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Three Under-The-Radar Players To Watch in Week 14


Having provided a key spark in the team's last two wins, Dwayne Haskins and Derrius Guice will dominate the headlines.

But they can't be credited as the only reasons why the Redskins have enjoyed their first two-game win streak of 2019.

In looking beyond the starting quarterback and running back, we can find others who have played crucial roles for the burgundy and gold of late.

Here are three under-the-radar players who could have a big impact on Sunday's game against the Packers.

Take a look at practice photos from Thursday's practice for the upcoming game.

WR Steven Sims

We've seen what Steven Sims can do as a kick returner. He currently ranks second in the NFL in overall kick return yards (666) and fifth in average yards returned (25.62).

But the Redskins coaching staff has started to show more trust in the undrafted rookie on the offensive side of the ball in the past few games. In all, he's gotten 10 total targets over the last three games -- tied for what he saw in the previous nine games combined -- and has hauled in five of those passes for 35 yards.

"In addition to what he's done from a special teams perspective … [Sims] gave us a different slot receiver with his quickness and his ability to allude and get in and out of breaks," interim head coach Bill Callahan said Thursday. "His growth is continuing in [that] role, and hopefully we can feature [him] a little bit more and grow his pattern tree throughout the course of the weeks ahead."

LB Montez Sweat

Defensive coordinator Greg Manusky and the Washington defense expected a lot from rookie linebacker Montez Sweat, who the franchise selected 26th overall in April's NFL Draft.

"I think he is going to make a very big impact," stated Ryan Kerrigan during Redskins' training camp in late July. "His potential is through the roof. ...A guy that big shouldn't be able to move as fluidly and as quickly as he does."

Sweat has taken some time to get acclimated to the NFL, as he only had 2.5 sacks over his first 11 games this season. This is a major difference from the 11.5 sacks he recorded in his senior year at Mississippi State, which ranks seventh in school history for a single season.

However, Sweat has been much more effective for the Redskins recently. In the past two wins over Detroit and Carolina, Sweat has notched a combined 2.5 sacks to go along with four tackles (three solo) and a pass defended.

"I just think overall, a lot of those young players grow over a season at the start to the finish," Manusky said Thursday. "With just seeing those looks, getting off the ball and doing what he can, he had a good game and we're expecting bigger things throughout the whole season."

P Tress Way

It's easy to disregard the punter. Besides only taking the field for a select number of plays, their job is relatively mundane.

Still, that series of actions is fundamental to determining just how hard an opposing offense has to work to score a touchdown. And for a Redskins team hoping to run the ball and control the clock, a good punt is crucial.

That's why having Tress Way has been so valuable.

A fan favorite, Way is having a career year, posting both the highest average among all punters in terms of average yards traveled (49.9) and the net average yards (44.4).

That impressive run continued during last Sunday's win in Charlotte, as the sixth-year Redskins player had another standout performance, nailing five punts for an average of 58.0 yards.

Numbers like those earned Way NFC Special Teams Player of the Week and a shoutout in Callahan's post-game victory speech.

"I can't say enough about our special teams creating field position," Callahan said. "Tress Way, what a job, great job."

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