ASHBURN, Va. -- The Washington Redskins will conduct their final full practice for the week late Friday morning. Here are three areas of interest:
Cornerback Chris Culliver. There’s nothing structurally wrong with his left knee based on an MRI, but Culliver will have to weigh how effective he can be given the pain. But the Redskins absolutely need him this week against the Atlanta Falcons' passing attack. Culliver has not practiced the past two days and if he can’t go Friday, then the obvious statement is that it’s a bad sign. Some players can get away without practicing and then playing that Sunday. But usually players want to test themselves by at least Friday -- and coaches want to see it.
Receiver DeSean Jackson. Same deal as Culliver, though at least Jackson has been on the field. The question is, will he be able to test his left hamstring even more Friday than the past two days when he was limited to individual work. Hamstrings are tricky injuries so if there’s any doubt, there’s no way Jackson would or should play. If he makes it worse, he’ll be sidelined much longer. The Redskins do like to take deep shots against this style of defense so having Jackson would help (see: Seattle, 2014). But they need him for more than just this game. Tight end Jordan Reed is in this category, too, but he hasn’t even been out to practice yet and still wasn’t symptom-free as of Thursday. It’s hard to imagine him playing.
Attitude. The Redskins are a loose bunch, but it does not seem to be the same as it was in the past. That’s a good thing. What they must do, though, is work and play with the same level of urgency that they showed throughout the game versus Philadelphia and especially in the fourth quarter. It’s still too early to think about using the word letdown after beating the Eagles. If that’s somehow the case, then this team has no chance to do anything. If they lose to Atlanta, it’ll be due to playing a better team. As coach Jay Gruden said, “I don’t think there’s any way we can have any letdown based on our past the last few years. I’m excited about the way these guys are going to handle victory. It’s going to be good to see how they do, especially on the road, which will be a big test for them.”