Friday, November 1, 2013
By John Keim
1. When a team that had high expectations stumbles to a 2-5 start, you'd think that injuries would have played a big factor. They haven't. And that's one of the odd things about this start. Aside from safety the Redskins have been a healthy team and this week's injury report reflects that as only safety Jose Gumbs is listed as questionable. Everyone else is probable.
2. Safety Reed Doughty had a good week of work coming off his concussion and receiver Pierre Garcon was full speed in practice after hurting his calf against the Broncos. Tight end Logan Paulsen tweaked his left knee against Denver, but like those two is probable for Sunday.
Mike Shanahan isn't worried that Brandon Meriweather will be hesitant after the safety served a one-game suspension for illegal hits.
3. Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said he's not concerned that safety Brandon Meriweather will somehow be hesitant on the field coming off his one-game suspension for illegal hits. "Not really," Shanahan said. "I think sometimes people get a little carried away with that. We understand what the rules are and he's been penalized for it. We've been penalized as a team as well. So he knows where the emphasis is and he wants to play football for a long time. When he does get that hit, he's going to try to hit in the right area. Hopefully he does."
4. For San Diego, receiver Eddie Royal did not practice for a third consecutive day and is questionable for Sunday because of a toe injury. Linebacker Donald Butler (groin) is doubtful and guard Chad Rinehart (toe), the ex-Redskin, is questionable. Rinehart was limited in practice.
5. It would be a big disappointment for Royal if he can't play Sunday. He grew up in Northern Virginia and graduated from Westfield High School in Chantilly. (Note: He and Redskins running back Evan Royster played together on a state championship team, one that beat Percy Harvin's team to win a title.) Royal was this close to signing with Washington in the 2012 offseason; had he done so, then veteran Santana Moss likely would have been gone as both are slot receivers.
"I was real close," Royal said. "It would've been a good deal just being able to play at home and play for Coach [Mike] Shanahan. It was an opportunity for me to make all that happen, but San Diego was a better fit for me and I'm happy with my decision. I've got a lot of respect for the Redskins and that was my favorite team growing up, so it's hard to say no to those guys."
Shanahan drafted Royal in 2008 with Denver.
"He's a class individual," Shanahan said of Royal. "He's an excellent slot guy, punt returner, kickoff returner. He can get open, does a lot of the things that Moss has done for us the last few years -- quality guy."
6. Shanahan said the coaches will start preparing for Thursday's game at Minnesota at some point this weekend. He said it's easier as a head coach to start getting ahead than it is for a coordinator because he doesn't have to prepare a game plan. "As a coordinator I couldn't do it in my early years," Shanahan said. "As a head coach, you do have some time where you look a little bit. It's a little different and it does take some getting used to. Some people can't do it."
Friday, for example, the offensive staff is focused on putting together their first 20 plays for Sunday and they also must put together a film for Saturday's meeting.
"So you don't have a lot of time before the game," Shanahan said. "You may wake up early Sunday if it's an early game and study a couple hours -- two or three hours -- just to get a little jump on things because you already got your game plan together, same thing on defense. So it's a little bit tougher. Sometimes they'll do it here in the morning or do it a little bit later on a Friday night. A lot of different ways people do it."