The Washington Redskins will open their preseason schedule on Thursday against the new England Patriots. While the team has retooled with aspirations of postseason, they have veterans in place that are returning from injury a season ago and are taking precautionary steps with getting them back on the field. Enter left tackle Trent Williams. Head coach Jay Gruden said on Monday, Williams is “doubtful” versus the Patriots.
Williams fought through a knee injury suffered in training camp last year. He appeared in 10 games before the Redskins placed him on injured reserve and he underwent surgery to correct the matter. Gruden said if they needed Williams he could play, but given it’s the preseason opener, no need to rush him back.
“If there was one football player who probably doesn’t need to practice, it’s Trent Williams,” Gruden said Monday per Chad Ryan Redskins Capital Connection.
Williams is a six-time pro bowler, was ranked in the NFL’s top 100 players last month and is arguably the best left tackle in the league. So missing a preseason game won’t hurt in his development. What it will do is give rookie Geron Christian much-needed increase in reps, as he looks to become the top swing tackle for the Redskins.
Orlando Scandrick Slated to Be Top Slot Corner
Gruden noted that Orlando Scandrick will be the slot corner in nickel sub packages. Scandrick had been lining up on outside in practice in base packages but slides inside to the slot while Quinton Dunbar goes outside in sub packages.
Gruden says in sub packages like nickel, Orlando Scandrick will play slot corner. Scandrick has mostly played there in camp (besides the occasional base package)
— Matthew Paras (@Matthew_Paras) August 6, 2018
Scandrick signed a two-year deal with the Redskins after being released by the Dallas Cowboys in the spring. When healthy, Scandrick was viewed as one of the premiere slot corners in the league. However, the last three seasons have been riddled with injuries. He tore his ACL and MCL in 2015. Hamstring injuries cut his season short by four games in 2016 and he missed six games in total in 2017 with a broken hand and back injury.
Scandrick’s resurgence will be key to a revamped Redskins’ secondary at cornerback. The team parted with the younger Kendall Fuller and Bashaud Breeland this off-season. Fuller was traded to the Kansas City Chiefs in the deal that acquired Alex Smith for the Redskins. Fuller was viewed as one of the top young slot corners in the NFL after a breakout season in 2017. The Redskins were expected to part ways with Breeland with the team working the salary cap, however, Breeland is still unsigned while dealing with a foot injury that voided a three-year deal he initially signed with Carolina.
If Scandrick can stay healthy this season, he could be a steal for the Redskins. Josh Hosley is nursing a foot injury after a freak accident when a table fell on his foot. Hosley has missed the start of training camp, but he can be a valuable backup plan at slot corner.
Switch In Practice Schedule Paying Off
Gruden called himself a “genius” jokingly with the switch in the Redskins’ practice schedules. A year ago, rain and thunderstorms halted practice time in the afternoon so Gruden switched the order this year, with the full practices in the morning and walk-through in the afternoon. The weather has hampered walk-throughs but the bulk of the day’s work is put in during the full practices in the morning. A huge adjustment that should benefit the team long-term in preparation for regular season.
Day 10. Jay Gruden at the podium.
He says the walk-throughs that are being missed/cut short aren't a big deal. He says they're on pace to get everything in as they've modified here and there, including walk-throughs at the hotel.
— Craig Hoffman (@CraigHoffman) August 6, 2018