STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
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Official Friday report, 9-19-14
Out: QB Robert Griffin (ankle), LB Akeem Jordan (knee), CB Tracy Porter (hamstring), TE Jordan Reed (hamstring)
Doubtful: DE Kedric Golston (groin)
Questionable: K Kai Forbath (right groin), WR DeSean Jackson (shoulder), C Kory Lichtensteiger (groin)
Probable: S Ryan Clark (foot), RB Roy Helu (quadricep), G Shawn Lauvao (knee), LB Brian Orakpo (ankle), RB Darrel Young (neck)
Out: LB Mychal Kendricks (calf)
Doubtful: WR Josh Huff (shoulder)
Questionable: T Matt Tobin (ankle), S Earl Wolff (knee)
Probable: CB Nolan Carroll (elbow), DE Fletcher Cox (back), TE Zach Ertz (knee), G Todd Herremans (hamstring), S Malcolm Jenkins (shoulder), WR Brad Smith (groin), CB Jaylen Watkins (hamstring), CB Cary Williams (hamstring)
WR DeSean Jackson had a very limited practice Friday and is officially listed as questionable for Sunday's game against his former team, the Philadelphia Eagles. He is expected to be a game-day decision. Jackson suffered a sprained shoulder in Week 2.
"He was very limited," Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said of Jackson's work Friday. "But I think it was a step in the positive direction. (We will) get another look at him (Saturday) with the trainers and then we'll gauge him on Sunday morning and see where he's at. I think he's taking steps in a positive direction."
PK Kai Forbath (right groin) and center Kory Lichtensteiger (foot) was listed as questionable despite taking part in all of Friday's session. Coach Jay Gruden said Forbath "felt pretty good."
C Kory Lichtensteiger (foot) was listed as questionable despite taking part in all of Friday's session. G
QB Robert Griffin III (ankle) was officially listed as out for Sunday's game and is expected to stay out for several weeks.
TE Jordan Reed (hamstring) was officially listed as out, although coach Jay Gruden said he had been "hoping for a miracle" with Reed.
LB Mychal Kendricks (calf) is out and may be replaced by Casey Mathews, who has not started a game since his rookie season in 2011.
LB Akeem Jordan (knee) is out.
CB Tracy Porter (hamstring) is out.
DE Kedric Gholston (groin) is doubtful.
LB Casey Mathews, who has not started a game since his rookie season in 2011, may start Sunday in place of injured Mychal Kendricks.
WR Wide receiver Josh Huff (shoulder) is doubtful.
OT Matt Tobin (ankle) is questionable.
S Earl Wolff (knee) is questionable.
FB Darrel Young sprained his back against Jacksonville and returned to full practice on Thursday after being limited on Wednesday.
RB Roy Helu strained a quadriceps against Jacksonville but took full practice again on Thursday.
G Shawn Lauvao suffered an inflamed knee against Jacksonville but took full practice again on Thursday.
S Brandon Meriweather was activated from the suspended list on Tuesday. S Bacarri Rambo, who was burned for two long touchdown catches while starting in Meriweather's place, was cut to make room for him.
Like every team that faces Chip Kelly's high-tempo offense, the Redskins will try to play keep away to keep their defense fresh and limit Philadelphia's opportunities.
That should mean an offensive formula of a heavy dose of Alfred Morris runs and plenty of quick passes by quarterback Kirk Cousins, who makes his first start of 2014 in place of the injured Robert Griffin III. It would help Washington's cause if receiver DeSean Jackson recovers from last Sunday's sprained shoulder and can run deep routes against his former teammates. Backup tight end Niles Paul is Washington's surprising leader with 12 catches for 185 yards. The Redskins have struggled with pass protection, allowing six sacks in 79 dropbacks.
After not recording a sack in its opening 17-6 loss to Houston in which the Texans scored seven of their points on a blocked punt Washington tied a franchise record with 10 in last week's rout of Jacksonville. Seven players joined the sack parade which was led by outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan, who tied the franchise record with four.
Safety Brandon Meriweather's return from suspension should help the secondary since just-cut fill-in Baccari Rambo was burned for both touchdowns that the defense has allowed. Philadelphia's top-ranked offense, led by quarterback Nick Foles and dual threat running back LeSean McCoy, is a much bigger challenge for a Washington defense that has played lights-out so far.
MATCHUPS TO WATCH
Redskins ILBs Perry Riley and Keenan Robinson vs. Eagles RBs LeSean McCoy and Darren Sproles.
While Washington defensive coordinator Jim Haslett will likely send outside linebackers Ryan Kerrigan and Brian Orakpo after Philadelphia quarterback Nick Foles, that will leave Riley and Robinson with the unenviable task of trying to control the shifty duo of All-Pro McCoy and the 5-foot-6 Sproles, who have combined for 230 yards and two touchdowns on 56 carries and have 21 catches for 230 yards.
Redskins QB Kirk Cousins vs. Eagles ILB DeMeco Ryans and S Malcolm Jenkins.
Cousins was superb off the bench last Sunday against the lousy Jaguars. This week is a step up in class for Cousins, who'll try to outthink All Pro Ryans and Jenkins, who call the signals for a solid Eagles defense. Cousins succeeds by knowing the offense and making good decisions. Ryan and Jenkins, along with Philadelphia's pass rushers, will be largely responsible for disrupting Cousins' timing.