Wednesday, December 3, 2014, 6:30pm
Redskins WR DeSean Jackson (shin) did not practice Wednesday. Jackson was reportedly “still limping” on the sideline at practice, which indicates that he’s not a good bet to be able to play through the injury. The Redskins are out of the playoff race, so there’s no need to rush Jackson back other than to try to win a few games to save face. Pierre Garcon, Andre Roberts and Jordan Reed would all get a bump if D-Jax can’t play. Washington plays in the early round of games on Sunday.
Indianapolis Colts backup running back Daniel "Boom" Herron has outplayed starter Trent Richardson in the past two games. But coach Chuck Pagano is not ready to make a switch and give Herron the majority of the workload in the backfield.
"We're not there," Pagano said. "You guys might be, but I'm not."
Still, Pagano is sticking by Richardson, who returns to face the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, because he has "no level of concern with how he's playing."
"He's a professional, he understands," Pagano said. "None of us can ever get away from working at our craft regardless of the circumstance, regardless of adversity, just keep grinding, just keep working, just keep swinging the ax. If he keeps swinging the ax, the tree will fall. If you put the ax down, the tree is never coming down. Just keep chopping wood and good things will happen."
Herron has rushed for 153 yards and a touchdown in the past two games. Richardson has only rushed for 54 yards in the past two games. He gained 12 yards on eight attempts against the Washington Redskins on Sunday, and that performance came two weeks after he didn't rush for any yards on six attempts against New England. Herron looks like the better fantasy back to own and it didn't take long for him to emerge over Richardson. It seems like Richardson is still going to get his work for now though.
It's good news for owners. This week's matchup is a great one against the 32nd ranked Titans - in terms of allowing fantasy points to RBs. Week 15 and 16 matchups get a little tougher with the Redskins and Rams, who are both in the top-10. With the Giants out of the race, don't be surprised if they give Andre Williams a few more looks as there's no point in risking further injury to Jennings.
Monday, December 1, 2014, 1:00pm
Eagles beat writer Tim McManus answered a question about the Eagles QB situation:
I’m working under the assumption that Mark Sanchez will be the quarterback for the remainder of the season, including playoffs.
The original timetable for Nick Foles' recovery was 6-8 weeks. A recent check-up suggested that the fractured clavicle is healing normally. December 14 -- the day the Eagles host the Cowboys -- is exactly six weeks from when Foles sustained the injury. Eight weeks puts us at the regular-season finale in New York. Even if Sanchez has a bad day against Seattle, there's little incentive to rush Foles back. If inserted for the final game or two, he would have very little time to knock the rust off. And given the way he played before he got hurt, there's no guarantee that he would play better than Sanchez even if he were to round back into pre-injury form.
Although it's just one opinion, the timetable makes sense that this is now Mark Sanchez's job for the rest of the season. His very good performance in the Dallas game Thanksgiving should buy him at least a bad game against Seattle should it play out that way. After that, the Birds finish with the Redskins and Giants, which should give Sanchez a chance to bounce back, rather than putting a rusty Foles back in at that point.
In Coach Jay Gruden’s mind, it represented enough of a spark for McCoy to retain his hold on the starting job he assumed after the coach benched Robert Griffin III following three consecutive losses.
“Colt competed,” Gruden said following the defeat, which dropped Washington to 3-9 and assured a losing season. “There are some things I wish we would have done differently — play calls and execution-wise. But I feel like he competed and did a nice job out there.”
Although McCoy earned a passer rating of 113.1 in his second start this season, he was sacked six times and had one of four fumbles — the only one Washington failed to recover — returned for a touchdown. The offense’s first-half showing was particularly disappointing, producing just three points off of three turnovers. Under McCoy’s direction, the unit converted just one of seven third downs in the first half. Six of the seven third downs were third-and-10 or longer, the story said. McCoy and the Skins offense host St. Louis in Week 14, who is coming off shutting out the Raiders in Week 13.
Jackson was streaking down the left sideline past Colts cornerback Josh Gordy when he fell to the turf and immediately grabbed his right leg. Though Gordy was flagged for pass interference on the play, it did not appear as though Gordy was responsible for Jackson’s injury.
After a brief examination on the sideline, Jackson was taken by a cart to the locker room. Jackson actually missed a few plays earlier in the game because of the injury but he never returned after being carted off. Despite being in catchup-up mode, WRs like Pierre Garcon and Andre Roberts weren't really factors. TE Jordan Reed ended up hauling in nine catches for 123 and RB Roy Helu finished with a 4-61-1 receiving ilne.
I'm going with Dan Herron. He spent most of the season as the Colts' third running back, then moves into the starting lineup against Jacksonville and rushes for 65 yards and has 31 yards receiving. Richardson, who everybody has been waiting to see get going, rushed for 42 yards and didn't have any catches out of the backfield.
The thought was coach Chuck Pagano started Herron over Richardson because Richardson missed a day of practice because he was sick. Turns out Pagano went with Herron because he outperformed Richardson in practice. I wouldn't be surprised if Herron starts at running back again this week against the Redskins.
Wells didn't mention anything about beyond this week, but reading into it a bit, it would sure seem like Herron could end up being the starter over Richardson. Herron didn't need a lot of time to out-perform Richardson in practice and move into the starting role. Richardson will still get his carries which will likely cap Herron's fantasy value, but Herron seems like the back to own between the two.
Friday, November 28, 2014, 6:04pm
Redskins TE Jordan Reed (hamstring, questionable) took full practice reps on Friday after being limited earlier in the week and is questionable for Week 13. Reed says he’s going to play on Sunday. If he’s out Niles Paul is a decent dart throw with Colt McCoy at quarterback. Of his 42 pass attempts in a game and a half of action, McCoy targeted a tight end 15 times (35.7%). Washington plays early on Sunday.
Wednesday, November 26, 2014, 6:20pm
Redskins TE Jordan Reed (hamstring) took limited practice reps Wednesday. Reed says he’s going to play on Sunday. If he’s out Niles Paul is a decent dart throw with Colt McCoy at quarterback. Of his 42 pass attempts, McCoy targeted a tight end 35.7% of the time in a game and a half of action.
Washington is planning to start Colt McCoy over Robert Griffin III on Sunday at Indianapolis, per a team source.
While Griffin is not a part of Washington's plan for Sunday's game, he still appears to be a significant part of the Redskins' long-term plan, per another source.
Yet right now, Washington is hitting the reset button, though it might not last long, a source cautioned.
McCoy has played a game and a half of football this season, relieving Kirk Cousins in the second half of Week 7 against the Titans. In that game he threw for 128 yards, which included a 70-yard touchdown to Pierre Garcon. He started the following week in Dallas, throwing for 299 yards and an interception, while also rushing for 16 yards and a touchdown. More importantly, the Redskins beat the Cowboys, 20-17. The thing that jumps out about McCoy is his YPA, which is 10.2 on 42 attempts. This is a rather small sample size, but it is an encouraging sign for McCoy backers. The move may be good for DeSean Jackson, who had six catches for 136 yards in McCoy's start against Dallas. Jackson had a nice Week 8 game with Griffin against the Vikings, but only caught six passes for 74 yards combined in the last two games. McCoy doesn't have a bad matchup the rest of the way.
Tuesday, November 25, 2014, 2:09pm
HC Jay Gruden's calling a vanilla offense because Griffin can’t handle a more complicated scheme right now. He has to call quick-hitters in an attempt to get the ball out of the quarterback’s hands, because he’s holding on to it too long as he struggles to play with rhythm and anticipation.
Gruden couldn’t afford to have Griffin stand in the pocket and wait for things to unfold downfield on Sunday because of the fierce 49ers defense. He got sacked six times while waiting for intermediate routes to unfold. Gruden tried to spice things up by calling for the Pierre Garcon end-around/pass downfield. He also called for Griffin to take a shot downfield, but he threw into double coverage and didn’t even see Pierre Garcon wide open in single coverage, also downfield.
Jones answered many frustrating questions from fans about RGIII. Another interesting answer was that Gruden is likely very frustrated Griffin hasn't picked up more of the offense by now, which leads Gruden to say things like: they intend to start Griffin this week. Jones went on to say Gruden was hired to fix RGIII but so far that hasn't happened and while he likely feels he needs to give RGIII more time, watching this offense is a struggle. It all adds up to meaning just about everyone on the Redskins offense is a risky fantasy play, especially as we head into the fantasy playoff season.
Tuesday, November 25, 2014, 10:17am
Redskins WR Pierre Garçon would rather be catching passes than throwing them. Last year Garçon was targeted 181 times, or more than 11 times per game. This season he has been targeted 68 times, about six times per game. He’s on pace to catch 67 passes this year, a far cry for the team-record 113 he caught in 2013.
It was expected that Garçon would catch fewer passes last year with the addition of DeSean Jackson. But it’s not like he has caught a ton of passes either; Jackson will catch 61 at his current pace.
The Redskins have started three different quarterbacks this year and while all have struggled in various ways, Robert Griffin III has been the least effective of them and he has started the last three games, all losses.
Redskins coach Jay Gruden understands the frustration.
“You get paid to play wide receiver,” he said. “You get paid to catch balls and they’re not catching the balls they’re accustomed to catching. We’ve just got to find out ways to get them the ball. You only have one ball. You hand the ball off to Alfred and throw some quick gains. The backs are involved, the tight ends are involved and over the course of the game, sometimes you don’t get as many as you would like.”
Perhaps the final hope for Garcon owners was the return of RGIII at QB. Garcon's targets had dipped with Colt McCoy and Kirk Cousins under center this season, but that increase hasn't taken place since Griffin returned making Garcon not much of a fantasy option with this struggling offense.
It's doesn't really rule out the team not starting RGIII, but there at least seems to be a good chance they will. The Skins travel to Indy and will likely need to score some points against Andrew Luck and company - something the team hasn't really done the last two weeks. RGIII is a risky play.