ASHBURN, Va. – With one week left in the regular season, the Washington Redskins have just one question left: Who will, or won’t, play in the finale?
The Redskins already won the NFC East and can’t improve their draft standing. So there’s a good chance more than a few starters will sit against Dallas on Sunday.
Redskins coach Jay Gruden said Monday that he wasn’t yet sure who would sit and wanted to get a better injury report Tuesday before determining.
“The injuries will be a major part of that, but the guys that play, they have every intent of trying to win this football game,” Gruden said. “It’s a big game for us to keep our momentum, but we also have to be smart about the guys that are a little bit [hurt] and get them well for the playoffs.”
There are a handful of players it would make sense to rest. Here’s a look at them:
Receiver DeSean Jackson: He’s battled various leg injuries this season and keeping him fresh for the postseason is a must. He will have a huge part in trying to spring an upset. You don’t want to disrupt the momentum he and quarterback Kirk Cousins have built, but a healthy Jackson is a productive one.
Right tackle Morgan Moses: He played with an ankle injury last week and actually played quite well. If there’s any doubt, he should sit.
Running back Matt Jones: He did not play against the Eagles because of a hip injury that he might have aggravated late in the week. The tough part is that he needs to keep playing, but, again, if there’s doubt then he’ll sit. But I’m not sure I’d want someone with ball security issues going two weeks without a carry.
Left tackle Trent Williams: He’s always playing with something banged up, so this is a chance to rest him. But it would be tough to sit both starting tackles, leaving them with no backups if anything happened in the game to those who replaced them (Ty Nsekhe and Tom Compton).
Quarterback Kirk Cousins: Gruden said this largely depends on what they do with the other offensive players, especially the linemen. You don’t want to risk injury so if, for example, both tackles sit then it makes no sense to play Cousins. Heck, it might not make sense even if they just rest Williams.
Running back Chris Thompson: If Jones can’t play, then Thompson might not have a choice. But he’s still dealing with a torn labrum in his shoulder and it’s all about pain tolerance. He did a nice job Saturday and continues to pick up blitzes well.
Defensive end Jason Hatcher: He does little to nothing on Wednesdays to rest his knee and keep him ready for this time of the year. Against Chicago, he should not have played but did so because of the playoff push. Give the man some time off.
Safety Dashon Goldson: He played last week with a broken rib and other various aches and pains. Again, they’ll need him more in the playoffs than Sunday. The only problem is, who plays safety along with him? Kyshoen Jarrett is healthy as is Jeron Johnson, but that leads us to the next player.
Safety DeAngelo Hall: He was limping badly after the game Saturday because of a calf injury. Hall has had various injury issues over the last year and they will need him in the postseason. If he can’t play, then Goldson might have to stay active just in case something happens to one of the others.