Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, December 13, three days before the Redskins take on the Browns in Cleveland.
Fletcher did not practice
One item that didn’t make the cut was the fact that London Fletcher did not practice on Wednesday. He is still ailing from an ankle injury.
But, then again, Fletcher not practicing really isn’t news. He has either missed practice or has been limited every practice for the past few weeks. The 15-year veteran did not practice on Wednesday or Thursday last week and he was limited on Friday. But he extended his streak of consecutive games played to 237 on Sunday.
It would not be surprising to see this pattern continue for the rest of the season. The ankle might get a little better while he plays 60 to 70 snaps on it every Sunday but it won’t really heal until the offseason.
And Fletcher hopes that the Redskins’ offseason doesn’t start until sometime in January or even February. Since he started at middle linebacker for the Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI following the 2001 season Fletcher has played in just one postseason game.
Expanding the NFL playoffs
The chances of a team making the playoffs could go up dramatically if Roger Goodell gets his way.
At the conclusion of the league meetings in Dallas this week the NFL commissioner said that the league will consider expanding the number of teams in the NFL playoffs from 12 to 14 or maybe even 16.
A 16-team playoff would completely eliminate the first-round byes for the top two teams while a 14-team setup presumably would award a bye only to the top team in each conference.
Another playoff game or two, of course, means more TV revenue and that makes it almost inevitable. A 16-team playoff might be necessary to keep interest alive if the league expands to an 18-game regular season
Just because it might be inevitable or necessary doesn’t mean that it’s a good idea. As this unscientific poll on Pro Football Talk indicates, fans aren’t exactly clamoring for a watered-down playoff field that includes up to half of the teams in the NFL.
11:30—Practice (closed to the media after 30 minutes)
After practice (approx. 2:00)—Kyle Shanahan, Mike Shanahan, and Jim Haslett news conferences and open locker room.
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Days until: Redskins @ Browns 3; Redskins @ Eagles 11; Cowboys vs. Redskins @ FedEx Field 18; 1st round of NFL playoffs 24