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The 5 O'Clock Club: Two steps forward, two steps back

It’s 5 o’clock somewhere…

NFL: Washington Redskins at Philadelphia Eagles Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The 5 o’clock club aims to provide a forum for reader-driven discussion at a time of day when there isn’t much NFL news being published. Feel free to introduce topics that interest you in the comments below.

New injuries, new players

The Redskins have sent three players to Injured Reserve this week:

  1. RB Rob Kelley
  2. ILB Will Compton
  3. OT T.J. Clemmings

The ‘Skins signed three players to fill the roster:

  1. RB Byron Marshall (from Eagles practice squad — more on him in tomorrow’s ‘club’ post)
  2. LB Zach Vigil (who was in training camp with the Skins)
  3. OL Tyler Catalina

Old players returning

But a number of players are getting healthier — though some continue to be hard to predict in terms of game availability.

Safety Montae Nicholson

Jay Gruden’s comments:

Yeah, we’re hoping. Montae’s had a good day today and hopefully his shoulders are feeling good and he’ll be up and ready.

If he can go, Montae’s our starter, if he can go, and we can utilize D-Hall however we want. And we still have D.J. [Swearinger], obviously. Very important to have three or four safeties nowadays, we’ve learned that. Every week, it seems like we’ve used all three, sometimes four, so we’ll use them all.

Greg Manusky on Nicholson:

He does a great job when he is in the post. He can cover a lot of ground. And for having him out the last couple of weeks, it’s all right, but I’m just saying we are looking for that speed that he could take those receivers that are going up the field and making plays on the ball, which he has.

Tight End Jordan Reed

PFT addressed Reed’s situation:

Reed missed Week Nine with a hamstring injury and then suffered a “little setback” that caused him to sit out for the third time this season. Reed called himself “day-to-day” on Thursday, but cast serious doubt on his ability to face the Saints when he added that he and the Redskins medical team are “trying to do things the right way and just take it slow and make sure I’m healthy before I get out there.”

“It’s frustrating, man,” Reed said, via the Washington Post. “It’s right up there with all the other [injury-shortened] seasons. All I can focus on now is today and doing what I got to do, so when I come back, I can try to finish strong.”

Jay Gruden’s comments:

Yeah, the hardest thing with him is on Mondays and Tuesdays, we don’t know if he’s going to play or not and he’s a major part of any game plan. When he’s not in, you kind of have to adjust your game plan again, so that’s the most difficult challenge.

The big thing is getting him healthy. That’s all we care about.

But, it’d be nice to know on Monday if he’s going to play on Sunday because it factors into everything – red zone, short yardage, all your play-action passes. Your personnel groupings are affected, how many plays you carry in each personnel grouping have a major impact, so that’s the most difficult thing. Hopefully we’ll get great news tomorrow. If not, we’ll get him ready for the Giants or Cowboys or whatever it is.

Defensive Tackle Matt Ioannidis

Greg Manusky’s comments:

He was limited a little bit today and we will see what he can do. Overall, I am kind of excited to get him back. We had a little bit of better pressure up the middle with him. If he can go, it would be great. If not, then the other guys will make sure to have a part of it.

Jay Gruden’s comments about the McTwins & the DL rotation:

I think when we had the rotation early in the year with [Jonathan] Allen and [Matt] Ioannidis and McGee and obviously other guys, we were better off. Then we lose two and all of a sudden, [the McTwins are] the main guys and they’re asked to play more and more reps, and we’re trying to get [Anthony] Lanier up to speed, and last week it was [Brandon] Banks…

So it’s been a little bit harder on them.

And then you play a game where you have 90 snaps against Seattle – that wears them down a little bit.

Hopefully their legs are back under them with the addition of Matt Ioannidis hopefully back this week, that’ll help make a strong four-man and Anthony Lanier will be the fifth. Hopefully we’ll be able to utilize a solid rotation, get off the field on third down and keep them fresh and rested.

Inside Linebacker position

Greg Manusky on Martrell Spaight:

He inspires the defense, I think. He brings a little fire to him. The best thing that I think he does is he can see it and then go. From his reaction standpoint, he does a great job. Losing Comp [Will Compton] and then losing Mase [Mason Foster] of course, it’s a little bit of a blow but those guys are always in a backup situation and they are going to be playing and I’m looking forward to his first start in a little bit.

Jay Gruden’s comments:

We’ve kind of flipped around. Zach’s had the communication sometimes throughout the year and then last week it was [Will] Compton. This week, it will go back to Zach, so it’s no big deal.


How excited are you by the addition of RB Byron Marshall to the Redskins roster?

This poll is closed

  • 4%
    This is a fantastic move!
    (8 votes)
  • 11%
    He looks pretty good. Color me impressed.
    (19 votes)
  • 57%
    Eh... he looks like a pretty average backup running back
    (94 votes)
  • 17%
    With all the quality guys the team could have brought in, I’m scratching my head over this signing
    (29 votes)
  • 7%
    (13 votes)
163 votes total Vote Now