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Redskins' Williams withdraws from the Pro Bowl

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Redskins' Williams withdraws from the Pro Bowl

As of right now, the NFC East champion Redskins will not be represented at the Pro Bowl in Hawaii a week from Sunday.

Washington left tackle Trent Williams has withdrawn from the NFL’s all-star game due to a variety of injuries he sustained during the course of the season. The most recent injury was a knee contusion he suffered in Week 11 against the Panthers. Williams sat out the season finale against the Cowboys to try to rest for the playoffs.

Dolphins tackle Brandon Albert will take Williams’ place.

Williams has been selected to four straight Pro Bowls but he only played in the game in 2014. In 2013 he was injured in a Honolulu bar fight that he was not involved in and last year he made the trip only to aggravate an ankle injury and watch the game.

Williams was the 9-7 Redskins’ lone representative to the Pro Bowl, which will be played in Honolulu on January 31. Tight end Jordan Reed and outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan are alternates. Both might have to await the results of Sunday’s conference championship games to see if one or both will go to Hawaii. Players from Super Bowl participants do not go to the game as they have more important assignments to tend to. So Reed could get a shot if Rob Gronkowski’s  Patriots and/or Greg Olsen’s Panthers make the Super Bowl. Three of the four teams playing Sunday have outside linebackers on the Pro Bowl roster so Kerrigan could go in place of Thomas Davis (Panthers), Jamie Collins (Patriots), or Von Miller or DeMarcus Ware (both of the Broncos).

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Redskins get Trent Williams, Ryan Kerrigan into Pro Bowl and another 5 to alternate team

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USA Today Sports

Redskins get Trent Williams, Ryan Kerrigan into Pro Bowl and another 5 to alternate team

The Redskins landed two players on the Pro Bowl roster in left tackle Trent Williams and outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan. This marks the seventh and fourth Pro Bowl honors for the players, respectively. 

Williams has been named to the past seven Pro Bowls, a remarkable feat, and joins Ken Houston as the only Washington players to make seven straight Pro Bowls. He trails only Charley Taylor (8) and Chris Hanburger (9) in total Pro Bowl selections.

After a two-sack performance last Sunday in Jacksonville moved him into second all-time on the Redskins sack list, Kerrigan got named to his fourth Pro Bowl and third straight selection. He has 11 sacks on the season, his third straight year with double-digit sacks. 

Beyond Kerrigan and Williams, five other Redskins players were named alternates to the Pro Bowl: D.J. Swearinger, Josh Norman, Jordan Reed, Tress Way, and Adrian Peterson. 

Many thought Swearinger or Way would make the Pro Bowl for the first time in their careers, but both players came up just short. Things look good for Swearinger to make it to Orlando, as Giants safety Landon Collins made the Pro Bowl squad but will miss the game with an injury. 

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How Kirk Cousins' next two games will directly impact the Redskins' playoff chances

How Kirk Cousins' next two games will directly impact the Redskins' playoff chances

A week after it felt borderline irresponsible to talk about the Redskins' 2018 playoff chances, it now feels completely necessary. 

Sure, you can make a pretty easy argument that this team doesn't look like a postseason team. But the fact of the matter is they're in a position to possibly become one in a handful of days.

And who's going to have a lot of say in whether the 'Skins do advance beyond Week 17? Kirk Cousins, because DUH.

Thanks to Dallas' Week 15 loss, Washington isn't out of the division hunt yet. However, their far more likely path to the playoffs is via the wild card, a spot that Cousins and the Vikings currently occupy.

To take that spot, the 'Skins really need to win out (they could still take the sixth seed by finishing 8-8, but that would take a lot more help). That means, first and foremost, Josh Johnson has to lead the Burgundy and Gold to victories over the Titans and the Eagles, which would have them finish the year at 9-7.

If that happens, the Redskins will then only require one Minnesota loss in the next two weeks to steal the second wild card. The Vikings square off with the Lions and Bears to wrap up their schedule, with the former happening in Detroit and the latter taking place in Minneapolis. 

The Eagles are also a factor in all of this, but Jay Gruden's squad could make them less of one by beating them in the 2018 finale.

Earlier this season, when everything was going right for the Redskins, it looked like a January showdown between Cousins' former franchise and his current one could happen. Now, though, the two squads are vying for the same position. 

So, it's really simple, 'Skins supporters — root for your guys to win two more and root against Cousins as well. This time around, No. 8 coming up short down the stretch would really benefit Washington.

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