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Redskins over/under: Wide receivers and tight ends

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Redskins over/under: Wide receivers and tight ends

In the coming days, Redskins reporters Tarik El-Bashir and Rich Tandler are going to have some fun with numbers—Las Vegas style. Each morning, we’ll pick a player or unit that’s expected to make a major impact for the Redskins in 2015, set an over/under and then make our predictions. We encourage you to play along in the comments section below.

Today, we're looking at the pass catchers:

WR DeSean Jackson, 1,250 receiving yards—Jackson had 1,169 last season after picking up a career high of 1,332 with the Eagles in 2013.

Tandler—Under: I think that Jackson almost deserved All-Pro consideration for gaining as much yardage as he did considering the three-ring circus the Redskins had at quarterback last year. But even if the QB situation stabilizes I think that about 1,200 yards is his ceiling in an offense that should emphasize the run more than it did last year.

El-Bashir—Under: I expect Jackson to easily top 1,000 yards for the fifth time in his eight-year NFL career. But a renewed commitment to the run coupled with Gruden’s desire to become more diverse and unpredictable means Pierre Garçon, Matt Jones and Jordan Reed will get more action. And, let’s remember, there’s just one football.

Jackson, 6.5 touchdowns—He had six last season, but has scored as many as nine twice in his career.

Tandler—Over: Last year only one of his touchdowns came from less than 40 yards out. I think they’ll use him a little more in that area just outside of the red zone, between the opponent’s 25 and 35, to try to get a quick score. That will give him a couple of additional TD’s.

El-Bashir—Under: Although 28 players caught seven or more touchdowns in 2014, I have a hard time believing Jackson will improve on last year’s total. Five times in seven years Jackson has scored six or fewer touchdowns. That’s a trend.

WR Pierre Garçon, 80 receptions—He had 68 last season after setting a team record with 113 in 2013.

Tandler—Under: He was targeted 105 times last year, a fairly substantial number for a starting wide receiver. I don’t see that number going up a lot if the Redskins do indeed run the ball more often. I think he’ll stay around 65-75 catches.

El-Bashir—Over: But just barely. To get to 81 receptions, Garçon would need to pick up 13 more than he had during a disappointing 2014 campaign. That’s totally doable, particularly if the Redskins enjoy more consistent play from the quarterback position and Garçon is targeted more as a result of switching to the ‘Z’ receiver spot, as offensive coordinator Sean McVay expects will happen.

TE Jordan Reed, 11.5 games—He played in 11 games last year, missing five games after a couple of bouts with hamstring problems. A knee injury early and a concussion late limited him to nine games as a rookie in 2013.

Tandler—Over: Some guys who are injury prone early in their careers can’t shake it and end up with short careers. Others figure out how to take care of their bodies and avoid the big hits that will sideline them. They can go on and prosper in the NFL. I think that Reed is in the latter category. I don’t think he is going to turn into an iron man or anything but he’s smart enough to recognize that his career is at a crossroads and take preventive measures to stay on the field.

El-Bashir—Under: When Reed missed the offseason after undergoing a minor knee procedure, red flags went up for me. But you know what worries me more than all the soft tissue injuries he's accumulated? The possibility of another concussion. Look, I hope I’m wrong. I hope Reed stays healthy and plays in all 16 regular season games. But his history dictates that he’ll miss more than a few.   

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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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