Reed's return: Cousins will receive much-needed assistance in the form of the return of tight end Jordan Reed. The versatile Reed has served as the quarterback's go-to guy on third downs, producing 18 first downs on 24 of his receptions. He has missed the last two games because of a concussion, and Washington's offense has suffered as a result.
Doug Martin is a problem: The Bucs' running back started slow, but has posted excellent numbers the past two weeks. Martin will definitely bounce outside, as he did against Jacksonville and Carolina on more than a few occasions. He's averaged 5.20 yards per carry the past two games; it was 3.83 the first three. The Bucs will run him up the middle, and he does a good job making defenders miss, averaging 2.40 yards after contact. If he's bottled up, he will bounce and has the footwork to make it happen (it's how he gained 39 yards on one run against Jacksonville). They will run him a lot out of I-formation with two tight ends (also a play-action look).
The Redskins don't blitz much, but they should be aware of this stat: Winston has completed just 52.4 percent of his throws vs. the blitz, with two interceptions and four sacks. But those numbers are largely built on two games. In three games, Winston has completed 13-of-20 passes vs. the blitz (but with two interceptions). In the other two he's nine-of-22.
But they do expect to have tight end Jordan Reed and left tackle Trent Williams. The Redskins are awaiting written confirmation that they have been cleared from the concussion protocol. A team source said Thursday night that both had been cleared, but Gruden said Williams was going to see the independent neurologist Friday.
OL Josh LeRibeus—The fourth-year player didn't get embarrassed in his first start at center against the Jets but he wasn't very good, either. His contract is up after this season and if he can't prove that he is capable of starting or at least being a viable backup there isn't much point in keeping him around. The Redskins need to run the ball if they are going to win and if they are not strong up the middle against the Bucs that will be difficult to accomplish.