The three stars all made the overseas trip for the meeting against the Cincinnati Bengals and therefore seemed likely to play, but you never know for sure. Reed missed the previous two games with a concussion, the sixth (that we know) of his career. Norman suffered a concussion in last Sunday's loss at Detroit, the same game game Williams hobbled of with a knee injury.
For the first time in his rookie season Lanier is active while fellow rookie Matt Ioannidis is among the inactive players, along with Matt Jones, Nate Sudfeld, Rashad Ross, Vinston Painter, Arie Kouandjio and Dashaun Phillips, the team announced. Ioannidis not active is a little surprising since the fifth round pick had been involved in recent games while adjusting to the nose tackle role. Lanier provides a perimeter pass rush element, which could suggest more four-down lineman/nickel coverage looks from Washington.
Despite Williams' claim that he wasn't even 80 percent healthy Wednesday and right guard Brandon Scherff (shoulder) also on the injury report, the Redskins only have seven offensive lineman active. Washington went with nine linebackers and nine defensive backs.
Running back Robert Kelley takes over as the main ball carrier with Jones out while Chris Thompson remains in his passing down role. Mack Brown was promoted from the practice squad earlier in the week.
I recently spoke with Lanier, but had to yet to post anything on that conversation. Here are some of comments from the undrafted free agent from Alabama A&M.
* On having a full understanding of the defense
It's been challenging from both sides. I'm used to going against guys who are a little more uncoached as far as their blocking schemes and things like that. ...My benefit towards the offensive line is they haven't seen someone who can actually pass rush or has moves or do stunts like I do.
* On patience with not playing
Right now the talk is I'm a raw talent and still have a lot to learn. Coach Gruden is always telling me keep my pads low. There a couple of things I need to work on.
* On watching teammates come and go as the Redskins shuffle their roster
It's been humbling. You hear talk all the time about how you can be here one day and gone the next. I'll never forget my third day here during OTAs. They cut someone. I was shocked. You get to know everybody and then it's like there they go. You just hope you're not that person. You save yourself by going hard every day. Show them something they haven't seen. Your résumé is what you put on film.
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