The Washington Redskins return to practice Wednesday for a late-morning practice. Here are three areas of interest:
Receiver DeSean Jackson. Redskins coach Jay Gruden said they're hoping Jackson can do some work after missing the past three games with a hamstring injury. There's no way he'll rush back, nor should he. His legs make him money. If Jackson returns, they'd have a solid receiving trio in addition to Pierre Garcon and Jamison Crowder. Atlanta's secondary has some holes -- the Falcons have allowed 13 pass plays of 20 yards or more (tied for 17th most in the NFL, according to ESPN Stats & Information). But Jackson was unable to even practice in limited fashion last week.
Tight end Jordan Reed. He's already dealt with at least four previous diagnosed concussions (and he's admitted in the past there might have been more). Reed's importance to the offense is well-documented; he makes plays for others, too, with his presence as he attracts eyeballs from multiple defenders. Derek Carrier can help, however, if he must play more in place of Reed.
Atlanta offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan. Yes, the former Redskins' offensive coordinator will be a hot topic this week. Thing is, not many of the current defensive players were here when he coached in Washington (and would have faced him in practice). But there are enough who did face him, including linebackers Keenan Robinson, Perry Riley, Jr., and Ryan Kerrigan and defensive end Chris Baker (corner DeAngelo Hall obviously did, too, and his knowledge will help this week even if he's sidelined with the sore toe). And quarterback Kirk Cousins' insight will be beneficial; he knows that offense well. But it's one thing to know it and another to stop it; Shanahan's offense is even more effective with quarterback Matt Ryan running it and throwing to receiver Julio Jones. Shanahan was an excellent coordinator in Washington; he's proving it again in Atlanta. My Falcons colleague, Vaughn McClure, will have a feature on Shanahan Wednesday morning.