Per NFL League rules, the Washington Redskins cut down their roster to 75 players in a preliminary step to reaching a final 53-man Week 1 team. Now that we know which players have departed after an early and late set of moves, it is easier to predict the squad that will take on the Steelers on September 12th.
Running backs (4): Matt Jones, Chris Thompson, Robert Kelley, Mack Brown -- Will this become the Final Four or do the Redskins go with a Three Musketeers look? Or for that matter, add a veteran?
Fullback (1): Joe Kerridge -- It is tough to picture Kerridge getting closer to the final roster picture as his position continues to look more and more extinct since Darrell Young's departure.
Wide receivers (9): DeSean Jackson, Pierre Garcon, Jamison Crowder, Josh Doctson, Ryan Grant, Rashad Ross, Maurice Harris, Kendal Thompson, T.J. Thorpe -- With Doctson not expected to start the season on the PUP list, Washington is more or less locked in with their top six wideouts. Harris is a practice squad lock if he is not poached by another team.
Tight ends (5): Jordan Reed, Vernon Davis, Niles Paul, Logan Paulsen, Marcel Jensen -- Paulsen could be a roster-crunch casualty but will probably land on his feet elsewhere while the Redskins try and stash Jensen on the practice squad.
Offensive guards (6): Brandon Scherff, Spencer Long, Shawn Lauvao, Arie Kouandjio, Vinston Painter, Nila Kasitati -- Painter's signing off of waivers may indicate that Lauvao could potentially be let go, but there has been no sign of that from head coach Jay Gruden. Kasitati could be kept on the practice squad for additional insurance, but the top four spots look secure.
Centers (3): Kory Lichtensteiger, Josh LeRibeus Austin Reiter -- Since the Bryan Stork trade fell through, Lichtensteiger is safe, and it probably allows Reiter to find a spot on the practice squad. If LeRibeus miraculously makes the team again, it means Long's ability as a backup is extremely low in the coaches' minds.
Defensive end (7): Chris Baker, Ricky Jean Francois, Kendall Reyes, Ziggy Hood, Cullen Jenkins, Corey Crawford, Anthony Lanier -- With Stephen Paea's release, Jenkins seems like a good shot to make the team. Lanier has impressed during the offseason and should receive a practice squad offer at the very least.
Nose tackle (3): Matt Ioannidis, Kedric Golston, Jerrell Powe -- I am still skeptical of Golston's job security at 33 years old, but the signing of the 35-year-old Jenkins implies he may be safe.
Outside linebacker (7): Ryan Kerrigan, Preston Smith, Trent Murphy, Houston Bates, Lynden Trail, Carlos Fields, Mike Wakefield -- Since Junior Galette went down with another Achilles injury, the back five have been battling for likely two 53-man roster spots as edge rushers. Murphy is probably a lock to make the final roster but could be a surprise release.
Cornerback (8): Josh Norman, Bashaud Breeland, Kendall Fuller, Quinton Dunbar, Dashaun Phillips, Greg Toler, Lloyd Carrington, Mariel Cooper -- Carrington and Cooper have not shown enough to warrant keeping a ridiculously high seven corners on the active roster, so they are competing for a practice squad invite.
Safety (6): DeAngelo Hall, David Bruton Jr., Duke Ihenacho, Will Blackmon, Deshazor Everett, Geno Matias-Smith -- Everett and Matias-Smith, more so the former, have showed ability to play the position but probably cannot warrant a spot as an 11th defensive back.
Specialist (3): Dustin Hopkins, Tress Way, Nick Sundberg -- Nobody was brought in for competition during camp so these roster spots are set in stone for Week 1, barring injury.
Between 36 offensive players, 36 defensive players and 3 specialists, the Redskins will have to release 22 individuals by Saturday, Sept. 3rd at 4 p.m. and then will have the opportunity to sign 10 players to their practice squad.
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