans over the quarterback situation and their growing frustration with the direction of the season.

“It doesn’t do me any good to hear that," Cousins added. "I know what’s at stake. I know how important it is to me and to the people around me and to this fan base. I want nothing more than to help this team get to a place with a lot of wins and a playoff berth and all that. I’m heart-attack serious about making this happen. It takes time. It’s going to take some work and we’ll see where we are down the stretch here.”

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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


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.