What To Watch For: Redskins vs. Bills
The Redskins will host the Bills in their second preseason game on Saturday at FedEx Field. With the first roster cut looming on Tuesday afternoon, five storylines are worth following.
BY ZAC BOYER
The Redskins will host the Bills in their second preseason game on Saturday afternoon at FedEx Field. Here are five storylines worth following:
1. Is Josh Wilson healthy?
After beginning training camp on the physically-unable-to-perform list following surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder, Josh Wilson will make his preseason debut against the Bills. The cornerback worked with the scout team during the final week of training camp to improve his conditioning and get him back into shape for the regular season. He’ll face a big test by having to tackle players for the first time.
2. Can the rookies take the next step?
Tight end Jordan Reed and running backs Chris Thompson and Jawan Jamison saw their first action on offense against the Steelers on Monday. All three demonstrated their youth: Reed made a critical mistake in the third quarter by failing to run his route properly, leading to an interception. Thompson fumbled on his third play, and second carry, leading to a turnover. Jamison entered late and played just a handful of snaps. This will be another chance for them to get comfortable.
3. What can Pat White do?
Though a specific rotation hadn’t been determined on Thursday, the Redskins will likely turn to Pat White to lead the offense in the second half after Rex Grossman exits the game. White was slick in his debut against the Titans on Aug. 8, engineering a come-from-behind victory by running the zone read option, but he faced challenges throwing the ball in the fourth quarter against the Steelers. He could have a chance to work with the momentum of a full half on Saturday.
4. What’s going on in the secondary?
With Wilson back in the lineup, it will be interesting to see what happens with cornerback David Amerson – especially when the Redskins deploy their nickel package. Amerson has worked exclusively on the outside and primarily for Wilson on the right side, and if DeAngelo Hall also plays – and there’s no reason he wouldn’t – the first glimpse of the Redskins’ opening day personnel could be had. Wilson is the favorite to move inside to play the slot, though E.J. Biggers manned that role last week and Richard Crawford and Chase Minnifield also had a shot.
5. Which players on the bubble can shine?
Mike Shanahan typically plays his starters into the third quarter in the third preseason game, though because of the strange schedule the team was dealt, they’ll only play the first 20 or so plays against the Bills and likely not at all against the Buccaneers on Thursday. That gives the team the better part of two games to evaluate players at key positions. Tom Compton, Adam Gettis, Josh LeRibeus and Tony Pashos are all trying to earn roles on the offensive line, and several receivers are trying to make their case to wrap up one or two roles. The defensive coaches like the way safety Jose Gumbs, who got an extended run against the Steelers, has played thus far. The kickoff and punt return roles are also still open.