Redskins look for continued progress in preseason home opener

WASHINGTON — Believe it or not, there will be a football game Thursday night at FedEx Field. I know it’s hard to believe after the week we’ve had with Robert Griffin III making headlines again for something he said to the media.

Griffin will start Thursday’s game against the Lions and, like the rest of the starters, should see about a quarter of action again, according to head coach Jay Gruden. Griffin had a good start to the preseason last week, as he didn’t make any mistakes and appeared to make some progress. The numbers are basically irrelevant — while he finished 4-8 for 36 yards, Pierre Garcon dropped what would have been a 61-yard touchdown. Griffin made some good, quick, decisive moves and should take another step this week.

The battle for the backup quarterback position continues this week, and it will be Colt McCoy getting a shot with the second offense after Kirk Cousins had his opportunity last week.

“I think Colt will get more reps in this game,” Gruden said Wednesday. “But, you know, it’s an open competition there for those guys. They’re both doing some great things in practice. Kirk [Cousins] had a very strong performance against Cleveland. So Colt’s just got to parlay a solid performance when he played in the games last year, and see his growth, see what he’s all about and move the team and the get the ball in the end zone.”

Cousins should play the fourth quarter this week.

Another player that stood out last week, and continues to emerge as the possible third-down back, is running back Chris Thompson.

“Thompson is doing an excellent job,” Gruden said. “Chris is actually doing good on the normal downs also. Those three guys (third down backs) are excellent.”

Gruden is a big fan of Thompson’s, and really hopes he can stay healthy and contribute.

On the defensive side we could also see the debut of linebacker Junior Galette this week. He said that he feels good and hopes to get on the field.

This week marks another chance for the Redskins to get better. Coaches usually put more into the third preseason game, where you might see the starters play into the third quarter. That’s next week against the Ravens in Baltimore. As for the expectations for this game?

“I expect to just continue to build on what we’re doing and make sure these guys go out and compete every down, get better than we were last week,” Gruden said. “We were pretty error free as far as the penalties were concerned. I am hoping that stays the case. But I want to see our guys just continue to get better and stay together, learn our system, play together and communicate.”

Injuries 

Wide receiver DeSean Jackson will sit out a second straight game with the shoulder injury. He is aiming to play in the third preseason game, next week in Baltimore.

Rookie Jamison Crowder is in the same boat — he will miss Thursday’s game with hope of playing next week.

The tight end position took a hit this week with the loss of Niles Paul and Logan Paulsen for the year with injuries. Jordan Reed is expected to take on a bigger role if he can stay healthy. That’s a big IF. His hamstring is still bothering him and he will miss the game this week. Jay Gruden went as far as to say if this were a regular season game he would not play.

Cornerback DeAngelo Hall wants to play but has a toe injury, so we will see if he can go.


 

If you are going to FedEx Field, there are some things you cannot bring:

  • Bags, including: backpacks, gym bags, duffel bags, packages, briefcases, purses, fanny packs, etc.
  • Food and beverages of any kind
  • Seat cushions
  • Umbrellas (plastic ponchos are available for sale at select merchandise areas)
  • Bottles, jugs, thermoses, cans, coolers, or any other container
  • Animals (except for certified guide dogs assisting disabled guests)
  • Whistles, horns and other noise makers
  • Weapons, firearms
  • Illegal drugs
  • Folding chairs and strollers

See all of the guidelines on the Redskins Stadium Guide.

George Wallace

George Wallace is the WTOP sports director. He began at WTOP on Christmas Day of 2000.

This article was written by WTOP’s news partner, NBC Sports Washington. Sign up for NBC Sports Washington’s free email subscription today.

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