NFC East: Darrel Young

Examining the Washington Redskins' roster:

Quarterbacks (3)

Jay Gruden only had two quarterbacks in each of his three seasons with Cincinnati, but Griffin still needs to prove his durability. If something happened to him, they woulld still be in good shape with Cousins and McCoy. If they go with two then McCoy gets left off.

Running backs (4)

The Redskins could also stash Chris Thompson on the practice squad as further insurance. Thompson can easily bump himself onto the roster with a good summer; he’s a good fit in Gruden’s offense and the new coach liked Thompson coming out of college. But durability is an issue. By keeping four here, the Redskins can go with an extra player at another spot. This means Evan Royster is on the outs, but he doesn’t give the Redskins anything they don’t have in better players. He is insurance only.

Receivers (6)

I am not cutting Leonard Hankerson, rather I’m just not sold that he will be on the active roster at the start of the season. If he shows this summer that he can play, then, yes, I would have him on the 53-man roster. But the Redskins were not sure what to expect from him and when he might be healthy. Therefore, I can see him taking a little longer to return. Gruden likes Moss and they drafted Grant. Robinson needs to take a step.

Tight ends (3)

Rookie tight end Ted Bolser would head to the practice squad, where he can develop. He didn’t look close to a roster spot just based on how he looked this spring. Reed is firmly entrenched as the starter with Paulsen their top blocker and Paul a special teams ace.

Offensive line (10)

In reality, I could see them keeping only nine offensive linemen. It all depends on how Long and/or LeRibeus looks at guard. They love Long -- Gruden has said he could compete immediately -- so if he shows he can play, then they could cut Chester. Compton is a little surprise, but they like him as well. This position will be fluid and I’m not sold on the 10 I have listed.

Defensive line (6)

This one is fluid as well because it depends in part on Bowen’s health. I like Chris Neild and so do they, but can they keep him? Golston is more versatile and a key player on special teams, but he’s also 30 and they must get younger.

Linebackers (9)

As of now I’d have Rob Jackson out, especially if Jenkins develops as a pass-rusher. But this will be a close race. And I have them keeping an extra guy inside in Hayward because of his special teams ability.

Cornerbacks (5)
Chase Minnifield remains eligible for the practice squad. Richard Crawford is coming off a knee injury and it’s hard to place him on here without seeing him play. The one benefit for Crawford is that he can play in the slot; they need depth at that spot.

Safeties (4)

I really don’t feel good about this position and am not confident that I have this one right, at least for that final spot. Robinson’s special teams ability gives him the edge over Bacarri Rambo, who must have a strong camp. Akeem Davis can help on special teams, but with no NFL experience he will be stashed on the practice squad.

Specialists (3)

The Forbath selection is based on never having seen rookie Zach Hocker kick in an NFL game. If Hocker is consistent this summer and shows a strong leg, then he can win the job.

Redskins liked Kyle Shanahan's offense

December, 30, 2013
ASHBURN, Va. -- As he headed to and from the Redskins' facility, carrying personal belongings, offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan allowed that he was at peace. He, and seven other Redskins assistants, were fired Monday along with head coach Mike Shanahan.

Not only did Kyle Shanahan exit with personal ware, he also left with his confidence. After six seasons as an NFL offensive coordinator, Shanahan remains upbeat about what he's accomplished -- and about where he's still headed. He should: The Redskins finished in the top 10 in total yards for the second consecutive year. And it's the fourth time in his six seasons as an offensive coordinator that his offenses ended up in the top 10 in total yards.

[+] EnlargeKyle Shanahan
Steve Nehf/The Denver Post via Getty ImagesKyle Shanahan's offense finished in the top 10 for two straight seasons.
"I'm pretty confident in myself," Shanahan said, when asked last week where he felt he stood as a play caller. "I feel good about myself as far as I think I'm good at what I do. I'm really trying hard not to brag on myself, I'm just trying to answer your question honestly that I'm confident in what I've done and I'm confident in my future. ... I'll continue to do a good job."

Shanahan was not the only offensive assistant fired. Quarterbacks coach Matt LaFleur and receivers coach Mike McDaniel also were told they would not be retained. Offensive assistant Richmond Flowers also was let go.

But Shanahan is the one the players will miss most.

One opposing defensive coach, who faced the Redskins within the past two seasons, called Shanahan an "above average coordinator" who could be outstanding with the right head coach. His flaws, according to this coach: managing the game and play calling in critical situations. Other complaints over the years: he threw the ball too often and sometimes got too cute with his play calls.

But the Redskins moved the ball under Shanahan. They finished among the top 10 in total yards in consecutive years for the first time since 1991, the last of six straight years in the top 10. The problem is that Washington went from fourth in points per game a year ago to 23 this season. The No. 4 ranking in points in 2012 marked the only time Washington has finished in the top 10 since 1999.

"I liked Kyle's work ethic, his attention to detail," tight end Logan Paulsen said. "You know how in chess you play someone who is really good and they can see a couple moves ahead. I always felt he could do that. ... One thing I remember is talking to [tight ends coach Sean McVay] and said, ‘Why don't we just run this?' He said, ‘It doesn't have answers if you get into a bad coverage.' But the thing about Kyle and his staff they worked very hard to make sure every play has an answer so you never in an awful look."

Since 2000, the Redskins have been mostly dreadful on offense when it comes to scoring -- despite offensive-minded head coaches in Steve Spurrier, Joe Gibbs, Jim Zorn and Mike Shanahan. They've ranked 25th or worse in terms of scoring seven times since 2001 and 20th or worse 11 times. They ranked 13th in points per game in 2005, the next best finish after 2012.

"It's well put together," quarterback Rex Grossman said. "When he gets in a rhythm he's the best in the NFL. You can feel it as a player and it allows you to have success. ... If you're not in the right look, you do have answers so you don't feel stuck, which is a good thing and it's hard to coordinate."

Fullback Darrel Young said, "I respect everything he did for me, this team and this offense. All the people that criticized him, we still had Alfred [Morris] as one of the top 10 rushers in the league."

But Shanahan did not earn the complete trust of quarterback Robert Griffin III. And there is this matter: The Redskins finished 24-40 under the Mike Shanahan regime. In a bottom line business, that's the number that jumps out.

"You don't have a good record and that starts with myself as much as anybody else," Kyle Shanahan said last week. "The ultimate goal is wins."
ASHBURN, Va. -- They expected the news, yet it still resonated. For weeks the Washington Redskins players answered questions about Mike Shanahan’s job fate. For days they read he was going to be fired.

When it finally happened Monday, the news still hit the players.

"It just got real," defensive end Kedric Golston said.

"Everyone expected it, but it doesn’t make it that much easier," tight end Logan Paulsen said.

"It definitely becomes a lot more real and makes the situation more sad," linebacker Ryan Kerrigan said.

Shanahan was fired shortly after 9 a.m. Monday morning as players were trickling in for their end-of-season physicals. Others were already packing up the belongings in their lockers.

It comes at the end of a 3-13 season, which is why the firing wasn’t much of a surprise. They finished 24-40 in Shanahan’s four seasons.

"Frustrating," fullback Darrel Young said. "We failed a Hall of Fame coach. It was a lack of execution by the players this year."

The players know that few, if any, current assistant coaches will stick around. The firing impacts coaches the players had relationships with, in some cases for four years. But the players also know there's a bottom line for them, too. Some players won’t fit what a new coach wants to run, whether offensively or defensively. So their futures are at stake, too.

"It’s also difficult because we have to learn a new scheme," Paulsen said. "We have to adapt to a new coach, a new coach who you might not fit their system. So a lot of guys might be gone. That's always difficult. It will be a complete culture change. But right now I just feel for coach and the staff and hope it works out for the best for them."

And, as players who have been around here know all too well, a new coach doesn't always bring results. The Redskins will be looking for their seventh full-time coach under owner Dan Snyder, who bought the team in 1999.

"Just because you change coaches doesn't mean that all is fixed," Golston said. "You have to now start the work to build something to be successful.

"Whenever you have a coaching change it's tough because you have new philosophies. You have to understand their communication, understand what he means when he says something and what his pet peeves are, what his practices are like, what his offseasons look like. All those things are new to you, so it brings uncertainty so you have to adapt on the fly. It’s never a good thing."

The Redskins' season unraveled in a hurry. They were 3-5 after a home win versus San Diego and then blew a 13-point second-half lead at then 1-7 Minnesota. There was a palpable difference in the locker room after that game, as if the players knew they had blown their chance. They never won again.

"The turning point was the Minnesota loss," Young said. "I [still] went into every game thinking we were going to win, but to look back now that was the turning point in the season. It felt like we were playing good football … and all the emotions that go into it changed a lot for us."

Last year at this time the Redskins were preparing for a playoff game against Seattle, coming off seven straight wins and full of confidence -- about that game and the future. Despite Robert Griffin III’s knee issues in the offseason the rest of the roster felt good and were buoyed by what they considered a strong training camp.

"And then to be where we're at now," Golston said, "to lose in the ways we lost some games, it's been unfortunate just because you don’t have many years in this business to let one slip away and let something like this happen."

In the end, though, something wasn't working.

"None of these coaches played a down this year," Kerrigan said. "It’s all on us. We can complain and say we all like this coaching staff and don’t want them to be fired, but if we played better we wouldn't be in this situation. That’s what hurts me."

Brian Orakpo: 'I'm pretty banged up'

December, 24, 2013
ASHBURN, Va. -- Washington Redskins linebacker Brian Orakpo said he wants to play in the season finale. Whether he can or not remains uncertain.

Orakpo strained his right groin early in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s 24-23 loss to the Dallas Cowboys and was limited in practice Tuesday.

“I’m pretty banged up, man,” Orakpo said.

Fullback Darrel Young (hamstring) was a full participant in practice. Safety Brandon Meriweather missed practice to take care of a personal matter.

Orakpo said he’d like to play in the season finale against the New York Giants, but with a caveat.

“I’m not going to be stupid,” he said. “If I feel good, I’ll try to give it a go. If not, it’s been a good season.”

Orakpo, a first-round pick in 2009, is a free agent after the season – along with fellow linebackers London Fletcher and Perry Riley. Fletcher is retiring, but the other two face an uncertain future.

But Orakpo said he’s not thinking whether Sunday will be his final game with Washington.

"It’s been a disappointing year from the whole aspect of our record,” Orakpo said. “I’m not concerned with it possibly being my last game. We have to take care of these Giants and get this bad taste out of our mouth.

“It’s going to be the last time to suit up [as a group]. Hopefully go out with a bang and finish the season somewhat on a positive note.”

Darrel Young will play for Redskins

December, 22, 2013
There were no surprises among the Washington Redskins' inactives, but the fact that fullback Darrel Young will be active is a good sign for the Redskins.

Quarterback Robert Griffin III was inactive for a second straight game, as expected. He warmed up before the game with quarterbacks coach Matt LaFleur, focusing a lot on footwork in the pocket on a rainy, slick field. At times, Griffin had his back to the line, ran a couple steps back and turned around to make a throw. Other times he focused on keeping his feet and base while moving up or around in the pocket. And during warm-ups, Griffin was slapping high fives with players as they worked through drills.

Other inactives for Washington: safety Bacarri Rambo, corner Chase Minnifield, linebacker Brandon Jenkins, center J.D. Walton and guard Josh LeRibeus.

Young tweaked his hamstring in last week's loss to Atlanta, but will play Sunday -- he made a key block on a big run by Alfred Morris last week.

For Dallas, the inactives are receiver Dwayne Harris, who killed Washington in the return game in the first meeting, safety Jakar Hamilton, linebacker Sean Lee, defensive end Martez Wilson, linebacker Ernie Sims and tackle Darrion Weems.

Reed still suffering concussion symptoms

December, 16, 2013
ASHBURN, Va. -- Washington Redskins tight end Jordan Reed still hasn’t been ruled out for the season. But he’s still suffering from the effects of a concussion that has sidelined him four straight games.

Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said Reed did not play Sunday because he had a headache -- and he still had one Monday. Reed will continue to see specialists. Shanahan has said they haven't yet shut him down for the season, though one league source said Saturday that it's a possibility.

“We’ll take a look at him each day, go through the protocol for a concussion, and hopefully one day he’ll wake up and say, ‘Hey, I feel good, I’m ready to go,'" Shanahan said.

Reed suffered two concussions while at the University of Florida, which caused him to miss practice time but not games.

Fullback Darrel Young left Sunday's game after he re-injured his hamstring. The Redskins will have a better feel for his status at practice Wednesday.

"He set himself back a little bit," Shanahan said. "I'm hoping it's not as serious as it was before."
ASHBURN, Va. -- Washington Redskins linebacker London Fletcher was a full participant in practice, clearly a sign that his consecutive games streak is not in much jeopardy.

Fletcher has played in 252 consecutive games, but sprained his left ankle near the end of Sunday’s loss to the New York Giants. Fletcher didn’t want to discuss his injury, but the fact that he was full-go says plenty.

Also, tight end Jordan Reed (concussion), safety Reed Doughty (concussion), safety Brandon Meriweather (chest), fullback Darrel Young (hamstring) were limited. Doughty had been cleared to practice Wednesday while Reed was able to return because he passed his tests Thursday.

Meanwhile, for Kansas City tackle Branden Albert (knee), tight end Anthony Fasano (concussion/knee) and linebacker Justin Houston (elbow) did not practice. Everyone else was full-go.

Three more Redskins banged up

December, 2, 2013
ASHBURN, Va. -- The Washington Redskins felt the impact of not having fullback Darrel Young or tight end Jordan Reed active for Sunday's 24-17 loss to the New York Giants. Here's an update on them in addition to three other players who suffered injuries Sunday:

Tight end Jordan Reed: He was going to play Sunday until his head started bothering him during pregame warm-ups. Therefore, he’ll once again go through the concussion protocol.

Linebacker London Fletcher: He suffered a sprained left ankle late in the fourth quarter after safety Bacarri Rambo rolled up on him after a tackle. Coach Mike Shanahan said he’ll have a better idea of how bad Fletcher’s ankle is on Wednesday. “I’ll probably be pretty sore, but I should be OK,” Fletcher said after the game. There's no reason to believe yet that his consecutive games streak of 252 is in jeopardy.

Fullback Darrel Young: There’s no real update on Young, who missed the past two weeks with a hamstring injury. The Redskins are being cautious with him because of his history of such injuries. Young had expressed confidence each of the past two weeks that he would play.

Safety Reed Doughty: He suffered another concussion, but coach Mike Shanahan said they won’t treat it any differently because it’s his second one of the season.

Corner DeAngelo Hall: Shanahan said his hip was sore, but he'll have a better update on Wednesday.

Tight end Niles Paul: Shanahan said he worked out at Redskins Park Monday morning after missing the game, and all practices last week, because of an illness.

Giants' inactives are as expected

December, 1, 2013
LANDOVER, Md. -- No surprises on the New York Giants' list of inactive players for Sunday night's game against the Redskins here at FedEx Field. Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, running back Brandon Jacobs and cornerbacks Corey Webster and Trumaine McBride were all ruled out Friday, quarterback Ryan Nassib is always inactive and the other two are backup offensive lineman Stephen Goodin and tight end Adrien Robinson, who's been inactive all year.

Jayron Hosley starts at the left cornerback spot that used to be Webster's and has been McBride's in recent weeks. Mathias Kiwanuka starts at right defensive end in place of Pierre-Paul, though you can probably look for rookie Damontre Moore to get into the mix at defensive end at some point. And with centers David Baas and Jim Cordle both on injured reserve and out for the season, Kevin Boothe will start at center while James Brewer replaces Boothe at left guard. Peyton Hillis, inactive the past two weeks, will replace Jacobs as the backup running back when starter Andre Brown needs a break.

The issues in the secondary, where the Giants' only healthy cornerbacks are Hosley, Prince Amukamara, Terrell Thomas and raw rookie Charles James, could be helped by the injury issues the Redskins are having on offense. Dynamic rookie tight end Jordan Reed, who missed last week's game with a concussion, was initially expected to play tonight but was ruled inactive after experiencing a pregame headache. And fullback Darrel Young, an unsung key to the running game and the success of Alfred Morris, is also inactive due to a hamstring injury. Evan Royster is listed as the starter at fullback in Young's place, but that likely means the Redskins will change some things about the way they call plays in the run game.

Reed is the No. 2 target of quarterback Robert Griffin III in the passing game, and his absence means the Giants should be able to commit extra attention to top wideout Pierre Garcon due to the lack of scary options behind him.

Much more as the night progresses here at FedEx Field.

Jordan Reed, Darrel Young inactive

December, 1, 2013
The Washington Redskins expected tight end Jordan Reed to play Sunday night against the New York Giants, but a pregame headache will sideline the rookie for a second consecutive game. Earlier in the day, a team official told ESPN's Adam Schefter that Reed would play. But after warming up the Redskins decided he would be inactive.

Fullback Darrel Young also will be inactive for a second consecutive game because of a hamstring injury. Young expressed optimism throughout the week that he would play. Compounding matters at this position is that tight end Niles Paul will be inactive after missing three practices this week with an undisclosed illness.

Paul served as Young's replacement last week, but now when the Redskins need a fullback they'll have to use one of the two tight ends active Sunday night: Logan Paulsen or Fred Davis. They'll also miss Paul and Young on special teams. However, it will be a good chance for Davis to show what he can still do. The problem is, quarterback Robert Griffin III had developed a strong level of trust in Reed, especially on third down.

The other Redskins inactives: quarterback Rex Grossman, cornerback Chase Minnifield, linebacker Brandon Jenkins and guard Josh LeRibeus.

The Giants' inactives: quarterback Ryan Nassib, cornerback Corey Webster, running back Brandon Jacobs, cornerback Trumaine McBride, tight end Adrien Robinson, defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul and offensive lineman Stephen Goodin. Also, James Brewer will start at left guard for Kevin Boothe, who shifts to center to replace injured Jim Cordle. With McBride and Webster out, Jayron Hosley will start at corner.

Jordan Reed will play against Giants

December, 1, 2013
The Washington Redskins were optimistic all week about tight end Jordan Reed. So it was no surprise that a team official told ESPN's Adam Schefter that Reed will play Sunday night against the New York Giants.

Reed had missed the Nov. 24 game against San Francisco because of a concussion suffered the previous week. But he had been passing his concussion tests this week and was limited in practice all week. Reed said earlier in the week he had no doubts he would play and coach Mike Shanahan said he would go barring any setbacks.

The athletic Reed is a valuable weapon for Washington, with 30 of his 45 catches resulting in first downs. He also has 14 receptions on third down and has become a trusted target for quarterback Robert Griffin III. His absence was felt against the 49ers as the other tight ends struggled with their blocking and didn't contribute as receivers.

The real question will be: Who joins him at tight end? Niles Paul was sick all week and Shanahan said he'd likely be limited to special teams if he was able to play. That means Fred Davis could be active for a second straight game. Also, if fullback Darrel Young can't play because of his hamstring, then the Redskins need their tight ends to handle duties at this position, too. Young will be a game-time decision.

Redskins Game day: Ten Thoughts

December, 1, 2013
  1. Yes, the Washington Redskins will be eliminated from playoff contention with a loss Sunday night to the New York Giants. Of course, they were never really in contention based on their inability to play a complete game once this season. Still, it’s shocking that a team coming off a division title with everyone back and whose health has been pretty good this season could be out of postseason contention with four games left.
  2. The most troubling aspect is that it’s not like you could watch this team and think, “They’re playing well; they’re just undermanned.” That’s not the case. There's a difference in some areas at being undermanned and not put together well. Not everything is cap related. They haven’t played well; they haven’t looked well-coached. The salary-cap penalties definitely had an impact, though it’s impossible to say how much of one. Robert Griffin III’s knee had an impact, too, in how it limited his work in the offseason. Still, knowing all this, the organization was overly optimistic this summer.
  3. Griffin’s knee obviously has been a big factor. Before last season I thought he’d make a big impact just because of his ability to make plays with his legs. It allowed him to ease into the NFL as a passer. It also forced opponents to defend him a certain way, which enabled him to produce as a passer, too. It hid his flaws (not to mention those of the people blocking for him). But the knee injury forced him to become a player he wasn’t ready to be: a (mostly) dropback passer. He’s still fast, he’s just not as explosive. He still uses his legs and sometimes tucks and runs too soon. But losing that explosiveness, coupled with defenses playing him differently, is why you can’t make a declarative statement on his career based on 2013. He needs time to adjust not only as an NFL passer but as a player who lost a little off his fastball. Not many young players must adjust to that much in their first two years.
  4. That’s not to excuse anything, but it is a reason to say he must keep playing this season (silly not to play him; I really don’t get the argument to sit him unless you aren’t confident in him being your franchise quarterback) and for all the talk about how he must mature in other ways, he’s still a young quarterback who needs to improve.
  5. The Redskins are back to must-win games, but not because of the playoffs. If this coaching staff wants a legitimate case to return, the Redskins can’t afford to lose games at home to sub-.500 teams like the Giants. They need a strong finish. Look like a well-coached team and play a complete game. So December won’t be interesting because of a playoff race. As usual in Washington it’ll be interesting because of the referendum on the coaching.
  6. With defensive end Stephen Bowen now done for the season, reserve Chris Baker will get more opportunities (even if Kedric Golston starts ahead of him). Baker makes plays, but he also is not the most disciplined player. He likes to get upfield and is still adapting to the mindset needed as a 3-4 defensive lineman.
  7. Here’s what defensive coordinator Jim Haslett said of Baker: “When he got here, he was kind of a raw guy that didn’t understand the scheme. He’s getting better and better. He’s very athletic. You’d like to have him thump a little bit more. Because he’s so athletic, he wants to use that all the time. I think once in a while when you’re in there in the 3-4, you’ve got to be a thumper. He does it. And then other times he’s very athletic for a 330-pound guy. So we just want a little bit more thumping out of the guy and be a little more aggressive in the run game because in the pass game and all that, he’s quick to react to that.”
  8. The Redskins will have to play better against Giants receiver Victor Cruz than they did a year ago. Up until that touchdown pass in the first game they had done well against him. But they botched that play and in the second game Cruz caught a 49-yard pass -- and was open for two more deep passes that Eli Manning overthrew. Cruz’s tendency is to turn inside more often than not -- they play a lot of inside leverage on him -- but he’s hurt the Redskins by staying to the outside at times. Also, the linebackers when dropping have to do a better job re-routing him.
  9. In the second game last season, linebacker Perry Riley applied some pressure off the edge. I don’t know if they’ll try it again, but it’s worth watching (they also sent some slot corner blitzes). Also, with a new center the Redskins should try to attack the middle with stunts and A-gap blitzes to get to Manning. For what it’s worth, watching replays of that second game versus New York served as a reminder for just how slow Madieu Williams had become. I didn’t need a reminder, but it stood out.
  10. The Giants play with power in the interior of their defensive line. That’s not something the Redskins' line has handled well and it’s a reason why there needs to be improvements up front, notably on the right side. I’ll be curious to see how the Giants handle Griffin this year and if they use eight-man fronts. Also, if fullback Darrel Young is able to play, will the Redskins fool New York again with the dive to him (as they’ve done the past two years)?

Paul still sick; Reed, Young questionable

November, 29, 2013
ASHBURN Va. -- Washington Redskins tight end Niles Paul missed practice for a third straight day with a sickness, which likely will limit his participation in Sunday’s game against the New York Giants.

Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said Paul is still at home recovering from an illness. He said Paul was suffering from nausea and a headache. Shanahan said Paul was given antibiotics and was feeling better Friday.

However, even if he starts to feel better it would be difficult for Paul to play much.

“If he did play it would be more of a special-teams role,” Shanahan said.

Paul is the Redskins' third tight end and if rookie Jordan Reed plays as expected, then Paul wouldn’t have a big role from scrimmage anyway. The only way he might have is if fullback Darrel Young can’t play because of his hamstring. Paul or one of the tight ends would fill in for Young.

This also could mean Fred Davis is active for a second consecutive week.

Young, Paul and Reed, recovering from a concussion, are listed as questionable. Reed was limited for a third straight day. The Redskins have said he'll be able to play barring the return of any symptoms. Young will be a game-time decision.

For the New York Giants, four players already are out: running back Brandon Jacobs (knee), defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul (shoulder), cornerback Trumaine McBride (groin) and cornerback Corey Webster (ankle).

Redskins notes: Reed limited in practice

November, 27, 2013
ASHBURN, Va. -- Washington Redskins tight end Jordan Reed was limited in practice Wednesday, a positive step in his recovery from a concussion.

Reed did not play against San Francisco on Monday because of the concussion suffered a week earlier at Philadelphia.

“If there are no setbacks, he should be OK,” Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said.

The Redskins could have used Reed on Monday night, as the tight ends struggled with the speed and athleticism of the 49ers' outside linebackers.

Tight end Niles Paul (illness) and fullback Darrel Young (hamstring) did not practice.

Meanwhile, for the New York Giants, running back Brandon Jacobs (knee), cornerback Trumaine McBride (groin), defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul (shoulder) and cornerback Terrell Thomas (knee) did not practice. Receiver Hakeem Nicks (abdomen) and corner Corey Webster (ankle) were limited.

In other news:
  • The Redskins still have one roster spot to fill after releasing corner Jerome Murphy and placing defensive end Stephen Bowen on injured reserve Tuesday. Shanahan said they’re considering a couple of players, but that there is no rush. It might take until the end of the week before they sign another player.
  • Shanahan said he was reluctant to use Santana Moss earlier this season on punts. But after numerous struggles on that unit, he turned to Moss on Monday. (Moss returned one punt for 13 yards.) "I talked to Santana and wanted to know if he wanted to go back there and he said, 'Coach, anything to help the team out,'" Shanahan said. "Sometimes, I don’t always want to put a veteran back there for obvious reasons, but he said, 'Hey, whatever I can do to help the football team I want to do,' and I thought he was our best choice to get a little spark going."

Shanahan won't confirm report on Davis

November, 26, 2013
ASHBURN, Va. -- It was going to be a chance to remind everyone what he could do. Instead, Washington Redskins tight end Fred Davis played only 10 snaps and his lack of time only led to more questions.

NBC4 in Washington reported Monday night that Davis had missed team meetings, which is why his playing time was reduced. Davis was playing for the first time since Oct. 13, having been inactive for the past five games. He was not targeted with a pass in Monday's 27-6 loss to the San Francisco 49ers.

Redskins coach Mike Shanahan would not confirm that missed meetings were the reason Davis played so little. But he didn't deny it either.

"I don't go through what we do with discipline with players," Shanahan said. "But if somebody does miss a meeting or somebody is late, we've got fines, we've got possible suspensions if I feel a guy is not doing what he needs to do to help our team win. Any type of discipline we do have is because everybody is accountable and everybody's time is valuable. If I did have something like that with Fred I would address him individually."

Later in his news conference, Shanahan went further when asked if he was disappointed in how Davis handled the week, given the opportunity. Rookie tight end Jordan Reed was inactive because of a concussion. Shanahan said Reed was feeling better Monday (as was fullback Darrel Young, who missed the game with a hamstring injury).

"One thing we want is people [who are] accountable," Shanahan said. "And the people that aren't accountable, they don't last very long."