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Snapping problems could send LeRibeus to bench

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Snapping problems could send LeRibeus to bench

Josh LeRibeus may lose his chance at being the Redskins’ starting center for the rest of this year and perhaps in the future because of issues executing the most basic thing that a center has to do—snap the ball to the quarterback.

Jay Gruden said that LeRibeus, the team’s third-round draft pick in 2012, has been doing a good job in pass protection and although he has struggled on run blocking, the same can be said for most of the rest of the line.

However, the process of getting the ball to the quarterback has been flawed.

“But the big thing and the biggest concern is the location of the shotgun snaps. They’re all over the place,” said Gruden. “We messed up a few snap counts which gave them their only sack. The big thing is he’s just got to continue working on the location of the shotgun snaps, but everything else, he’s done a pretty good job, you know, for being a first-time center. We’re not giving up on Josh but we just want to have more consistent snaps from the shotgun.”

There were some issues with inaccurate snaps during the first two games that LeRibeus started at center. But they became more frequent against the Patriots. The quarterback needs to have his eyes on the defense during that critical fraction of a second while the ball is in the air. The snap needs to go right into his hands.

Then there is the matter of the snap count. Against the Bucs the referee made an announcement of a “false start, entire offensive line except the center”. On that play, four linemen started to block, LeRibeus didn’t move. Obviously, the penalty was on the center, who either forgot the snap count or didn’t hear it.

On one play in the second quarter against the Patriots, LeRibeus snapped the ball before he should have. That led to the sack that Gruden mentions. Tackle Morgan Moses didn’t move and defensive end Chandler Jones easily got around him and got the sack.

Fortunately Kirk Cousins wasn’t hurt, the play didn’t result in a turnover, and they only lost four yards. But it could have been worse.

Apparently Gruden is not going to wait until something worse than a four-yard sack or five-yard penalty is the result of a problem getting the ball snapped. The team signed veteran center Brian de la Puente on Tuesday and all indications are that they have him on the fast track to the starting lineup.

MORE REDSKINS: Redskins moving on from LB Jeffcoat

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Trent Williams was definitely not playing Sunday against Houston, but now he might

Trent Williams was definitely not playing Sunday against Houston, but now he might

On Wednesday, Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said that six-time Pro Bowl left tackle Trent Williams would not play on Sunday against the Texans. 

"That's for sure," the coach said. 

By Friday, the tune had changed. Drastically. 

Gruden said that Williams' status on Sunday will come down to the medical staff. The coach added that Williams has to be comfortable in whatever cast will support his dislocated thumb.

As for Williams, he would not say for sure that he's going to play. But after talking with him for a few minutes in the Redskins locker room, it seems like the medical staff will be hard pressed to keep him off the field. 

Williams missed the Redskins last two games after injuring his thumb in a victory over the Giants. Without him, the Redskins offensive line performed admirably, but both tackles Morgan Moses and Ty Nsekhe are fighting through a number of injuries. 

The thumb injury required surgery, which happened about two weeks ago and came with a rough four-week timetable for recovery. Williams is attempting to cut that in half. 

Asked about Williams possibly playing Sunday, Redskins running back Adrian Peterson said he wants his friend and teammate to be smart about his future. Peterson said "there's a lot of football left" but the running back also added that there were situations watching Texans film this week where "it'd be real nice to have Trent out there."

Williams himself said that it must be tough for Peterson, as the two are close friends. Obviously, the running back wants the star tackle out on the field, but he also cares about his long-term future. 

Notes: Redskins K Dustin Hopkins landed on the injury report earlier with a groin injury in the week and the team brought in other kickers for tryouts on Tuesday. On Friday, Hopkins said he was pain-free and planned to "give it a go" Sunday against Houston. 

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With Samaje Perine ruled out for Week 11, expect Byron Marshall to be activated off IR

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With Samaje Perine ruled out for Week 11, expect Byron Marshall to be activated off IR

The main news on Friday at Redskins Park was the surprising return to the practice field by Trent Williams. 

That wasn't the only notable development when it comes to injuries, though. 

During his end-of-the-week podium session, Jay Gruden ruled Samaje Perine out for Sunday's game against the Texans. The second-year back has a calf injury and won't be able to go in Week 11.

As of Friday afternoon, that leaves the 'Skins with just two healthy running backs in Adrian Peterson and Kapri Bibbs. Chris Thompson is on the active roster as well, but he's dealing with rib issues and he's going to be absent when Houston visits.

This means you should expect to see Byron Marshall in Burgundy and Gold come kickoff. Marshall has been on IR with an ankle injury since the start of the year but said he's been healthy for a while now and would be ready to step in as the third back.

The majority of offensive snaps the past few weeks have gone to Peterson and Bibbs, so Marshall shouldn't figure into things too much when the Redskins have the ball. He showed flashes in some spot duty in 2017, though, so if need be, he could be productive for Gruden.

With Trey Quinn already back on the 53, if/when the team elects to bring back Marshall, the Redskins will be out of IR activations. NFL rules stipulate each club only gets two per season.

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