LANDOVER -- News and notes following the Washington Redskins fourth and final presason game, a 17-16 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars Thursday night at Fed Ex Field.
Befitting the last preseason game, most of coach Jay Gruden's postgame press conference didn't focus on headliners like Robert Griffin III (though he came up) or Ryan Kerrigan, but a player who might not even be part of the team Week 1 against Miami.
There were lots of reasons to talk about Rashad Ross, who capped a strong preseason with 10 receptions for 103 yards and a 19-yard touchdown.
There are now lots of reasons why the second-year speedster should stick around.
“He really is, he’s doing a great job," Gruden said of Ross. "Even in practice he makes splash plays every day."
The Redskins figure to keep six wide receivers on the 53-man roster. DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon are the starters, Andre Roberts the third receiver with Ryan Grant and Jamison Crowder pushing for snaps. That likely leaves Ross or sixth-round pick Evan Spencer for the last spot. While Spencer (concussion) watched, Ross continued producing. He also had a 19-yard punt return.
"We talk about taking advantage of opportunities," Gruden said. "(Ross) is one of the guys that really has opened our eyes. It’s going to make it very tough come [Sunday]. You’ve got to do the math. We’ve got a good group of wideouts we feel really good about. He just made it very interesting.”
Newly-installed starting QB Kirk Cousins didn't play Thursday, but worked with Ross plenty during second and third team drills.
"It's really no surprise. We'd seen his speed all throughout training camp," Cousins said. "I fully expected him to come out in preseason games and surprise the outsiders. Make it difficult for opposing defenses. ...It was encouraging to see him make so many plays this preseason because frankly I think he deserved it. He did a great job in practice and it carried over into games."
Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (concussion) didn't play as expected, but he went through individual drills before Thursday's game. The question is what will he go through over the next few days. Gruden said Griffin would see a couple of doctors Friday. At that point he could be removed from the NFL's concussion protocol program - or not.
As for those bumps and bruises from the game, Running back Trey Williams was limping a bit in the locker room after hurting his ankle in the first half. Gruden said offensive lineman Josh LeRibeus suffered a mild calf strain. LeRibeus told Breaking Burgundy postgame the calf feels "real tight. We'll see how it feels tomorrow." Williams and LeRibeus won't know their roster fate until cuts are announced.
Spencer, also on the concussion protocol program, will see an "independent" doctor, Gruden said.
Outside linebacker Jackson Jeffcoat and defensive end Frank Kearse likely find themselves on the good side of the roster bubble, but it won't hurt that both impresed against Jacksonville.
Jeffcoat continued his streak with one sack in all four preseason games. The season-ending injury to Junior Galette opened up a spot. Jeffcoat is taking it, though he won't know for sure until the team announces final cuts.
"Just try to keep my mind off (final cuts). Relax, get ready for the Miami game,"Jeffcoat said of his plans before Sunday's cut-down day. "Right now, I feel like I'm going to be on the team. That's what i got to do, start getting ready for the Miami game."
Kearse missed some preseason work with a knee injury. The pass rusher made up for lost time Thursday.
“I think I played my best," Kearse said. "I put my best foot forward and made a lot of plays. I flew around enough. Obviously, I didn’t play in the last two preseason games but I wanted to make a statement tonight.”
Inside linebacker Terrance Plummer is truly on th roster bubble. The Redskins are thin at the position, but might not keep five. Plummer would likely be the fifth.
“I think I did pretty well," he said. "Coach said there were some mistakes on defense. I’ve still got to clean up my technique and some other things. But I think I played well, sliding to the football. I think I did pretty well on special teams. Whatever happens, happens. I’m pretty satisfied with the way I played.”