Four players have been ruled questionable for Monday night’s game: Ronald Darby, Wendell Smallwood, Jordan Hicks, and Mychal Kendricks.
The feeling here is Darby won’t play. He’s been limited in practice all week and might not be ready to play just yet. In the long-term, it’s a very encouraging sign he at least has a chance to play in Monday’s game. The Eagles should be getting their best corner back soon.
Washington, meanwhile, will NOT have their best corner for the Eagles game. Josh Norman has officially been ruled OUT. That’s a big loss for Washington. He did a great job of covering Alshon Jeffery in Week 1.
Norman might not be the only starting Washington cornerback to miss this week’s matchup. Bashaud Breeland is questionable to play on Monday. Even if he suits up, it seems like he’ll be less than 100%. The Eagles should be looking to test Washington’s secondary.
Hicks said he’s going to play on Monday despite being limited in practice this week. He was a full participant in practice on Saturday.
Smallwood might play for the first time since suffering a knee injury in Week 4. He was also a full participant in practice on Saturday.
Kendricks was also a full participant after suffering a hamstring injury on Friday.
Philadelphia Eagles Injury Report (Saturday)
CB Ronald Darby (ankle)
LB Jordan Hicks (calf)
RB Wendell Smallwood (knee)
LB Mychal Kendricks (hamstring)
Washington Redskins Injury Report (Saturday)
As mentioned above, Norman is OUT. Big loss for Washington. Breeland is questionable.
Starting left tackle Trent Williams is questionable. He’ll likely play, but he’s less than 100%. His backup, Ty Neskhe, is out. Washington will have to rely on total sieve T.J. Clemmings is Williams misses snaps.
OT Ty Nsekhe (core muscle)
CB Josh Norman (rib)
OG Tyler Catalina (concussion)
OT Trent Williams (knee)
LB Mason Foster (shoulder)
CB Bashaud Breeland (knee)
RB Rob Kelley (ankle)
S Stefan McClure (knee)
S Deshazor Everett (hamstring)
Read below for more analysis of Washington’s injury situation via Bill-in-Bangkok.
The Redskins put two players on IR this week. First round draft pick Jonathan Allen will be replaced by Anthony Lanier, a second-year undrafted player who the coaches really like. The Redskins rotate 7 defensive linemen throughout the game, so this injury may not be as impactful as it would be in a ‘skill’ position, but the dropoff in overall talent will challenge the Redskins.
Kicker Dustin Hopkins was also placed on IR, and will be replaced by Nick Rose, who will be playing in his first regular season NFL game on Monday night. Gruden said on Friday that the team brought 4 kickers in on Tuesday and that Rose made all his kicks and had a strong leg, so they signed him. Asked if Gruden would be nervous about Rose playing in the game, Gruden agreed that until you see him kick in a game you’re never really sure.
The Injury Report
There are nine players listed as Questionable or OUT for the Monday night game.
Tyler Catalina, Deshazor Everett and Stephan McClure are backups who mostly see the field on special teams. If they can’t go, it will barely be noticeable.
Trent Willliams is the starting Left Tackle, and he has a history of playing with pain. He was listed as questionable ahead of the 49ers game, but started and played the whole game. On Saturday, Gruden said that Williams is basically the same as he was last week, “a little bit gimpy”. Expect Williams to play in this game. The reason is that his backup is Ty Nsekhe, one of the three players who are OUT for MNF. Nsekhe was injured in the Raiders game, and had surgery. He is very capable of playing at a high level if TW can’t play. With Nsekhe unavailable, if Trent Williams doesn’t play then the next man up is TJ Clemmings, a 3rd year player who was picked up on waivers from the Vikings at the end of preseason.
Rob Kelley is the Redskins lead back, and he missed the Niners game last week after spraining his ankle against the Chiefs in Week 4. That was his second injury of the season, and the second game missed because of injury. Jay Gruden sounded confident on Friday that Rob Kelly would play, but ‘Fat Rob’ has only 29 carries for the Redskins this season, so if he’s not available, it’s really no big deal. Rookie 4th rounder Samaje Perine would start in his place, and second year player Mack Brown would be active as Perine’s backup. Chris Thompson’s role as the Redskins 3rd down/long yardage back doesn’t change. Thompson typically gets 12-15 touches per game, though he got extra carries (20 total touches) against the 49ers.
Mason Foster is a starting inside linebacker who has a shoulder injury that has lingered since the Rams game in Week 2. He will be evaluated on Sunday but I’d be surprised if he doesn’t start the game. If he can’t play, then he’d likely be replaced by Martrell Spaight, or possibly Will Compton, who was the starter in ’16. Spaight is a capable 3rd year linebacker and good replacement for Foster, though Compton lacks athleticism.
The two most significant injuries on the report are the two starting cornerbacks.
Josh Norman is OUT. Redskins Coach Jay Gruden said Saturday that doctors didn’t clear him to play ahead of Monday’s game. Norman wanted to play and was visibly in a video he posted to social media. “I don’t know what else to do, man,” he said. “Can’t force nobody to clear you.”
Link to Twitter video: https://twitter.com/MasterTes/status/921807408791457792
Norman will be replaced by Quinton Dunbar, who is a fan favorite because of the way be became a CB on the team. Dunbar is a 3rd year player who came to Redskins camp as an undrafted rookie wide receiver, but on a team that had Pierre Garcon and Desean Jackson at the top of the depth chart, there was no possibility of Dunbar making the team. In a scrimmage against the Texans, several CBs got injured, including Deangelo Hall, and the ‘Skins literally didn’t have enough defensive backs to field a defense. Gruden had noticed Dunbar on special teams and that he could tackle, so he asked him to fill in on defense. That changed Dunbar’s career. He is now the backup outside corner, and while he’s still developing, he’s long and has good speed. He’s not Josh Norman, but he’s a very good cornerback who could start on some teams in the NFL.
Baushaud Breeland, the corner who starts opposite Norman, is listed as questionable. On Saturday, Jay Gruden said that Breeland had looked good in walk-throughs, and that the team would have a look at him on Sunday and make a decision about his status for the Monday game then.
If Breeland can start opposite Dunbar, then the Redskins should be fine; this is the same lineup that started last week against San Francisco.
If Breeland can’t play on Monday then the next man up is Fabian Moreau, a rookie 3rd rounder with good skills but limited experience. Moreau was injured when he was drafted, and wasn’t healthy enough to practice until the very end of training camp, so he missed rookie mini-camp, OTAs and the first three preseason games. As the #4 outside corner he’s a good developing player, but as the starting outside cornerback on Monday Night Football against the league-leading Philadelphia Eagles, Moreau is likely to see a lot of balls come his way from Carson Wentz. One alternative to starting Moreau would be to play 2nd year slot corner Kendall Fuller on the outside, but in nickel and dime packages Moreau would still need to play.