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5 Takeaways: Oct. 15 Jay Gruden Presser


Here's five takeaways from Redskins head coach Jay Gruden's Oct. 15, 2015, press conference at Redskins Park in Loudoun County, Va.*

1. After being limited on Wednesday, cornerback Chris Culliver, center Kory Lichtensteiger and left tackle Trent Williams each missed Thursday's practice.

Culliver continues to battle a knee injury, Lichtensteiger is battling injuries to his shoulder, finger and neck, and Williams, whose injury was listed to his spine on Wednesday, saw his listing changed to his neck on Thursday.

Check out these photos of the Redskins' offense preparing for their Week 6 match up against the New York Jets Thursday, Oct. 15, 2015, at Redskins Park in Loudoun County, Va.

All three's playing statuses are still up in the air for Sunday against the New York Jets. Culliver, who played through knee pain two weeks ago against the Philadelphia Eagles, missed last Sunday's game against the Atlanta Falcons, while Williams and Lichtensteiger both played against the Falcons.

As it pertains to the two offensive linemen, Gruden said they're a couple of players with the rare exception of having the possibility of playing without practicing, if absolutely needed.

"They are able to participate in the walkthrough, so they're getting a lot of the mental reps and they're in the meetings and all that stuff," Gruden said of Williams and Lichtensteiger. "Obviously, you'd like to get them reps out here, but if you're going to be able to get away with not practicing during a week it'd those two guys. We want to make sure they're 100 percent."

2. If Lichtensteiger and/or Williams cannot play on Sunday, then Josh LeRibeus (center) and Ty Neskhe (left tackle) will play in their place.

LeRibeus, an SMU product, is in his fourth season with the Redskins, but his first as the team's backup center. He played well at the position during extended action in the preseason.

"He's ready to go," Gruden said of LeRibeus.

Nsekhe, meanwhile, was a pleasant surprise for Gruden and offensive line coach Bill Callahan when he blossomed during training camp and won the backup left tackle job. He's certainly big enough at 6-foot-8, 325 pounds, and Gruden said Nsekhe "has been here and getting a lot of reps."

If LeRibeus and/or Nsekhe play on Sunday, Gruden said he feels good going into the matchup against one of the league's top overall defenses in the Jets.

"We have a level of concern against that defensive line with your starting line," Gruden said with a laugh. "We're going to have 46 guys dressed, no matter what. Those 46 guys are going to play hard and they're going to play their best and we're going to compete. That's all we can do."

READ MORE: Josh LeRibeus, On Standby For Game

3. Wide receiver DeSean Jackson is also among those whose status for Sunday's game is up in the air, although he had an "issue" during Wednesday's practice.

"He went through a couple drills and, you know, had a little issue here and there," Gruden said of Jackson's healing left hamstring. "So he's up in the air still."

Gruden stopped short of considering Jackson's "issue" as a setback, however.

"He aired it out early and then he pulled himself out," Gruden said. "We'll have to wait and see. So hopefully it was just some scar tissue issues and if it was, then he's still got a chance to go."

Gruden said Jackson will be further evaluated tomorrow before making a decision whether or not he'll play on Sunday for the first time since suffering the injury Week 1 against the Miami Dolphins.

4. Rashad Ross is "going to be a big part" of the Redskins' package moving forward.

Ross showed his worth in the preseason, when he led all NFL receivers in receptions, yards and touchdowns, and earned a spot as the team's No. 5 receiver.

But when Jackson went down, Ross became the team's top deep threat, and with Andre Roberts dealing with a quad injury, Ross' talents could be utilized even more on Sunday vs. the Jets.

"Rashad gives us a little bit of something that other guys don't with the long speed," Gruden said. "He's getting more and more comfortable with the offense and he's looking very good."

Gruden said the team would "love to" focus on throwing deep more often, but "it's a matter of when we do take the shots (and) making something out of them" – especially with a team like the Jets, who feature very talented cornerbacks.

"We've had a lot of good 15/13/14-play drives, I think more than anybody in the league," Gruden said. "But we do need to work on our long gains, chunk plays somehow, whether it's in the running game, screens, or shot plays down the field."

5. Morgan Moses has had a tremendous turnaround at the right tackle position.

Moses was drafted in the third round by the Redskins last season and immediately placed as a right tackle, where Gruden admitted "he wasn't quite ready" at the time for the switch from left tackle, which he played at Virginia.

"Everything was backwards to him," Gruden said. "His sets were different."

But with a full offseason devoted to right tackle, Moses has taken the position this year and ran with it.

"I think reps, number one, since training camp and OTAs – really since training camp – and then the comfort level playing right tackle," Gruden said when asked about the reasons for Moses' turnaround. "Having another year under his belt playing just right tackle, I think it's helped him out the most."

Gruden also credited Callahan for his tutelage with guys like Moses.

"The comfort level with his pass sets, his combination blocks on the right side is the big difference," the second-year head coach said.




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