Washington Redskins: Jose Gumbs

ASHBURN, Va. -- The Redskins signed four players who were in camp on a tryout basis – and also waived veteran Jose Gumbs.

Washington signed defensive end Frank Kearse (Alabama A&M), corner Courtney Bridget (Hampton), safety Ross Madison (Toledo) and corner Blake Sailors (Georgia). Dallas cut Kearse earlier in the week. He was a seventh-round draft pick by Miami in 2011.

To make room, and stay at the maximum 90 players, the Redskins waived Gumbs, nose tackle Chris Davenport, tight end Kevin Perry and quarterback Tommy Rees. Gumbs appeared in eight games, starting one, for Washington last season. He was a hard hitter who contributed mostly on special teams. Gumbs was an undrafted free agent in 2012 who signed with Washington right before training camp last summer.

The other three players were signed as undrafted free agents earlier this week. Rees’ throwing was sporadic in the open sessions to the media. Davenport was pursued by Pittsburgh as well. Perry played two years of basketball at Texas El-Paso in addition to football.

Resetting the roster: safety

March, 18, 2014
Mar 18
Taking a look at the Redskins' safety position a week into free agency. Safety was said to be a primary target; it has not developed that way, however.

On the roster: Brandon Meriweather, Jose Gumbs, Trent Robinson, Bacarri Rambo and Phillip Thomas.

Added in free agency: None.

[+] EnlargeRyan Clark
George Gojkovich/Getty ImagesVeteran Ryan Clark could be a short-term solution for the Redskins at safety.
In talks with: Ryan Clark. He visited last week and remains a possibility. He's also drawn interest from Baltimore and the New York Jets. There is no rush on his end to get a contract done so he's content to wait and see if the right offer materializes. Clark would be a short-term solution, but he could help develop some of the young players and be a respected voice in the meeting room.

Left in free agency: The Redskins haven't lost any safeties in free agency.

Still unsigned: Reed Doughty. The Redskins backup strong safety, who is always pressed into a starting role, might return. But there's definite division over whether or not that should be the case. The real problem has never been Doughty, but the organization's inability to find a full-time starter ahead of him.

Still on the market: Thomas DeCoud, Chris Clemons, Mike Adams. Really, the list is not long and not impressive. Atlanta cut DeCoud after a poor season; he's best suited most likely near the line of scrimmage. With Meriweather back that's not necessarily what the Redskins need. Clemons has not drawn a lot of interest on the market. The Dolphins opted for Louis Delmas, who barely practiced last season. Adams wasn't anything special for the Broncos, but can play in the box, too. They signed T.J. Ward, but he's more of a strong safety whereas Adams is a free safety. The Redskins clearly did not view the other safeties as better than Meriweather. But they failed in their quest to land Mike Mitchell, who ended up with Pittsburgh. I don't know how close the money was, but it's clear they're not as aggressive as they once were and, as one agent said, general manager Bruce Allen likes to "slow play" this process.

What it means thus far: It's not that the Redskins didn't view safety as a problem, but perhaps not to the extent that others did. By that, I mean almost everyone else. It's also true you can't solve every issue in one offseason. But they signed Meriweather to a one-year deal and it's hard to imagine Clark getting anything other than a one- or two-year deal. So that means Washington will be back in this spot relatively soon. However, it also gives them another year to see if one of the young players can develop -- or to draft someone in the second or third round and groom him for 2015. Perhaps one from among the group of four young safeties can develop in another year or so. Thomas must overcome a tricky Lisfranc injury; not impossible, but tough and it's not as if he was on the cusp of starting before getting hurt. In talking to several who scouted Rambo at Georgia, the problems he showed last year were the same he showed in college that caused NFL teams pause. Not a good sign. I can't imagine, though, that something else won't be done at this position.
The Redskins will host two players Thursday: safety Ryan Clark and linebacker/defensive lineman Anthony Spencer. But the interesting part of the day, or the next several, could be another player they’re targeting: running back Darren Sproles.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Thursday morning that the Redskins are among the teams interested in trading for the New Orleans running back. Apparently, the thinking now is that it would take a mid- to late-round draft pick.

Sproles would certainly add a good weapon for the Redskins. Though his production went down last season, he remains someone who can help an offense. Sproles can be lined up in many spots, creating mismatches. Also, even last season, there were times defenders would cheat toward him – taking two defenders. And that would leave a bigger window for quarterback Drew Brees to find another target. Sproles would give Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III an excellent option on checkdowns.

The drawback: Sproles turns 31 in June. He also has a hefty base salary for a part-time player; according to ESPN Stats & Info his base is $3.4 million with a $100,000 workout bonus and a Pro Bowl bonus of $100,000. (Note: An earlier version said it was listed as $2.4 million; but that was listed incorrectly in the system. It's definitely $3.4 million). Overthecap.com also has Sproles at a base of $3.4 million with a $100,000 workout bonus. The Redskins have all their picks in rounds two through seven.

But if they somehow did add Sproles, the Redskins' biggest acquisitions thus far would have come on offense. They’ve also signed receiver Andre Roberts and guard Shawn Lauvao. Meanwhile, a defense that struggled has received no help through the first two days of free agency. The Redskins hosted corner Corey Graham, but he signed a four-year deal with Buffalo. They also hosted defensive lineman Antonio Smith, but he left without a contract and now is scheduled to visit Tennessee and then Oakland.

Even some of the Redskins’ offensive players are waiting for them to add more help on defense.

They are hosting Clark, who played safety here from 2004-05, and Spencer, the former Cowboys linebacker/end, on Thursday. But Clark has drawn interest from many teams. His agent, Joel Turner, said numerous teams called about him during the legal tampering period. The Redskins did not call until early Wednesday morning – after losing out on safety Mike Mitchell, a player they had wanted for a while, the previous day.

But Turner said Clark’s interest in the Redskins is legitimate: “We’re not playing games. We’re coming down because we’re interested and they’re interested.”

Clark, who will turn 35 before the season, tweeted late Wednesday night:

If signed, he would give the Redskins a strong veteran leader in the secondary and someone to mentor their group of young safeties: Phillip Thomas, Bacarri Rambo, Trenton Robinson and Jose Gumbs. They could always draft a safety, too, though it’s a difficult spot for a rookie to play.

Clark obviously is not a long-term solution, but the hope would be that after a year someone else might be ready – or they can pursue this position again.

As for Spencer, he was an excellent linebacker with Dallas in its 3-4 front. The Cowboys moved him to end last season when they switched to a 4-3. But Spencer played just one game last season after having microfracture surgery on his knee. At 30, Spencer would be a guy who needs to prove he’s still healthy and can play. He would not be guaranteed help. The Redskins need guaranteed help.

Ryan Clark to visit Redskins

March, 12, 2014
Mar 12
The Washington Redskins' hole at safety could be filled by a familiar face: Ryan Clark. The former Redskin and Pittsburgh Steeler said on ESPN that he will visit with Washington on Thursday.

Clark played for the Redskins from 2004-05, but not for the current defensive staff (though inside linebackers coach Kirk Olivadotti was here during that time). But after 24 starts, Clark signed with Pittsburgh in 2006 and formed a strong safety tandem with Troy Polamalu.

Clark was a free safety in Pittsburgh, but played both safety positions in Washington. The Redskins run the same scheme as Pittsburgh, so there wouldn’t be a big transition. Clark has missed only four games in the past six years.

Washington missed out on safety Mike Mitchell, who opted to sign with Pittsburgh -- to replace Clark. The Redskins were not strong bidders for Jairus Byrd, who signed with New Orleans. The question will be: What does Clark, at 35, have left? He obviously would be used to mentor and help groom the young safeties such as Phillip Thomas, Bacarri Rambo and even Trenton Robinson and Jose Gumbs.

The Redskins could always opt to also re-sign safety Brandon Meriweather to a small deal as well. If they re-sign Reed Doughty, it would be as a backup and special teamer. His return is not a lock, though some in the building would like to see him return.

Positional outlook: Safeties

February, 11, 2014
Feb 11
The Washington Redskins were hurt at safety because of injuries and, in truth, poor decisions from the past. They had several years to solve this position and have been unable to do so, because of bad signings (O.J. Atogwe), bad luck (Phillip Thomas' injury) or relying on players with checkered pasts (Tanard Jackson). Add it up and it left the Redskins with too many backup players pressed into roles they weren't ready to play (or could play). The defense had other issues to be sure, but upgrading here is a top priority in the offseason.

Brandon Meriweather
When he wasn’t getting penalized or suspended for his hits, he was OK in his first full season following ACL surgery. Would he be better a year further removed from surgery? Meriweather had to play more free safety than desired because of the issues Washington had at this position. He’s much better as a strong safety in the box. But like others at this position, he missed too many tackles. One reason Seattle is so good defensively stems from their tackling ability. That’s not the case in Washington (or with the entire defense). That’s a big reason the Redskins ranked 26th in yards after contact allowed (1,304), nearly 400 yards behind San Francisco and Seattle. Meriweather still tackles too high; that got him in trouble against bigger players (like Atlanta’s Steven Jackson). He’d be out of position on occasion. The Redskins could do worse than Meriweather, but they can also do better. Plus, you have to worry about him getting suspended for a long time with one more bad hit. They could opt to re-sign him to a one-year deal and then see how Phillip Thomas develops.
2014: Gone
Contract status: Free agent as of March 11

Bacarri Rambo
Was pressed into a starting role because of what the Redskins didn't have more so than for his own performance. He seemed to be in the right position much of the time -- that was evident in training camp, too. But his tackling was a major issue, which was the case in the preseason and late in the season. He tried too often to make shoulder tackles and, against Kansas City for example, did so while turning his body. You just won’t tackle good NFL players that way. And, at this position, you absolutely need a sure tackler. If Rambo had made plays, that's one thing. But he didn’t make a single play -- a hit, a pass defensed -- that made you think, 'OK, that’s why he’s out there.' He needs to develop on special teams. It’s darn hard to be a backup safety in the NFL who doesn't contribute on special teams.
2014: Backup
Contract status: Signed through 2016

Reed Doughty
As usual, he was pressed into a starting job because the Redskins could not solve the safety position. At this stage it’s no secret what sort of player Doughty is: He can help the Redskins in the box in a pinch, though he’ll have some games where he misses tackles. He is not a starter on a good defense. But the guy is prepared, plays well on special teams and the coaches know exactly what they’ll get from him. That’s what you want in a backup. The Redskins must put themselves in a better position at this spot.
2014: Backup/special teamer
Contract status: Free agent as of March 11

Jose Gumbs
He needed to be better on special teams. That should be his calling card, but he was inconsistent. He drew a penalty in the finale for kicking a ball at the end of a punt, as if he were playing soccer -- not smart. But Gumbs, who had some strong hits this summer, can develop in this area. From scrimmage, he started one game (Denver) but left early because he was hurt. Late in the season he played in the dime packages and intercepted an overthrown pass against Atlanta.
2014: Bubble
Contract status: Exclusive rights free agent

Phillip Thomas
We barely got to see him play because of his Lisfranc injury. Before he was hurt, the coaches felt like he was just starting to get it at strong safety, especially in terms of knowing where to fit in the run game. He would have received a lot of opportunities this past season so it’s a shame he got hurt. But we really don’t know what sort of player he is or could become. You have to go back to his days at Fresno State, where he overcame a lack of blazing speed with preparation, which in turn helped his anticipation and allowed him to play to his speed. Not every player can say that. But in college he missed too many open field tackles. I’m curious to see what he’ll do this summer, but would still want to pursue a starting strong safety and then see how Thomas improves.
2014: Backup
Contract status: Signed through 2016

Trent Robinson
A special teamer; he played 34 snaps on defense and 192 on special teams. Robinson flashed on special teams and can be developed in this area. Against New York in the finale, Robinson, working as a gunner, consistently beat his man downfield and was rarely touched.
2014: Bubble/special teamer
Contract status: Signed through 2014

Upon Further Review: Redskins Week 14

December, 9, 2013
LANDOVER, Md. -- A review of four hot topics following the Washington Redskins' 45-10 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs:

Shanahan’s status: As Monday began, Redskins coach Mike Shanahan remained employed. He looked exhausted or perhaps resigned to his fate Sunday night when he left FedEx Field nearly 90 minutes after an embarrassing 45-10 loss to the Chiefs. There have been too many recent stories detailing relationships -- Shanahan and Robert Griffin III; Shanahan and Griffin/Dan Snyder and Kyle Shanahan and Griffin -- and too many losses on the field to think this situation can be salvaged. Four years into the regime, the roster still needs a lot of work. The salary-cap penalty didn’t help, but free agency has been mixed for Redskins anyway, so to think it would have solved everything is incorrect. There are reasons to change regimes other than failed relationships. Aside from Griffin, the team leaders have publicly endorsed Shanahan’s return, and privately, players support him as well. But with a 24-37 record, they haven’t backed their support up with the sort of success the organization wanted.

Griffin’s status: On any other Sunday, the fact that Shanahan did not commit to Griffin to start the following week would make huge news. But it got lost in the drama of Shanahan’s job and the dynamics of various relationships. Shanahan would only say they’ll “talk about it later.” If there was no doubt, Shanahan would say so. It could be a moot point, as Shanahan might not even be the one making that decision. And it’s becoming clear he won’t be the one making these decisions in 2014. Still, for now, Shanahan isn’t sure whether he wants Griffin or Kirk Cousins to start against Atlanta. Shanahan is a strong believer in Cousins, and Griffin has been inconsistent at best. It also makes you wonder whether owner Dan Snyder would stand for something like this, knowing the future implications. Playing Cousins to “see what you have” doesn’t make much sense because Griffin remains the future. Just like it doesn’t make sense to bench Griffin just to keep him healthy. If he is the future, he needs to play and play a lot. If you’re not sold on that, then that’s a reason to play Cousins, or maybe also if you want to send a parting shot to the current starter. Regardless, it’s just more drama in Washington -- because there wasn’t enough already.

Special-teams mishaps: Niles Paul was as upset as anyone after Sunday’s game because of the special teams’ performance. He blamed it in part on players’ mindsets, saying that some guys project themselves as future starters, so they don’t prepare right for special teams. The thing is, on punt and kickoff coverage, there aren’t a lot of young players who are even guaranteed of a roster spot next season, let alone a starting job. On kick return Sunday, there were four players who are in their first or second years -- Bacarri Rambo, Jose Gumbs, Josh Bellamy and Trenton Robinson. Rambo already is starting (he was knocked for his special-teams play earlier this season). On punt coverage, 10 of the 11 players have been in the NFL for at least three years. The exception: Robinson. No, it’s not about young guys who don’t get it. Rather, it’s about veterans who don’t do it well. This unit was put together poorly.

Milestone marker: In a bad season, two Redskins offensive players have been consistent producers -- receiver Pierre Garcon and running back Alfred Morris. Both surpassed the 1,000-yard mark Sunday; Morris has now rushed for 1,027 yards, while Garcon has a career-best 1,017 yards receiving. Morris’ overall yardage total won’t match his 2012 number of 1,613 yards, but that’s not his fault. Morris is averaging 4.7 yards per carry and has run the ball only 37 times combined in the past three games, two of which were blowouts. He’s also averaged 3.7 yards or fewer in those games as teams focused hard on stopping the Redskins' run game. Still, Morris has had a strong year running the ball in an offense with so much inconsistency. Garcon has posted big numbers, though he doesn’t have many big plays and has caught just three touchdown passes among his 89 catches. His longest catch is 44 yards, a function of a passing game that is either inaccurate downfield or doesn't get enough time to throw certain passes. Garcon is averaging 11.4 yards per catch, his lowest figure in his five seasons as a full-time starter. But he’s done a good job being able to catch and run, especially on screens, and is the lone receiver who worries a defense.

Reed, Bowen sit out practice

November, 21, 2013
ASHBURN, Va. -- Washington Redskins tight end Jordan Reed and defensive end Stephen Bowen did not practice for a second consecutive day, though it remains uncertain what their status will be for Monday night's game against the San Francisco 49ers.

Safety Jose Gumbs (ankle), corner Josh Wilson (infected toe) and fullback Darrel Young (hamstring) were limited.

If Reed can't play, then Fred Davis will get his first shot to play since Oct. 13 at Dallas. Davis has been inactive in large part because the Redskins like Reed better as a pass catcher and Logan Paulsen better as a blocker. Davis does not play special teams, so the Redskins keep Niles Paul as the third tight end.

The coaches say Davis' practice habits have improved since they started making him inactive. Davis is a free agent after the season.

Four miss practice; Carriker a long shot

November, 20, 2013
ASHBURN, Va. -- The Washington Redskins have encountered many issues this season. Health has not been one of them. But, Wednesday, four players did not practice because of injuries. Keep in mind, though, that they have an extra day of preparation because they don’t play again until Monday night.

The Redskins also suffered their first loss of a starting player as receiver Leonard Hankerson will miss the rest of the season after tearing his lateral collateral ligament in his left knee.

The four players who did not practice: tight end Jordan Reed (concussion), defensive end Stephen Bowen (knee), corner Josh Wilson (toe) and safety Jose Gumbs (ankle). Corner E.J. Biggers (knee) was a full participant.

Also, Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said defensive end Adam Carriker is a long shot to return this season, something they’ve felt all along. Carriker was left on the physically unable to perform list and designated as “returned to practice.” The Redskins have 21 days to either put him on injured reserve or activate him.

Carriker has had three surgeries on his quad/tendon, a situation that likely would have ended the career of other players. The Redskins have stuck with Carriker because of how hard he works.

“I do believe in miracles,” Shanahan said of Carriker.

Josh Morgan inactive for Redskins

November, 17, 2013
PHILADELPHIA -- The Washington Redskins hoped wide receiver Josh Morgan could develop into a solid No. 2 receiver. Then they hoped he could fill in as a kick and punt returner. But Morgan hasn't accomplished any of that and, Sunday, he was made inactive.
The Redskins placed Morgan on their seven-man inactive list for their game against the Philadelphia Eagles. Morgan, in the final year of his contract, had not made an impact at receiver or as a returner. The latter isn't surprising because Morgan had not returned punts in the NFL -- and only returned seven while at Virginia Tech. Morgan was surpassed as the starting Z receiver by third-year Leonard Hankerson, who is not a big playmaker but has been more productive than Morgan.

This also means undrafted rookie free agent Nick Williams will return punts in his NFL debut. He was signed off the practice squad during the week. Williams returned four punts for a touchdown in college.

Also inactive for Washington: quarterback Rex Grossman, guard Josh LeRibeus, safety Jose Gumbs, linebacker Brandon Jenkins, tight end Fred Davis and nose tackle Chris Neild. Jenkins was active in the first game against Philadelphia as the Redskins wanted more speed in their rush

For the Eagles, the inactives are quarterback Michael Vick, safety Earl Wolff, linebacker Mychal Kendricks, cornerback Bradley Fletcher, linebacker Jake Knott, receiver Damaris Johnson and tackle Dennis Kelly. Banged-up left tackle Jason Peters will start.

Hall 'good'; Bowen doesn't practice

November, 15, 2013
ASHBURN, Va. -- Washington Redskins corner DeAngelo Hall, listed as questionable on the injury report, said he’ll play against the Philadelphia Eagles Sunday.

"I’m good," Hall told reporters after practice.

But defensive end Stephen Bowen (knee) did not practice and was not in the locker room during the session open to the media. He’s listed as questionable on the injury report and his loss would be a crucial one for Washington. If he can’t play, then Kedric Golston likely would play in his place.

When the Redskins played Philadelphia in the season opener, they almost exclusively used their nickel defense with only two linemen rushing.

Safety Jose Gumbs (ankle) also did not practice.

For the Eagles, two players are out: linebacker Jake Knott (hamstring) and safety Earl Wolff (knee). Four others are listed as questionable: cornerback Bradley Fletcher (pectoral), linebacker Mychal Kendricks (knee), tackle Jason Peters (quad/pectoral) and quarterback Michael Vick (hamstring). All four were full participants in practice.

Redskins' Fred Davis inactive again

November, 7, 2013
MINNEAPOLIS -- Washington Redskins tight end Fred Davis was put on the inactive list for Thursday's game against the Minnesota Vikings. This time it will cost him.

Davis needed to be active for 12 games this season in order to collect a $500,000 bonus. The initial reason for that bonus was because of Davis' Achilles' injury that ended is 2012 season. The Redskins wanted to protect themselves if he couldn't play much this season -- and reward him if he could. Davis has been a healthy inactive the past four games; he sat out one game because of a sprained ankle.

The emergence of rookie Jordan Reed, who leads all NFL rookies with 38 receptions, and the fact that Davis does not play special teams have kept him inactive. Niles Paul is actually the fourth tight end, but he is active because of his special-teams performance.

There weren't any surprises among the other inactives: quarterback Rex Grossman, running back Chris Thompson, safety Jose Gumbs, offensive lineman Josh LeRibeus, linebacker Brandon Jenkins and nose tackle Chris Neild. Jenkins was active last week as the Redskins wanted more speed in the pass rush. Thursday, veteran Darryl Tapp will be active instead.

Washington Redskins notes

November, 4, 2013
ASHBURN, Va. -- It's the sort of win that can propel a team. A goal-line stand followed by a drive in overtime to win. Whether it does that for the Washington Redskins remains to be seen.

But coach Mike Shanahan agrees with some of his players that, yes, Sunday's 30-24 overtime win versus the San Diego Chargers can serve as that sort of victory.

"It's great when you can win a game that way," Shanahan said. "That was a big win for us, no question about it."

For it to matter, the Redskins must build on it with a win Thursday at the Minnesota Vikings. Minnesota is1-6, having lost three in a row after Sunday's 27-23 loss at the Dallas Cowboys. Shanahan said he doesn't think it'll take long for his players to focus on the Vikings, despite their record.

"They had the game won [Sunday] and gave it away in the last second," Shanahan said. "A team that played awful tough the whole game. Ran the ball extremely well. Stopped their running game cold. So they were impressive."

In other notes:
  • Shanahan said that both of the blocked kicks resulted from Kai Forbath kicking the ball too low. "First of all, the guy that blocked the first field goal didn't penetrate the line," Shanahan said. "The second one we had to drive it a little bit and that hit the guy in the armpit."
  • The Redskins had a delay of game late in the third quarter, then had to take a time out before the next snap because the play clock was winding down. "Sometimes it's communication, sometimes a person will take off on the wrong side -- he'll hear the formation differently. There are a lot of things that occur but it's embarrassing when that does happen," Shanahan said.
  • Leonard Hankerson started at the Z receiver position and caught five passes for 55 yards. That's one more catch (and 14 less yards) than he had in the previous three games combined. Shanahan said when they watched the film, Hankerson was open quite a bit. "He did a lot of good things that if the quarterback would have looked his way, would he have been open or not? The majority of the time he would have. He played an excellent game," Shanahan said.
  • The Redskins had to put out an injury report, but because they didn't practice it's more of a hypothetical. So this was Shanahan's best guess as to what it would have been had they actually practiced: linebacker London Fletcher (knee), safety Jose Gumbs (ankle), receiver Hankerson (hamstring), running back Chris Thompson (shoulder) would have been limited. Fletcher had fluid drained from his knee.
  • The Redskins don't run the triple option a lot, but it was effective Sunday. It kept the Chargers off-balance and the three times they ran it, the play gained 38 yards (it could have been a lot more had one block not been missed). Later in the game, it opened some holes on the zone-read hand off as the Chargers had to worry about the outside a little more. "The key is to have it in your offense," Shanahan said. "You don't have to run it a lot, but if you do have it in there and you feel like it's going well, you can keep on running it. If not, it may open something else. The more you can do as an offense to keep people off-balance the better off you are."

Fred Davis inactive again

November, 3, 2013
LANDOVER, Md. -- Washington Redskins tight end Fred Davis is a healthy inactive for a third straight game, but that's not a surprise considering he's still the No. 3 tight end and he still doesn't play special teams. The Redskins still need help on special teams and that's why the fourth tight end Niles Paul remains active. The Redskins made it clear to Davis this week, and in previous weeks, that they want Davis' approach to change, though the veteran said he's doing nothing different from the past. The difference now? The Redskins have an alternative in rookie Jordan Reed.

Having said that, it's still surprising that the Redskins haven't figured out a way to incorporate both Davis and Reed in the pass game, especially with receivers who consistently fail to make plays.

Other Redskins inactives Sunday: quarterback Rex Grossman, linebacker Darryl Tapp, safety Jose Gumbs, guard Josh LeRibeus, running back Chris Thompson and nose tackle Chris Neild. Gumbs is still battling a sprained ankle, though with Brandon Meriweather back, Reed Doughty healthy and Bacarri Rambo coming off his best game the Redskins are fine at safety.

Former Redskins guard Chad Rinehart is inactive for San Diego and will be replaced in the starting lineup at left guard by Johnnie Troutman. Andrew Gachkar is expected to start for Donald Butler at inside linebacker. Butler missed practice all week with a groin injury.

Redskins Notes

November, 1, 2013
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.

[+] EnlargeBrandon Meriweather
Ricky Carioti/Getty ImagesMike 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."

Redskins injury report

October, 30, 2013
ASHBURN, Va. -- Washington Redskins safety Jose Gumbs, who started Sunday's game at the Denver Broncos, did not practice Wednesday because he's still nursing a sprained ankle from that game. With Reed Doughty and Brandon Meriweather back this week, Gumbs would likely not have a role from scrimmage. But they like his special teams play so if he can't play it would hurt them in that area.

Receiver Pierre Garcon (calf) was limited, but everyone else participated fully -- including Doughty, who missed Sunday's loss because of a concussion.

Meanwhile for the San Diego Chargers, corner Donald Butler (groin), tackle Mike Remmers (ankle) and receiver Eddie Royal (toe) did not practice. Guard Chad Rinehart (toe) was limited. Rinehart was a third-round pick by Washington in 2008. He lasted two seasons, starting only four games.