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Will the Redskins sleep on the struggling Panthers? Not if they listen to Jay Gruden

Will the Redskins sleep on the struggling Panthers? Not if they listen to Jay Gruden

At 5-8 and blown out in two of their last three games, the Carolina Panthers are struggling to close out the 2016 season. At 7-5-1 and caught in a dogfight for a Wild Card spot, the Redskins most likely need to win all three of their remaining games to get in the playoffs.

Add that up and it would seem Washington should come out with much more incentive to win next Monday night, but for 'Skins coach Jay Gruden, his team is not looking past the Panthers.

"It is a huge game for us, again," Gruden said. "Carolina is the defending NFC Champions with obviously Cam Newton, awesome players, so we got a lot of work to do. It’s going to be a great challenge for us."

Gruden's response came after a question that asked about his plans to prepare for the Panthers and take advantage of the extra work day considering the Skins play Monday instead of Sunday. With a number of injuries on both sides of the ball, Gruden said he hopes his players get their needed rest, but in no way will his or his team's focus venture from Carolina next Monday night.

"We understand that we’re right in the mix [for the Wild Card]. We do know that, but we also know that one slip up and you’ll be a game-and-a-half, possibly, back. It’s just up to us to take care of what we can take care of – that’s Carolina right now," the coach said.

Remember, Gruden was livid with his team after a loss in Arizona two weeks ago. In that game, Gruden said afterward that he did not like the energy his squad played with early in the game, and there was some talk if the Redskins approached the Cardinals game with the right focus.

In a lot of ways, the Panthers and Cardinals are in the middle of similar lost seasons. The two teams met in the NFC Championship game last year and both were predicted as possible Super Bowl teams this season. 

Washington traveled to Arizona after a long week - they played the Cowboys on Thanskgiving the week before - giving them an additional few days of rest. While playing the Panthers on Monday is not identical, it is again an abnormal week for the players.

Gruden seemed adamant that his team will not lose perspective. Lose to the Panthers, and it's very likely the Redskins playoff hopes are over. Sometimes with long weeks, coaches will look ahead to the next opponent to get a leg up on scouting and game plans. That won't be the case this week.

"We’re going to focus on Carolina. [Week 16 in] Chicago doesn’t matter right now," Gruden said. "We’ve got to put all of our eggs in Carolina’s basket right now and do the best we can."

Last year the Redskins went on a late-season win streak and landed in the playoffs. Sounds like the coach wants to pull it off again. 

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Report: Trent Williams' dogs killed neighbor's dog

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USA TODAY Sports Images

Report: Trent Williams' dogs killed neighbor's dog

Trent Williams is defending his dogs after neighbors of a home registered to him in Missouri City, Texas say the Redskins' lineman's dogs brutally killed their dog.

The neighbor's dog, Sandy, according to reports, died after being mauled and dragged under an iron fence on their own property. 

According to Williams, the attack began after Sandy instigated conflict with one of Williams' smaller pets. Williams felt his dogs did nothing wrong and said the animals were defending the smaller dog, who is fighting for its life after $5,000 in medical bills. 

Williams told FOX 26 Houston that the situation was "dogs doing what dogs do."

In comments to local television stations, Sandy's owner's described how they found their dog.

"I found my dog halfway ripped apart, head and one leg on the other side of the fence, two of those stakes ripped through the body and one leg just dangling," said Jerry Flowers.

"They drug her head through the fence," Linda Flowers said. "Half of her body was through the wrought iron fence."

Animal control and local police are no longer investigating the incident according to ABC 13. Williams was not cited for the incident.

Williams is on the non-football injury list for the Washington Redskins after ending his holdout halfway through the season. 

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Once the Redskins Ironman, Ryan Kerrigan moved to injured reserve

Once the Redskins Ironman, Ryan Kerrigan moved to injured reserve

The Redskins moved outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan to the injured reserve after he injured his calf last week against Green Bay. He will miss the remainder of the season. 

Kerrigan had started every game for Washington since 2011 until just three weeks ago, one of the most impressive streaks in the NFL at 139 straight starts. 

He missed the Panthers game due to a concussion, was able to come back from the Packers game and then hurt his calf. 

After three straight seasons with double-digit sacks, Kerrigan’s numbers were down this year. He will finish the season with just 5.5 sacks after posting 37 over the last few years. 

Dexter Manley holds the Redskins franchise record with 91 sacks. After bringing down Aaron Rodgers last week in Green Bay before his injury, Kerrigan got to 90 sacks. 

If he comes back healthy in 2020, Kerrigan would look prime to break the franchise record. He will be in the last year of his contract, however, and will account for nearly $12 million against the salary cap.

Should Washington release Kerrigan, which was once unthinkable, it would carry no salary cap hit. 

To replace Kerrigan on the active roster the Redskins signed Caleb Wilson from the Cardinals practice squad.

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