Cornerback Chris Culliver. There's nothing structurally wrong with his left knee based on an MRI, but Culliver will have to weigh how effective he can be given the pain. But the Redskins absolutely need him this week against the Atlanta Falcons' passing attack. Culliver has not practiced the past two days and if he can't go Friday, then the obvious statement is that it's a bad sign. Some players can get away without practicing and then playing that Sunday. But usually players want to test themselves by at least Friday -- and coaches want to see it.
Against Dallas, for example, Jones was aligned just outside the right tackle when Ryan executed a play-action fake. With the corner playing outside leverage against him, Jones ran a deep cross. And because Jones was coming from the other side, the linebacker to the area he was headed didn't see him and therefore had no reason to drop deeper. That left Jones hauling in a 22-yard catch with a corner trailing him.
Matt Ryan is a good fit for Kyle Shanahan's offense. Ryan is not perfect and has his flaws. He misses low to receivers quite a bit and throws with a lower release. That's partly why he's had seven passes batted down at the line of scrimmage (third most in the NFL), according to ESPN Stats & Information. So defenders must make sure to get their hands up (hello, Jason Hatcher). But Ryan is an excellent quarterback having a good year. He's averaging 8.4 yards per pass attempt (career average: 7.2).
When opponents run to their left vs. Atlanta, they average 5.11 yards per carry (on 18 attempts). Teams have tested them more to the right side, with 30 attempts and a 4.40 yards per carry average. The Redskins average 4.80 yards on runs to their left.
Crowder showed against the Eagles that he is capable of winning one-on-one matchups with slot corners because of his quickness and explosiveness. Jordan Reed offers a similar threat against linebackers, which has made him one of the Redskins' best targets on key third downs. With Reed going through the concussion protocol, there's a chance he won't be available against the Falcons. Crowder caught four of the nine successful third-down conversions against the Eagles. That could mean the Redskins might ask Crowder to step up again and be one of their ‘go-to' receivers on third downs this Sunday.