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Redskins shut out in alternate Pro Bowl selections

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Redskins shut out in alternate Pro Bowl selections

There were 86 players originally selected to play in the Pro Bowl in Hawaii this Sunday. Due to injuries and players whose teams are participating in the Super Bowl being otherwise occupied, there have been 31 replacements named. If you go by the Pro Bowl selection process, they have identified 117 players who are among the best in the game.

Of those 117 players only one, tackle Trent Williams, plays for the Redskins. He was one of the original 86 players who was selected to play in the game but some nagging injuries forced him to withdraw. None of the 31 replacements came from the 9-7 Redskins, the champions of the NFC East.

Two Redskins, linebacker Ryan Kerrigan and tight end Jordan Reed, were named as alternates. And although three linebackers and one tight end are participating in the Super Bowl and another tight end and another linebacker, Rob Gronkowski and Jamie Collins of the Patriots, withdrew due to injuries, their phones did not ring with congratulations and instructions on how to pick up their tickets to Honolulu.

The tight end spots went to Delanie Walker of the Titans and Gary Barnidge of the Browns. They had fine seasons with both going over 1,000 yards receiving, a mark that Reed, with 952, fell just short of. Reed had more receptions than Barnidge and more touchdowns than both of them.

The replacement linebackers were Anthony Barr of the Vikings, Lavonte David of the Bucs, the Ravens’ Elvis Dumervil and Green Bay’s Julius Peppers. You can certainly question Dumervil (6 sacks) and Barr (3.5 sacks) going over Kerrigan (8.5 sacks). David posted only three sacks but he did pick off three passes and force two fumbles.

Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins was not even named an alternate. Cam Newton is headed to the Super Bowl and Tom Brady decided to take the week off after getting physically pounded by the Broncos. They were replaced by Jameis Winston of the Bucs and Teddy Bridgewater of the Vikings. Cousins threw for more yards and more touchdowns than either of them and had a passer rating of 101.6 (5th in NFL) compared to Bridgewater’s 88.7 (22nd) and an 84.2 for Winston (28th).

I would recommend that Redskins fans not let these “snubs” ruin their days. The Pro Bowl selection system, which is based on votes of fans, players, and coaches, is highly flawed, just like the selection processes for the all-star games in other sports. It usually takes a year or two for the reputations of breakout players like Reed and Cousins to get recognized by the Pro Bowl voters. If they keep playing at a high level they should get recognition sooner or later. 

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New set of injuries leaves Redskins offensive depth chart in shambles

New set of injuries leaves Redskins offensive depth chart in shambles

At the onset of the 2018 NFL season, few expected Josh Doctson and Jordan Reed to be among the most healthy players on the Redskins.

Both players dealt with injuries in their early careers, and had spotty training camp attendance in Richmond. And yet, 12 games into a season littered with other offensive injuries, Reed and Doctson had been largely healthy. 

That changed in Sunday's thumping from the Giants. Reed strained his big toe, and might not return this season. It's particularly alarming to hear of as he had surgery on both feet last offseason. Doctson landed in concussion protocol after the Giants game, and his status will be updated Wednesday at practice. 

The Redskins offense had not been productive with Reed and Doctson in the lineup, let alone out of it. Reed will certainly be out for Sunday's game in Jacksonville, and Doctson will be somebody to watch. 

With these latest injuries, it's almost impossible to come up with a real depth chart for the offense. Here goes:

QB: Josh Johnson, Mark Sanchez, Colt McCoy
Note: Seriously, these are the QBs. McCoy is not healthy enough to play but the team is not placing him on season ending IR yet either.

RB: Adrian Peterson, Chris Thompson, Byron Marshall, Kapri Bibbs, Samaje Perine
Note: Against New York, Marshall landed on the active roster ahead of Bibbs. It doesn’t make a ton of sense, but not much this season has. 

WR: Jamison Crowder, Maurice Harris, Michael Floyd, Jehu Chesson
Note: With Doctson possibly out with a concussion, the Redskins don’t have enough WRs for the Jags game. If that happens, expect Simmie Cobbs to get called up from the practice squad. Darvin Kidsy is another option.

TE: Vernon Davis, Jeremy Sprinkle
Note: With Reed out the Redskins will likely call up J.P. Holtz from the practice squad. Matt Flanagan is another practice squad option, but he projected to be a fullback. Seeing as the third tight end plays a decent amount of snaps in the Redskins offense and special teams, the organization might look outside the team for help if Reed gets put to the injured reserve. 

OL: Trent Williams, Chase Roullier, Morgan Moses, Tony Bergstrom, Luke Bowanko, Zac Kerin, Austin Howard, Ty Nsekhe, Kyle Fuller 
Note: The Redskins really hope Bergstrom can get back on the field this week as the Austin Howard guard experiment went poorly. The team just added Fuller on Tuesday. 

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Somehow, the Redskins still have a fairly straightforward playoff path. Somehow

Somehow, the Redskins still have a fairly straightforward playoff path. Somehow

You're going to feel absurd for reading the following sentence, but probably not as absurd as it felt to type the following sentence.

The Redskins, who are on their fourth option at QB, who made the '18 Giants look like the '72 Dolphins and who are large underdogs this weekend to the 4-9 Jaguars, actually still have a straightforward path to the playoffs.

Now, the word "straightforward" only applies to the path on paper, because realistically, there's nothing straightforward about fixing the litany of issues that are plaguing Washington at the moment.

Regardless, by losing on Monday night to the Seahawks, the Vikings blew a chance to separate themselves from a pack of NFC teams chasing(?) them and their final wild card spot. The Redskins are one of those teams, and here's how they could pass Minnesota to qualify for the postseason:

With the way the season is unfolding, you'd expect the Burgundy and Gold's playoff scenario to involve a bunch of teams losing a bunch of times in these final three weeks. The tweet above illustrates that's clearly not the case. They only need Minnesota to drop one more to go along with the Redskins winning out.

Of course, the Redskins stringing three straight plays together without committing a holding penalty feels like too much to ask for, so anyone expecting a three-game winning streak is either a bit crazy or a relative of Josh Johnson. But still, they're not out of the hunt quite yet. Somehow.

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