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Three late additions are making an impact for the Redskins


Three late additions are making an impact for the Redskins

Will Blackmon, Derek Carrier and Dustin Hopkins all play on different units for the Redskins. But they’ve got one thing in common: each has made a significant impact during the first seven weeks, despite not being on the roster at the outset of training camp.

“It’s not easy to come in here—you miss all of training camp and all of OTAs [and] all the mental gymnastics we go through to get guys ready to play,” Coach Jay Gruden said this week. “They came in late. They have to pick up the system in a hurry. Both [Blackmon and Carrier] have done that. [And] you can’t say enough about our kicker, Hopkins. I mean what he’s done, taking over for an established kicker.”

Carrier was the first of the three to arrive in Ashburn, Va., acquired Aug. 21 from the 49ers in exchange for a fifth round pick in 2016. The 25-year-old has started all seven games and hauled in 12 passes (on 14 targets) for 107 yards, a touchdown and three first downs. He’s also notched a special teams tackle.

Blackmon and Hopkins, meanwhile, signed as free agents within a day of each another following the season-opening loss to Miami.

Blackmon, a nine-year NFL veteran, played only five snaps in his Redskins’ debut. But as the injuries have mounted and his comfort level has grown, the 31-year-old has become a regular in the secondary. In fact, he’s started the past three games, playing all but three snaps against the Falcons, Jets and Buccaneers. (Only Bashaud Breeland has played more at corner than Blackmon.)

The biggest surprise, though, has been Hopkins, who replaced Kai Forbath prior to Week 2. The 25-year-old is 11-of-12 on field goals, including 2-of-3 from 50 or more yards out. Just as important, Hopkins has forced touchbacks on 71 percent of his kickoffs—the sixth best mark in the league.

“We’ve had some guys come in off the streets that have produced,” Gruden said. “We’ve needed them to. It’s going to help our depth later on down the road when we do get our players back. So it’s going to be exciting when our players get healthy and these guys will provide us with great depth.”

Gruden added: “They’ve shown they can play.”

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It’s not what you want to hear, but the Redskins won’t be turning to Dwayne Haskins for the Vikings game

It’s not what you want to hear, but the Redskins won’t be turning to Dwayne Haskins for the Vikings game

He may have gone just 9-of-12 for 77 yards in a shutout loss against the 49ers on Sunday, but Case Keenum will remain starter for the Redskins when they travel to Minnesota this coming Thursday.

Bill Callahan confirmed that in his press conference following the rainy Week 7 matchup at FedEx Field.

“We still have a lot of faith in Case and his ability,” the coach told reporters.

That’s not going to be what fans want to hear, and neither is this: Sticking with Case makes a decent amount of sense, at least for a few more days. After that, however, is when it needs to end.

The main reason is because of the quick turnaround from Sunday’s contest to Thursday’s game. The Redskins will gather just twice at their Ashburn practice facility this week and will only conduct walkthroughs. That’s not enough time or enough work for a rookie QB looking to make his debut.

Also, while it will be easy to point at Keenum’s measly stats versus the Niners, it’s necessary to note that the weather made it essentially impossible to throw more than 10 yards downfield unless a receiver was totally by himself. Very few signal callers would’ve been successful in that kind of rain.

Now, unless Keenum completely stars when facing the Vikings, the Burgundy and Gold should finally turn to Haskins. In fact, they should probably give him the nod regardless of what Keenum does. He’ll have a few extra days to prepare for the Bills in Week 9 and Washington needs to start evaluating him.

The Burgundy and Gold could’ve gone to Haskins earlier this year – not playing him in Miami was a questionable decision to many – but it’s understandable why they don’t want to insert him now.

That’ll cause uproar among fans, but wait it out one more game. If he’s not under center for that visit to Buffalo, then any and all uproar will be justified.


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It took until late in the third quarter for anyone to score in the Redskins-49ers game

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It took until late in the third quarter for anyone to score in the Redskins-49ers game

Sloppy field conditions on Sunday for a matchup between the Redskins and 49ers made it seem as if offense would be hard to come by at times.

Until the third quarter, offense was hard to come by at all.

Finally, with around five minutes remaining in the third quarter, the scoreless tie was broken with a 28-yard field goal by Robbie Gould of the 49ers.

Gould added another field goal in the fourth to make it 6-0. 

The low-scoring affair has featured a lot of runs, two missed field goals, turnovers and a lot of sliding around on the field.

Just when it seemed like the Redskins were going to put up a score of their own, Adrian Peterson coughed up the football. Because, of course that would happen during a game like this.

If you're thinking that this contest seems to lack points more than usual, you would be correct.

Subject to change based on how the rest of the game plays out, the teams are on pace to enter a small, sad and historic group.

They say the NFL is becoming an offensive league. This game begs to differ.