The Redskins return to the practice field Thursday at 1 p.m. and will be looking to get their defensive rotations in order. That could mean a lot of moving parts, as players are working back from injury. Here are the storylines we will be watching:
- New rotation - The guess is the Redskins will start Duke Ihenacho and Will Blackmon in Baltimore this Sunday, but who comes in behind them and outside of base packages remains a mystery. Rich Tandler broke down the 'Skins safety depth chart, and to best summarize, the biggest question comes when can newly signed Donte Whitner hit the field for Washington. This Sunday might be too soon, but a veteran that has familiarity with secondary coach Perry Fewell, Whitner's learning curve could be accelerated.
- Guarding the left - Arie Kouandjio got his first career start last week against the Giants, and fared reasonably well. Veteran Shawn Lauvao will likely get his starting spot back once he is able to play again after injuring his ankle in New York, and he thinks that will be this week against the Ravens. At Thursday's practice session it will be interesting to see who lines up where on the 'Skins O-line.
- Running numbers - An interesting subplot occurred yesterday in the Washington locker room as Donte Whitner made clear he did not want to play with the No. 46 jersey he was assigned. Whitner has played his entire NFL career wearing either No. 20 or 31, and neither of those numbers are available on the 'Skins (Greg Toler and Matt Jones wear them). So the veteran safety was in discussions with some other players, namely practice squad guys like Tye Smith and Mack Brown, about getting their number, and the talks included some interesting negotiations. Keep an eye out for what number Whitner wears out to the practice field Thursday.
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