After playing just two games in the last 29 days, the Redskins will crank up their stretch drive tonight. Between tonight and Dec. 30, a span of 27 days, the Redskins will play five games. And when it’s over the Redskins will either be making plans to play another game the following weekend or going home after 16 games for the fifth straight season.
It starts tonight against the Giants so we’re going to keep you updated here all day long. News, notes, and nuggets from now until the game ends. Check by frequently throughout the day and refresh the page for the latest.
7:30 (1:00 to kickoff)—In a surprise, it was announced that Reed Doughty will start at safety over DeJon Gomes. It will be interesting to see if Gomes rides the bench like Doughty did when Gomes was starting or if he plays in packages.
For the Giants, Osi Umenyiora will start in place of Jason Pierre-Paul and Sean Locklear, who was with the Redskins last year, will start at right tackle in place of David Diehl.
7:15 (1:15 to kickoff)—Tarik El-Bashir reports that Trent Williams and London Fletcher are active and should start. The inactives are:
QB Rex Grossman
WR Dez Briscoe
CB Richard Crawford
LB Roddrick Muckelroy
G Josh LeRibeus
G Adam Gettis
DE Doug Worthington
6:50 (1:40 to kickoff)—Trent Williams is out on the field warming up. It looks like he’s going through his paces for the trainers before they decide to have him on the active list. So far he looks like he’s moving well but we won’t know for sure until the inactives are announced sometime around 7:00.
6:15 (2:45 to kickoff)—Adam Schefter of ESPN is reporting that the Redskins used some comments made by Giants owner John Mara as motivation for tonight’s game against New York.
Mara, of course, was the driving force behind the league’s decision to penalize the Redskins $36 million in salary cap space to be spread over this year and next.
According to Schefter, Mara’s comments that I think (the Redskins) are lucky they didn't lose draft picks" and "I thought the penalties imposed were proper" were posted around the Redskins’ offices this week. The Redskins believe that Mara wanted to penalize them to such an extent that they would not have been able to pull off the trade that landed them the rights to Robert Griffin III.
We don’t know if the situation was used to try to fire up the players at all, but between what Mara said and did and Victor Cruz’s comments that the Redskins were not a “legitimate” playoff contender, the Redskins have plenty of motivation. That is, of course, if the fact that they are playing for their playoff lives tonight is not enough motivation.
6:00 (2:30 to kickoff)—Mike Garafolo of USA Today is reporting that both Jason Pierre-Paul and Kenny Phillips will play for the Giants tonight. Phillips had been listed as doubtful with a knee injury and Pierre-Paul was questionable with back problems.
5:30 (3:00 to kickoff)—Due to the odd schedule over the last week, I did not get a chance to post my prediction for the game. We’ll keep it short.
The Redskins should get the offense they got in the Meadowlands in October without the turnovers. Pierre Garçon is a difference maker. The defense continues for frustrate Eli Manning and will do it for 60 minutes this time, not just 58 and change.
Redskins 28, Giants 21
5:00 (3:30 to kickoff)—The one thing about getting here early to avoid the traffic is that we’re here before the players even arrive. So there is nothing new on injuries.
I can report that the Punt, Pass, and Kick competition is going out on the field right now and some of these kids have pretty good arms. Not sure if there’s a future RG3 out there but they’re pretty sharp.
4:30 (4:30 to kickoff)—OK, here about an hour after forecast. Traffic not a huge issue but they didn’t open the gates until 4:00. Dagger.
Note: About to head to the stadium. Traffic willing, next update post will come at about 3:30. Hit me with any questions @Rich_TandlerCSN
1:45 (6:45 To kickoff)—It’s never this simple, but the Redskins could greatly help their chances of winning tonight if they don’t turn the ball over four times.
They have 10 giveaways all year and four of them came in one half of play. Given that, the fact that they took the lead in the last two minutes of that game is darn near miraculous.
1:00 (7:30 to kickoff)--Take a look at a preview of the RG3 special on CSNwashington tonight.
Quick update: I’m going to be on Pro Football Talk with Mike Florio at 12:25 to talk about the Redskins and, perhaps, RG3. Drop on by and check it out.
12:00 (8:30 to kickoff)—When asked about playing in his first Monday night game, RG3 talked about the weather.
“It’s at night and it’ll be really cold,” he said. “We’re men so we’ve got to play in the cold. We’ve got to play in prime time television. I look forward to it.”
He’s right that the game is going to be at night and on national, prime time TV. But it’s not going to be cold. The forecast calls for it to be clear and about 55 at kickoff and temperatures are not going to drop below 50.
10:30 (10:00 to kickoff)—I suppose while I’m updating injuries I should talk about the Redskins even though there is no new news there.
There is no question that Pierre Garçon will play. He will the limited in practice for most of the rest of the season but he will give it a full go in the game.
I can’t see a thigh bruise, even a deep one, like Trent Williams sustained 11 days ago is going to keep him out of this game. By the way, he’s going to wear thigh pads, something that should have been a no-brainer all along.
Mike Shanahan has said repeatedly this week that he doesn’t doubt London Fletcher so there’s no reason the rest of us should. Keep an eye on if he gets off a series here and there or gets substituted for in some situations.
9:30 (11:00 to kickoff)—There are reports that two key injured defensive starters made the trip to D. C. with the Giants. Safety Kenny Phillips (knee) and defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul (back) will be at FedEx Field. Phillips, who has been hampered by the knee injury all season, was limited in practice on Friday and Saturday and was listed as doubtful on Saturday’s final injury report. Pierre-Paul’s back issue just flared up this past week and he was out of practice on Friday and Saturday. He is listed as questionable.
Pierre-Paul is one of the few defenders on the Giants who is a match for RG3 athletically and his absence would certainly hamper the New York defense. However, they would be left with Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora at defensive end so they would hardly be strapped at defensive end.