By Kevin Ross
For the first time since 1999, the Washington Redskins will enter the final week of the regular season with a playoff berth already in hand. This week’s match-up against the Dallas Cowboys will actually be the third time in the last four seasons that the Redskins have played the Cowboys in the regular season finale. Last season the Cowboys were in the same exact situation as the Redskins with a playoff berth already locked down entering into the finale. In that game the Cowboys did not rest any starters as they preferred to embarrass the Redskins beating them 44-17.
It will be interesting to see what approach the Redskins take; Coach Jay Gruden was asked about this at Redskins Park: “Right now, we have the intent of playing our guys that are going to be healthy. That’s the intent. This injury report here going into tomorrow, we’ll see how many of these guys will be out, but like I’ve said before, there are only seven guys we can keep inactive, and this will have a major impact who will be inactive and who won’t. We’re preparing to play the Dallas Cowboys and try to win the football game with the healthy bodies that we have.”
Judging from the press conference, if Gruden is only going to play guys that are “healthy,” it’s fair to conclude that any player listed on the injury report as “Out”, “Questionable” or “Doubtful” will more than likely not see the field. This means that the Redskins will more than likely be without the following players on Sunday : CB Quinton Dunbar, S Dashon Goldson, CB DeAngelo Hall, DE Jason Hatcher, T Trent Williams, WR DeSean Jackson, RB Matt Jones, LB Perry Riley, Jr. and RB Pierre Thomas.
The above list of players are most certainly not going to see the field, but do not be surprised if starting quarterback Kirk Cousins is removed from the game almost immediately. Left Tackle Trent Williams was a part of the above listing, and if Williams does in fact miss the game, it will be interesting to see if the Redskins risk Cousins behind a shaky offensive line.
If Williams does not make the start, Coach Gruden has already announced that backup tackle Ty Nsekhe will take his place. Head Coach Jay Gruden took a moment to elaborate on Nsekhe’s progress and his worth to the team, “I think we’ve come a long way. I think [Ty] Nsekhe has played well in his subs in the time he’s had to play. He’s a big man, and he’s going to have to come in there and compete if Trent can’t play. You know, injuries do happen. Like I said yesterday, guys have stepped up. Worst-case scenarios have happened, and we’ve overcome a lot of them. Nsekhe’s got to get himself ready, and he’s done that. He’s practiced well throughout the season. He’s spelled Morgan Moses a few times and done well.”
Washington Redskins Complete Week 17 Injury Report
CB Quinton Dunbar (Calf)
S Dashon Goldson (Shoulder/Rib)
RB Matt Jones (Hip)
LB Perry Riley, Jr. (Foot)
CB DeAngelo Hall (Knee)
DE Jason Hatcher (Neck/Knee)
WR DeSean Jackson (Knee)
RB Pierre Thomas (Knee)
CB Will Blackmon (Shin/Hip)
LB Will Compton (Shin)
WR Ryan Grant (Abdomen)
C Josh LeRibeus (Ankle)
T Morgan Moses (Ankle)
LB Keenan Robinson (Shoulder)
RB Chris Thompson (Shoulder)
Kevin Ross is a freelance writer covering all things Washington Redskins. His work can be found on Examiner.com.