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Redskins RB Thompson hopes to return, provide boost vs. Patriots

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Redskins RB Thompson hopes to return, provide boost vs. Patriots

The Redskins’ scuffling ground game could receive a boost Sunday at New England.

Third down running back Chris Thompson says he hopes to make his return after missing last week’s game with a significant lower back bruise that he suffered against the Jets.

“I feel good about this week,” Thompson said. “I just have to continue to get better with it. I’ve been able to run for two or three days now. So it’s more about being able to play football now. I know I can run, but I have to see if I can turn and catch, and get in and out of my breaks.”

In six games this season, Thompson has 120 yards on 19 carries (team-leading 6.3 yards per). The 25-year-old has also hauled in 23 receptions for 150 yards, a touchdown and eight first downs.

Although Thompson finished the Jets game, the bruise quickly grew into a gruesome knot the size of a grapefruit, he said.  

“The back pad wasn’t covering that spot,” he added. “I just landed flat on the turf."

Thompson said fellow running back Alfred Morris had been warning him for weeks to get a bigger back pad, which attaches to the lower portion of the shoulder pads and covers the lower spine and kidneys. Considered it a lesson learned the hard way. A larger pad is set to arrive Wednesday, Thompson cracked.

“Alfred has been telling for a like a month that you need to get a longer back pad [and] I didn’t listen to him,” Thompson lamented. “Then this happened. They ordered an extension to bring it lower, right on that lump.”

The lump has since shrunk to the size of a baseball, but it still protrudes from Thompson’s back, just above his waistline.   

“You can’t do anything about it,” Thompson said of the swelling. “It’s just a pack of blood sitting right there. You just have to let your body work it out on its own. You can try to massage it out a little bit, but it doesn’t help. Only time can heal it.”

Thompson suffered two broken vertebrae in his back in 2011 at Florida State, but he knew almost right away that this latest injury was not nearly as serious.

“At first, it did go numb,” Thompson said. “So that scared me. But I was able to push [up] off the field, so I knew it wasn’t what I had to deal with back in college. Because I know how that felt and I wasn’t able to do anything. Then I was able to stand up, walk around [and returned to the game]. It just felt like Jell-O back there. I was able to tough it out and play through the game. But as soon as I got on that plane, it got real bad. [The swelling] was huge.”

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So what does Josh Norman want from Redskins fans? 'Pandemonium'

So what does Josh Norman want from Redskins fans? 'Pandemonium'

Josh Norman made headlines last week when he called out a subset of Redskins fans for booing the home team and others for not showing up to FedEx Field.

Some fans took exception to Norman's comments, but on Wednesday, the star cornerback made clear exactly what he wanted from fans. 

"You want to see an atmosphere full with raving Redskins Nation fans and pandemonium," Norman said during an interview with Larry Michael on Redskins Nation. 

"That's what you want to see."

Norman's request seems more than fair, especially considering the 6-3 Redskins will take on the 6-3 Texans. Both teams are in first place in their division, and while Washington is coming off a solid road win in Tampa, Houston travels to FedEx Field winners of six-straight. 

"It’s big, because the other team is coming in at 6-3," Norman said. 

6-3 is the best Redskins record this late in the season since 2008, and Norman recognizes his team is trying to turn mediocre tide of recent years and that fans might need a reminder.

"To change that from the culture where it was to now coming around, come on man, we need your support."

For decades, the Redskins fan base was considered among the NFL's best. Venerable RFK Stadium had arguably the best home-field advantage in the league. Norman remembered that.

"This is a signature storied franchise," Norman said. "I grew up with it knowing the Washington Redskins and knowing how big it was. Down in Carolina that was our team. The Washington Redskins was the team of the South. Everybody was about that."

Times change.

The 'Skins left RFK more than 20 years ago and now Carolina roots for the Panthers. 

Still, for Norman and many players, the challenge is out there for the fans to fill up FedEx Field and make it a hostile atmosphere for the Texans.

"From the inside of the stands to the outside of it, all Redskins Nation going in there live, pumping us up. We feeding off of them, we giving them something to cheer for and they giving us back something to be excited for," Norman said. "Those big 3rd downs. As long as we need them, we hear those decibels. We need it up to 105. Literally just blow it off the roof, those decibels, just shoot them up. That’s what we need."

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With 2 TDs in 2 games, Josh Doctson headlines Redskins stock report

With 2 TDs in 2 games, Josh Doctson headlines Redskins stock report

After an important road win in Tampa, the Redskins stock is soaring. The team is 6-3 and two games up in the NFC East.

For individual players, Josh Doctson headlines the stock surge but a pair of defenders are moving the other way. Let's dig into the Redskins stock report.

Stock up - Josh Doctson - The third-year wide receiver has scored in two straight games and has caught seven of 10 balls thrown his way. The yardage numbers don't jump off the page, but all four catches in Tampa were important. Further, Doctson rebounded from a tough game against Atlanta where he dropped two passes and got flagged for a (wrong) taunting penalty. Most impressive with Doctson? The touchdown in Tampa came off schedule and showed that he kept working back to his QB once the play broke down. That will garner more trust from Alex Smith, and maybe more chances for big plays down the backstretch of the year.

Stock down - Danny Johnson - For an undrafted free agent out of Southern, Johnson has had a remarkable season. In Tampa, he did not have a remarkable game and got replaced on the field by Greg Stroman. Let Jay Gruden explain, "Danny had a good week of practice. He filled in for Stroman when Stroman had the hip issue last week and we thought we'd give Danny a shot to start. Danny was playing a little soft [coverage] there for a little while, so we decided to give Stroman a crack at it." Once Stroman got in, he grabbed an interception and had a nice pass breakup downfield. Johnson has a firm roster spot - the Redskins just released Josh Holsey - but looks like he fell behind Stroman on the depth chart. 

Stock up - Kapri Bibbs - With Chris Thompson on the shelf and a murky timetable for his return, Bibbs is getting more and more chances on the field. And increasingly, he's delivering when he gets looks. Against Tampa, he ran the ball three times for 28 yards and added two catches for 13 yards. He also had a huge gain just before halftime, the Redskins first big chunk play in weeks that Bibbs took after a screen pass, but it got called back on a holding flag. 

Stock down - Pernell McPhee - No player wants to be a healthy scratch, but that's just what happened to McPhee last week in Tampa. Jay Gruden explained: "Unfortunately I had to sit McPhee, not performance related, but just I had to get another body on the offensive line because we're banged up." It was mostly a work of roster construction that landed McPhee on the inactive list, but still, Cassanova McKinzy made the active roster after being on the practice squad. McKinzy showed some ability rushing the passer, and he can play special teams. This could be a situation worth monitoring. 

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