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Tight end options (other than Cooley) that make sense for 'Skins

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Tight end options (other than Cooley) that make sense for 'Skins

Before Thursday night's preseason opener in Cleveland, the Redskins were already worried about their tight end position: Logan Paulsen's toe injury could possibly cost him the year and Jordan Reed's hamstring seems to be a constant issue. 

Four quarters later, however, and the situation that was previously a worry has become far more severe: Niles Paul is done for the season after suffering one of the more gruesome ankle injuries you'll ever see, and Je'Ron Hamm left the game against the Browns and did not return. That leaves only two options on the roster who are currently 100 percent healthy (Chase Dixon and Devin Mahina), and neither have taken a snap in the regular season. 

That means the Redskins will almost certainly have to make a move on the free agent market in the coming days and bring in a new tight end. And while many fans -- and the man himself -- are hoping that means the return of Chris Cooley, there are other choices available. 

Here are three more names -- each with a tie to the Redskins -- that could be getting a phone call from Scot McCloughan very shortly. 

Zach Miller: The 29-year-old only played in three games last year for the Seahawks, and was released in March due to a failed physical (he missed the majority of the 2014 season because of ankle issues). With that being said, when healthy, he's been productive in the past -- he caught 66 and 60 passes in 2009 and 2010 in Oakland, and hauled in 5 touchdowns with Seattle in 2013 -- and, interestingly enough, was actually signed by McCloughan in 2011. That familiarity could lead to him getting a shot in D.C.

Ted Bolser: Bolser was drafted by the Redskins in the seventh round of last year's draft, but was put on the practice squad after the preseason. He remained there until October, then bounced around on Tampa Bay and Arizona's practice squad in the later months of the campaign. He has yet to secure a reception in a regular season game, but he did spend time in Jay Gruden's offense all of last summer, which could lead to an easier adjustment than Miller or the next guy on the list. He's the youngest of the trio, too.

[UPDATE: Despite the ties to the Redskins, it seems Bolser's career may be over after a recent knee surgery. He even tweeted: "I just had surgery this morning on my right knee and because of the rigorous/GREAT 18 years of football/other sports & a recent injury....I'm incapable of playing the sport I fell in love with back when I was 6 years old. I want to thank everyone involved with me and this sport." He could have been an ideal signing before the injury.]

Fred Davis: Yes, this is probably a long shot. OK, it's probably a very long shot. Davis hasn't played in the league since 2013, and has a long history of personal conduct problems. It looked like he'd finally get a chance to return to the NFL when the Patriots picked him up earlier in the offseason, but he didn't last long in New England. Davis probably has the highest ceiling of these three candidates, though, and we saw McCloughan take in a guy with character flaws just a few weeks ago in Junior Galette. The Redskins are very desperate with all that's taken place recently, so maybe, just maybe, they'll give Davis another try.

Other courses of action: With all NFL squads fully booked up with 90 man rosters, the pickings are quite slim right now. When cuts begin to be made, the market should expand -- but at that point, Washington will most likely be taking on castaways. The Redskins could target other players with connections to them (one such example, although it won't be easy, is Seattle fullback Will Tukuafu, a hard-nosed player who can block and has played in both San Francisco and Seattle, franchises that formerly employed McCloughan). But as you can see, they're in a very tough spot.

Have any suggestions for who the Redskins should bring in to help with the tight end situation? Let us know in the comments. They could use the help.

MORE REDSKINS: PAUL DONE FOR 2015 SEASON

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Redskins G Arie Kouandjio likely out for the season

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Redskins G Arie Kouandjio likely out for the season

The news about Arie Kouandjio’s quad injury didn’t sound good when NBC Sports Washington broke it a couple of weeks ago. It didn’t sound any better when Jay Gruden said that they were seeking a second opinion. 

And now we have word that Kouandjio will be out for the season, per multiple media reports. While there was some initial hope that he might be able to play at some point this season, he is likely to be put on injured reserve soon. 

The corresponding move is expected to be the signing of guard Isaiah Williams, per JP Finlay of NBC Sports Washington. He spent training camp with the Redskins in 2016 and 2017 before being released in the final cuts. Last year he also spent time with the Chiefs and the Colts but he has yet to appear in an NFL game. 

At worst, the Redskins have lost their starter at left guard. Kouandjio was set to compete with Shawn Lauvao for that job. Lauvao, who has been the starter at left guard going into the season for each of the last four years, would have been tough to unseat, but the 26-year-old Kouandjio may have had the inside track.

And at best, the Redskins lost experienced depth. Last year, when injuries hit hard along the offensive line, Kouandjio was re-signed and he started six games. It’s tough to lose experienced depth before the players even put pads on.

We will see if the Redskins make a move to shore up the guard position. Over the next couple of weeks, teams will be evaluating their veteran players and their rookies to see if they have younger and cheaper options. That could lead to some serviceable players getting released or some quality options being put on the trading block. 

The Redskins likely are set to get four compensatory draft picks in 2019, which would give them a total of 11 selections. They certainly could afford to deal one of those picks if they are offered a chance to upgrade at left guard. 

More 2018 Redskins

- 53-man roster: Player one-liners, offense
- Tandler’s Take: Best- and worst-case scenarios for 2018
- The draft: Redskins should get 4 additional picks in 2019 draft
- Schedule series: Gotta beat the Cowboys

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCSand follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.

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Need to Know: Redskins player one-liners, defense

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Need to Know: Redskins player one-liners, defense

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, May 22, 66 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.  

Redskins player one-liners, defense

A few weeks ago, I did an early projection of the Redskins’ 53-man roster on offense and defense. As the team gets ready for OTAs here is a comment on each player expected to make the team on defense; the offense was up yesterday

Defensive line

—Even though he played just 159 snaps last year before getting injured, the experience that Jonathan Allen gained in the offseason and training camp last year will help him get off to a strong start this season. 

—​Daron Payne will improve as the season goes on but he should be of some help stopping the run, the team’s most glaring weakness, right off the bat. 

—​Matt Ioannidis could play his way into an early contract extension a year from now, something nobody saw coming a year ago. 

—Last year Anthony Lanier played a little over half a season’s worth of snaps and got 5.0 sacks so I’ll put his over/under for this year at 7.5. 

—I think many fans see “Redskins veteran free agent D-lineman” and associate “bust” but Stacy McGee played pretty well last year. 

—Will Tim Settle be in at nose tackle for the first snap in Week 1?

—The coaches would like to be able to keep Ziggy Hood on the roster, but injuries and other issues could make him a victim of the roster numbers game. 

Inside linebackers

—​Zach Brown struggled a bit before injuries forced him out of the last three games, but he still finished in the top 10 in the NFL in tackles. 

—The team re-signing Mason Foster in late January was a low-key but potentially very impactful move. 

—After getting cut and then returning in November last year, Zach Vigil probably will be employed with the Redskins for all of the 2018 season. 

—It will be interesting to see how much the Redskins try to get out of converted safety Josh Harvey-Clemons as a nickel linebacker this year. 

—The Redskins moved up in the sixth round to draft Shaun Dion Hamilton, so it wouldn’t be surprising if he has a regular role on defense before the season is out. 

Outside linebackers

—All Preston Smith needs to do to hit it big in free agency is add a few sacks to his 2017 total and get a few more takeaways. 

—​Ryan Kerrigan already got paid, he’s a few more good years away from making the Redskins Ring of Fame. 

—I predict that Ryan Anderson gets his first NFL sack in Week 2 against the Colts. 

—You usually think of outside linebackers rotating in when it’s the nickel defense, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see Pernell McPhee be a regular in short-yardage situations. 

Cornerbacks

—I think Josh Norman will the dancing in the end zone at some point this season; he is long overdue to get a pick six (or a pick of any sort for that matter).

—The first time I noticed Quinton Dunbar playing cornerback was when he lined up against Odell Beckham in 2015. 

—The success of the Redskins’ decisions to trade Kendall Fuller and to let Bashaud Breeland leave as a free agent will hinge mostly on how well Fabian Moreau plays in his second year in the NFL.

—Realistically, the Redskins can hope to get 10 or 12 good games out of Orlando Scandrick

—And because Scandrick is unlikely to be healthy for 16 games, the ability of Josh Holsey to step in when needed will be critical. 

—If the Redskins can get a few good punt returns and 75 snaps at nickel corner from Greg Stroman he will be worth the seventh-round pick they used to draft him. 

Safeties

—With a year in the defense under his belt, D.J. Swearinger is a candidate to make his first Pro Bowl. 

—After Jay Gruden compared him to Jordan Reed, there is a lot of pressure on Montae Nicholson to stay on the field and perform well when he is out there. 

—Even though he started eight games last year I think the coaches view Deshazor Everett as more of a special teams guy and situational defender than a safety they want playing 70 snaps a game. 

—​Troy Apke has a lot to learn and it remains to be seen if he can go from being a fast guy to being a fast NFL football player.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCSand follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCSand on Instagram @RichTandler

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Timeline  

Days until:

—Minicamp (6/12) 21
—Training camp starts (7/26) 66
—Preseason opener @ Patriots (8/9) 80

The Redskins last played a game 142 days ago. They will open the 2018 NFL season at the Cardinals in 110 days. 

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