Sep 13, 2015; Landover, MD, USA; Miami Dolphins wide receiver Jarvis Landry (14) runs with the ball as Washington Redskins outside linebacker Martrell Spaight (50) attempts the tackle in the third quarter at FedEx Field. The Dolphins won 17-10. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
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The Washington Redskins have already declared two players out for Sunday. Who else will they choose to sit during the game?
The Washington Redskins are going to be taking on the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday in an important divisional battle. Both teams are 0-1 heading into the second week of the season, and this game could end up being important down the line in the divisional race. Because of that, both teams are going to have to put their best players on the field in order to stand a chance of performing well.
For the Redskins, this means that they have to be able to choose the right inactives for the game. Injuries have already given them two, as defensive end Kendall Reyes and linebacker Martrell Spaight will sit out the game, but they still have to pick five players not to dress for the contest. With that in mind, here is a look at the five players that the Redskins should sit in Week 2.
Aug 11, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; Washington Redskins quarterback Nate Sudfeld (2) throws a pass against the Atlanta Falcons in the fourth quarter at the Georgia Dome. The Falcons defeated the Redskins 23-17. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
5. QB Nate Sudfeld
As I said last week, the Redskins simply do not need to have three quarterbacks dressed for game day. Nate Sudfeld is still behind Colt McCoy in terms of becoming a quality backup, so he will continue to sit until he is better.
However, Sudfeld could end up seeing more action later in the seasons if Kirk Cousins ends up struggling. Cousins’ first game of the 2016 season was unimpressive, and if he continues to decline, the Redskins may not want to bring him back following this season. If that ends up happening, then Sudfeld may get a late season start if the team misses the playoffs.
Still, that scenario seems very unlikely. Regardless of what happens, Sudfeld is getting a great learning experience practicing with the Redskins week in and week out.
Aug 11, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; Washington Redskins offensive guard Arie Kouandjio (74) on the sidelines against the Atlanta Falcons in the fourth quarter at the Georgia Dome. The Falcons defeated the Redskins 23-17. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
4. G Arie Kouandjio
The Redskins already parted ways with an offensive lineman earlier in the week. The team waived backup center Austin Reiter and later signed him to the team’s practice squad. The team now has eight offensive linemen on the roster, but that is still too many to dress on game day. As a result one will sit, and it will either be Trent Williams or Arie Kouandjio.
Williams has been on the injury report over the last couple of days, but it seems like he will be able to suit up on Sunday. Williams is a very tough player anyway, and the Redskins would be in serious trouble without their captain.
This will make Kouandjio the obvious pick to sit out the game. He is the least versatile of the team’s linemen, and also the least experienced. Spencer Long is the backup guard and center for the team, and that will not change unless Kouandjio improves in the near future.
Aug 31, 2016; Tampa, FL, USA; Washington Redskins wide receiver Rashad Ross (19) runs with the ball as Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Jude Adjei-Barimah (38) tackles during the first half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
3. WR Rashad Ross
It appears as though Josh Doctson will continue to serve as the fifth receiver for the Redskins team. Rashad Ross has been relegated to the bench as a result. Ross is a great straight line speed weapon and special teamer, but he just does not have a place on the normal roster.
The Redskins have many strong special teams players, including Will Blackmon, Terence Garvin, and Jamison Crowder, so Ross does not fill a need. He is also probably the weakest receiver on the Redskins roster, which is not an insult considering that the unit is full of talented players. I would expect that most weeks, barring an injury to a receiver, Ross will end up sitting for the Redskins.
Aug 11, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons tight end D.J. Tialavea (86) gets tackled hard by Washington Redskins strong safety Duke Ihenacho (29) during the second quarter at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
2. S Duke Ihenacho
The Redskins kept five safeties on their final roster, and it was pretty obvious that they would sit one every week unless there was a unique circumstance. Last week, I thought they would sit Deshazor Everett, but they ended up choosing Duke Ihenacho. This move actually made a lot of sense for the team.
Everett is an excellent special teams player, and him functioning as a run stopping safety works for the Redskins. They have a lot of good coverage guys on the roster, so having a thumper does not hurt the cause. Ihenacho is a decent combo player, but he really is nothing special. On the Redskins defense, he really does not have a role.
As a result, Ihenacho will have to sit this week. He will definitely get some playing time this season, but in the matchup against the Cowboys in does not make sense for him to dress.
Aug 26, 2016; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins cornerback Kendall Fuller (38) attempts to intercept a pass intended for Buffalo Bills wide receiver Greg Little (15) in the fourth quarter at FedEx Field. The Redskins won 21-16. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
1. CB Kendall Fuller
While I am a huge fan of Kendall Fuller, and most weeks I would probably keep him active, I actually think that the team may want to consider leaving him on the bench for this matchup. The Cowboys receivers are frankly uninspiring aside from Dez Bryant, so the top corners for the Redskins should be able to lock them down. As a result, the team should focus on having enough depth across the defensive line to stop the run game.
Because Reyes will be out, I expect the Redskins to choose to dress both Cullen Jenkins and Anthony Lanier to make up for his loss. Jenkins is as veteran, so he will likely play most of the snaps that Reyes would normally play. However, he may not be ready to go for a full game, so having Lanier at the team’s disposal will be a major help for their defense.
Unfortunately, the decision to start Lanier will come at the expense of Fuller. The team simply cannot dress every player they have. If they choose to a rookie to play, it will definitely be at the position that they have more of a need.