LANDOVER -- Many things took place in the Washington Redskins' 17-10 loss Sunday afternoon to the Miami Dolphins. Initial postgame thoughts on three of them.
Up to the challenge
For perhaps the first time in my life, I'm genuinely excited to rewatch the game specifically for the right guard. Based on the initial eye test and postgame reaction, rookie Brandon Scherff more than past the immense test of facing Dolphins Pro Bowl defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh. Scherff and tackle Morgan Moses were the biggest uncertainties entering the season opener. The pair held their own on right side of the offensive line. Washington's running game gashed Miami in the first half and the offensive line largely gave quarterback Kirk Cousins a clean pocket to work from. "I think for the most part, Morgan and Brandon, in their first game together, I'm happy the way they played," coach Jay Gruden said. Build a strong offensive line and in most cases, the other pieces on offense improve. Curious what our film analyst Paul Conner thinks off Scherff after looking at the tape. Seems like a solid first step.
Lots of potential yikes exist following the opener. The biggest involves one of the smaller players, wide receiver DeSean Jackson, who left with a hamstring injury running down the sideline in the first quarter. Jackson missed all of the preseason with a shoulder injury. Not having all those game reps likely factored in the injury, especially since the play involved him going from zero to 60. Jackson sported a wrap on his left leg postgame. Coach Jay Gruden said he would undergo an MRI exam. "Not sure how long he'll be out." Jackson's history doesn't include quick returns from injury. The Redskins cannot duplicate Jackson's home run style elsewhere, but at least the wide receiver group is deep. Rashad Ross, inactive Sunday, would likely join the active roster if Jackson missed Week 2 against the Rams.
Duke Ihenacho also left in the first half and did not return. Gruden announced the strong safety suffered a "wrist fracture, dislocation," but did not specify a timetable for return until an MRI. Jeron Johnson would logically take over in the starting lineup. The Redskins do not have a safety on the practice squad.
Gruden also announced cornerback Justin Rogers would probably miss a couple of day with plantar fasciitis. CB DeAngelo Hall (ribs) and tackle Morgan Moses (eye) missed a few plays but both returned. The good news for the secondary is that Bashuad Breeland (suspension) will return for Week 2.
In terms of the depth chart, I consistently discussed three pet topics this summer:
* Kirk Cousins should be part of a QB competition if not named the starter
* Andre Roberts should no longer handle returns or serve as the third receiver (assuming Ryan Grant or Jamison Crowder) showed they were ready
* David Amerson no longer belongs in the primary cornerback rotation and possibly not on the 53-man roster.
Obviously, the Cousins part happened. Obviously, the other two angles did not, though Roberts was demoted from the return game. His hands should be declared 4F after two more drops Sunday, running his one season plus one game total to umpteen dozens. Those drops - along with penalties and other mistakes - contributed to Washington's offense faltering during a scoreless second half.
Amerson's insertion into the lineup after Hall went out in the second quarter led directly to Miami's first touchdown. The Dolphins threw at Amerson every play until Ryan Tannehill tossed a touchdown pass to the Rishard Matthews, who was defended by Amerson.
Here's the thing: Good chance both Roberts and Amerson remain in their roles next week. DeSean Jackson's injury could actually push Roberts into the starting lineup. If Justin Rogers needs a week off, Amerson remains the fourth corner.
Tomorrow is another day, but the sun hasn't been shining on either of these two players for a while.