Redskins head coach Jay Gruden on Friday said defensive lineman Chris Baker and tight end Jordan Reed will not play Sunday, when the team takes on the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium.
Baker – the team's starter at nose tackle – suffered a chest injury last Sunday in the team's 27-7 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at FedExField. He did not participate in practice this week.
Top images from Washington Redskins' Practice on Nov. 21, 2014, at Redskins Park in Loudoun County, Va.
Gruden said defensive lineman Barry Cofield will likely slide back over to nose tackle after playing defensive end against the Buccaneers.
Cofield had been the team's starting nose tackle from 2011 – when he signed with the Redskins – until Week 1 of this season, when he suffered an ankle injury and was placed on the IR (designated to return) list.
Another candidate at nose tackle for the Redskins is veteran lineman Kedric Golston. Gruden said it takes a special kind of player to excel at that position, specifically.
"It's demanding in there, man," he said in his Friday press conference. "Those guys bump and grind all day long. They have got to hold up centers. They have got to work off double teams. They have got to stay in their gap, and it's not easy with those big linemen pushing you down and double-teaming you."
Gruden said he feels Cofield is "in good shape," and should be able to handle the increased workload just two weeks into his return.
"Last week he did a good job for the reps he has, but we still have a real good rotation with Baker not going," he said. "We still have [Stephen] Bowen, we still have Golston, we still have obviously Barry. So, we have a good rotation. They can still get their rest when they need it."
Reed, meanwhile, strained his right hamstring in last Sunday's game against Tampa Bay.
He had missed Weeks 2-5 with a strained left hamstring. Fellow tight ends Niles Paul and Logan Paulsen are expected to see increased time with Reed out on Sunday.
Paul is turning in a career year for the Redskins, with 33 catches for 446 yards and a touchdown.
"It started in the weight room, him getting stronger, and then when the reps came his way, he started to make some plays and then all of the sudden his confidence started to grow and he is where he is right now," Gruden said of Paul in September. "He's done a great job both in the passing game and the running game. He's a guy that's future is continuing to look brighter and brighter every day. If he continues at this pace of getting better, great things are on the horizon for him."
Williams, Lauvao questionableWhile the status of Baker and Reed is already known for Sunday, the status of two key members of the Redskins' offensive line remains unknown for now.
Left tackle Trent Williams and left guard Shawn Lauvao are officially listed as questionable against the 49ers.
Williams – who suffered a sprained right MCL and ankle in the first quarter of the Buccaneers game – did not participate in any practices this week.
But Gruden said there was "a little more optimism" Friday that he might be able to play on Sunday.
"He's made some progress in the training room," the first-year head coach said. "But we'll see how it goes. The five-hour flight [to California] and all that stuff, that will be a big deal, how he gets off the plane., [if it] swells back up. So, we'll see."
Lauvao, meanwhile, left last Sunday's game against Tampa Bay with a concussion. After not practicing on Wednesday, he was limited in practices on both Thursday and Friday.
If Williams is unable to play on Sunday, rookie Morgan Moses – the team's third-round pick out of Virginia – is expected to make his first-career start.
Lauvao's backup, meanwhile, is third-year offensive lineman Josh LeRibeus.
Also listed on this week's injury report is rookie outside linebacker Trent Murphy, who has a partially torn PCL in his right knee. He was a full participate in Thursday and Friday's practices, and is listed as probable against the 49ers.