Nothing will be official until about 8:40 p.m. Eastern time Monday, when the Redskins kick things off with Dallas, but safety LaRon Landry (pictured) could make his season debut.
Landry told former Redskins player Brian Mitchell that he’ll be ready to play after missing all of training camp and the first two regular season games with an Achilles’ injury and then a hamstring problem. But Landry will have to show coach Mike Shanahan he can make it through a full practice (he hasn’t yet) and is in good enough condition to play.
It’s tough not to be impressed by Ryan Kerrigan’s first two games. Game 1 – interception returned for a touchdown. Game 2 – sack and pass break-up. Just as important, he hasn’t looked out of place in coverage and the Redskins don’t appear to be doing things to hide him in the passing game.
“Ryan’s a play maker,” inside linebacker London Fletcher said. “He tips passes in the passing game and gets to the quarterback. But he’s still learning. He knows he has growing to do. He’s only been an outside linebacker for about two months.”
A big test for Kerrigan this week is a potential matchup against Dallas tight end Jason Witten.
I was in the minority during the preseason when I thought second-year player Brandon Banks should be placed on injured reserve because the Redskins couldn’t count on him to stay healthy.
The opposite has happened. Banks looks like he has top gear back in the return game. He’s averaging 15.8 yards on punt returns and 25.5 yards on kickoff returns.
Shanahan made a good decision declaring Banks as a return specialist and not a return man/receiver. That has saved wear and tear on Banks’ knee.
A point of emphasis for the Redskins’ defense needs to be better play on first down.
On 23 first-down snaps, Arizona gained 233 yards (10.1 average). Even if Larry Fitzgerald’s 73-yard touchdown catch (on first-and-15) is removed, the average is still 7.3 yards.
In addition to eight plays of 10 or more yards, the Cardinals put themselves into manageable second-down situations with six plays of 8-9 yards.