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Hail Mail: Crawford, Injury Updates, More

Welcome to Hail Mail, where each week's Brian Tinsman will answer, or find the answer to your Redskins questions. Need an answer? Tweet @Redskins, #HailMail.

What do you want to know?

Question: "@Redskins. Any new news on Cousins and his slight injury? How much continuity does RGIII have with the first team wideouts? #HailMail."

--Darnell Broadnax (@dnbroadnax74)

Answer: Nothing like asking two for the price of one.

Looks like the Redskins may have dodged the injury bug with Kirk Cousins, who suffered a scary looking foot injury against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the third preseason game. Kirk was in a boot and out of practice initially, but got back to work last Monday.

He told reporters it was a two-week injury suffered three weeks before Week 1, suggesting that he would be ready for the regular season, "without a doubt."

The Redskins have had only three practices since then, with the last update coming via offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan last Tuesday. While he didn't disagree with Kirk, he noted that he hadn't practiced fully with the team yet and really didn't know if he would be ready for Week 1.

"I would hope so, I would expect so, but I'm really not sure."

With an eye towards safety, don't look for Redskins coaches to push him until he's ready, as a setback could potentially shake up a contingency plan behind Week 1 starter, Robert Griffin III. Instead, look for the coaches to put him on tomorrow's injury report and bring him along slowly.

Part two of your question is much easier to answer, as Robert Griffin III should have no problem getting back in sync with his receivers.

For starters, Griffin III has been taking the majoirty of 7-on-7 reps with his teammates since the start of training camp, working on timing, footwork, etc. He was cleared to participate in 11-on-11 drills by the end of camp and has been taking the majority of those snaps since the team returned to Redskins Park.

While there is no replacement for live game speed, the time spent on the practice field will do for now.

He has the benefit of working with top receivers Joshua Morgan and Pierre Garcon who started a combined 25 games last season. Top tight end Fred Davis was the team's top target before injury last season and has been catching passes from Robert since the beginning of OTAs.

The starting unit may have small growing pains on Monday night, but expect them to synchronize quickly.

Question: @Redskins #HailMail what time are gates opening next Monday?

--Tony (@doitlikeTONYY)

Answer: Plan to get there early!

If last year's Monday Night showdown against the New York Giants was any indication, Redskins Nation turns out for Monday Night Football in ways that will likely affect regional traffic patterns.

The difference is that Monday's game is an hour and a half earlier, as ESPN airs a Monday Night double-header with Redskins-Eagles going first. Unfortunately, this presses start time right up to rush-hour traffic.

Once again, plan to get there early.

Parking lots at FedExField open to the public at 3 p.m., with gates opening around 5 p.m. The start time for the night's action is scheduled for 6:55 p.m. with kickoff scheduled for 7:10 p.m.

Take home note: please plan to arrive early!

Question: @Redskins Why not put CB Crawford on the IR? He made some plays last year and showed well in preseason #HailMail

--Zack Graves (@ZackAttaack)

Answer: Fear not; Richard Crawford remains a member of the Washington Redskins.

Most fans were surprised when the Redskins waived him during roster cuts, upset that the Redskins were throwing away a playmaker and disappointed that the organization was hanging him out to dry.

But that is all just part of the process.

Any players with minimal league service time, like Crawford, may either be waived with injury or placed on injured reserve.

Rather than placing Crawford directly on injured reserve, the Redskins passed him through waivers, confident that no team would be interested in an injured player at his salary.

As most injured players do, Crawford cleared waivers, at which point the Redskins were free to place him on season-ending injured reserve, which they did. He joins teammates Dezmon Briscoe, Doug Worthington and Jeremy Kimbrough in the same situation.

By contrast, teammates Keenan Robinson and Phillip Thomas were not exposed to waivers before being placed directly on injured reserve.

By putting Crawford through waivers, the Redskins made a calculated risk that no other team was interested. They got the player they want with salary cap flexibility. In a season with an $18 million NFL-imposed salary cap penalty, this was a a risk worth taking.

Question: @Redskins #HailMail for us to defend our Division, who's the biggest threat in the NFC East?

--Otha M. Johnson III (@Juceralli)

Answer: Good luck picking a winner in the NFC East.

The Washington Redskins come in with the hot hand this year, having retained most of the starting roster from last year's division championship team. With largely the same coaching staff and same systems in place, they get the vote for momentum.

The Philadelphia Eagles are quite the opposite. Last year's cellar dwellers needed drastic change to improve on a 4-12 performance, and they got it this offseason, swapping head coaches, offensive and defensive coordinators, and offensive and defensive schemes.

Many of the players remain, but the new system is the wild card that makes their likelihood of success anybody's guess.

In the Dallas Cowboys, you have the attractive pick to challenge, and they have the national media fully onboard. If this team gets on a roll, they have the pieces in place to beat anyone, with Dez Bryant and DeMarco Murray taking the pressure off Tony Romo to carry the offense.

What I don't like about Dallas is the power struggle in the front office between head coach Jason Garrett, owner Jerry Jones and offensive coordinator Bill Callahan. Mix that with a defense in transition and a few early stumbles could expose major cracks in the foundation.

Then you have the New York Giants, who return the core of their Super Bowl lineup under the steady direction of head coach Tom Coughlin. Rarely the flashiest, or even most talented team in the NFC East, the Giants have played the most consistent football over the past decade, averaging 10 wins a year and not suffering a losing season since 2004.

A late-season swoon hurt the Giants last year, but they played the Redskins down to the wire in both matchups, splitting the season series.

Considering they're the only team that beat the Redskins from the NFC East last year, look for them to be the late-season challenger for the title.

Want to see your own question answered in Redskins Hail Mail? Tweet your question @Redskins, #HailMail and we'll find an answer for you.*




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