Here is what we will be talking about around Redskins Park this week:
Injuries and who will step up—With Tim Hightower out for the year and Santana Moss gone for five to seven weeks, the Redskins are losing some major offensive production and the team can’t afford to lose much of that. We will find out who will replace Hightower on the roster on Wednesday as the team will shop around for options to consider along with 2011 draft pick Evan Royster. Whoever comes aboard will be the third back. Hightower had more than half of the team’s rushing attempts so we will talk to Ryan Torain and Roy Helu about their increased roles. Someone from a group of Niles Paul, Terrence Austin, and maybe Leonard Hankerson (picutred) will get an increased role at wide receiver.
Beck Week 2—John Beck’s debut as the Redskins starter went fairly well, although he was by far the inferior QB on the field. He had a few passes batted down and he fumbled on the Redskins’ first series but overall he was OK. The question is, can he move beyond just passable? Beck isn’t going to the Pro Bowl or anything but if he wants to solidify his status as at least the bridge to the Redskins’ next quarterback he will have to virtually eliminate the turnovers and generally clean up his game. We’ll have an eye on him as he gets ready to take on the Bills on Sunday.
Is London’s streak in jeopardy?—London Fletcher, who rarely misses a snap, was out for the latter part of the Panthers game with a hamstring injury. He rarely misses a snap, much less multiple series. Mike Shanahan said, “I don’t think it’s that serious,” but he also said that we won’t know more until Wednesday. Fletcher has not missed a game since he came into the league in 1998, a streak of 214 straight games over 13-plus seasons.
Defensive slippage—The Redskins gave up an average of 16 points per game in their first four games but have allowed 20 and 33 in their past two games. Are other teams figuring out how to beat the Redskins defense? Is it just a matter of facing mobile quarterbacks in Michael Vick and Cam Newton? Or is it just a slump that will work its way out. Most of the injuries are on the other side of the ball and it is up to the defense to keep the team in games until the offense can get a few guys back and get rolling.