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Injuries, not trades, remain focus of Redskins after the bye

ASHBURN, Va. -- As the Washington Redskins return from the bye week, it's time to get caught up on what you need to know over the next six days:

Practice schedule: The Redskins will practice Monday, most likely a shorter workout – get-back-into-it mode – followed by the regular sessions Wednesday through Friday. It’ll be interesting to see the mindset after being off for a week and playing a game at undefeated New England. Very few will give them a chance to win (understandably so), but how will the Redskins handle the week?

Injuries: The Redskins’ biggest concern this week should be determining who will be able to return from injury. It’s a long list: receiver DeSean Jackson (hamstring), corners Chris Culliver (knee), DeAngelo Hall (toe) and Bashaud Breeland (hamstring) and center Kory Lichtensteiger (pinched nerve in the neck). There’s optimism on each of them – though I don’t include Breeland in that group; it was too soon to know last week about his status. And though there’s some hope for the others, I would not say that means they’re playing. But each should be closer to returning (which, of course, makes sense). It would be hard to spring an upset in New England if these players miss Sunday – it would be hard even if they return.

Trade deadline: The NFL’s trade deadline is at 4 p.m. ET Tuesday, but one Redskins source said they would not be active. That means no trading of quarterback Robert Griffin III (no one had called with an offer as of Sunday night) and it’s doubtful anyone else. Things can change if a team is desperate, but it would be surprising. And, for those asking about Cleveland center Alex Mack: He has a no-trade clause, which he can reportedly waive. Why would he waive it to come to a team that has lost as much as Washington lately (pick a contender instead). He can void the contract after the season. If they want to move on from Lichtensteiger, better to do it in the offseason (there would be a $550,000 cap hit with a post-June 1 designation if that’s what they wanted to do).

NFC East: The Redskins sit a half-game out of first place thanks to the New York Giants losing to the New Orleans Saints. That, of course, was a good news/bad news scenario for Washington. The Saints are on the schedule in two weeks. Their defense is terrible, but that offense clearly can be scary. It’s why they’ve won three straight. That game is sandwiched between the Patriots and a trip to Carolina. So the New Orleans game will be another must-win – add it to the long list thus far in 2015.