Five battles to watch when the Washington Redskins face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Wednesday night.
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Due to the expectations of heavy inclement weather, the Washington Redskins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers will play Wednesday night as opposed to Thursday. Although it's a short week, I don't think anyone is complaining. Nobody likes the fourth preseason game, except those fighting for their jobs. Not to mention, the Redskins now have an extra day to prepare for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Nonetheless, this is a meaningful games for players who are on the bubble. Below will list five battles to watch.
Kendall Fuller vs Bucs WRs:
Redskins' rookie CB Kendall Fuller
has had his share of ups and downs this preseason. However, he's coming off a game winning interception and a solid performance against the Buffalo Bills
. Washington has a deep group of corners and Fuller will be battling for early playtime this season. He could receiving starting reps against the Buccaneers -- giving him an opportunity to shine. For the most part, I've liked what he's put on film the past three weeks. Even his mistakes highlight what he does well -- which is being in the right position.
There's just small technical things the former Virginia Tech Hokie needs to fix like turning his head downfield. He's shown no fear attacking ball carriers and has flashed solid instincts. It would be good for Fuller to end the preseason on a high note.
is expected to make his first preseason start against the Buccaneers. With the game being moved to Wednesday night, stakes have been raised.
Sudfeld will have an opportunity to perform in front of a National Audience. Of course, it's the fourth preseason game and he'll play against mostly third stringers. But either way, this is somewhat a league-wide audition for Sudfeld.
While many now expect him to make Washington's final 53-man roster, the possibility of them keeping only 2 QBs still exists. Although, now that the entire league will be watching him, even if the Redskins attempted to sneak him on their Practice Squad - that could get a bit harder to do. Especially if Sudfeld plays well.
Maurice Harris's last stand?:
My assumption is that rookie WR Maurice Harris
will start Wednesday night. If he does, he could face fellow rookie CB Vernon Hargreaves III
. Although, Hargreaves likely won't play a lot, it'll be interesting to see how a guy like Harris fares.
According to Pro Football Focus, Vernon Hargreaves has been thrown at 8 times this preseason. On those eight passes, he's allowed 1 catch for 2 yards while forcing 2 INTs and 1 Pass defended. Quarterbacks have a rating of 0.0 throwing his direction. That's stellar numbers right there.
If Harris (6-foot-3, 205) gets matched against the 5-foot-10 Hargreaves, it'll be interesting to see if his size advantage trumps the former Florida Gator's sound technique. It will also be interesting to see if Harris somehow forces his way onto the roster with an impressive roster.
Washington's Left Guard and Center positions:
Center Kory Lichtensteiger
remains penciled as Washington's starting center. However, barring a free agent addition, Spencer Long
could force the team to consider him there. He's looked better playing center than Lichtensteiger. However, he's mentally young at the position and may not be fully trusted. Not to mention, Long is pretty much also fighting for a job at left guard and also might be for a couple of weeks with a sprained ankle.
The team will have to decide whether or not Shawn Lauvao
deserves to regain his starting job. If he does, which he should, that could force the team to make a tough decision at center.
The rookie pass rusher netted a sack last week against the Browns. Spence was touted as one of the better Edge Rushers in the 2016 NFL Draft and should see a good amount of play Wednesday.
If preseason has been any indication, it appears Spence will play mostly on the right side against Washington's left tackle. Ty Nsekhe could receive most of the workload against the potential standout rusher.
You can find Emmanual on Twitter @manny_benton.
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