Red­skins look to fix prob­lems, start­ing with in­jured RB.

Red­skins must fix prob­lems with­out in­jured run­ning back Kel­ley

The Washington Times Daily - - FRONT PAGE - BY MATTHEW PARAS

LANDOVER | De­spite a sea­son-high 30 points, the Wash­ing­ton Red­skins of­fense left op­por­tu­ni­ties on the ta­ble Sun­day in a 38-30 loss to the Min­nesota Vik­ings, stum­bling in two ma­jor ar­eas: the red zone and third down.

If the Red­skins hope to fix those prob­lems be­fore Sun­day’s date with the red-hot New Or­leans Saints, they’ll have to do it with­out their start­ing run­ning back. Red­skins coach Jay Gru­den an­nounced Mon­day that Rob Kel­ley will miss “a few weeks” with an MCL sprain and a high an­kle sprain.

Kel­ley, who missed two games ear­lier in the sea­son be­cause of in­juries, could be a can­di­date for in­jured re­serve.

“I think it de­pends how much time [Kel­ley will miss],” Gru­den said. “Three, 4, 5, 6 weeks. We’ll have to wait and see. Gather that in­for­ma­tion and see how many ros­ter spots we have for other guys to fill voids.”

Gru­den said the Red­skins will look to bring in an­other run­ning back in the mean­time, adding that rookie Sa­maje Per­ine will see more ac­tion.

Against the Vik­ings, the Red­skins gam­bled early, con­vert­ing two fourth-downs in the first

half but didn’t have the same luck late. In the sec­ond half, quar­ter­back Kirk Cousins threw an in­com­plete pass on fourth-and-eight and Chris Thomp­son was stuffed on a fourth-and-1 when the Red­skins were chas­ing a come­back.

The Red­skins went 3-of-5 on fourth down, which nor­mally trans­lates to a suc­cess­ful day.

“There was some plays out there that are really good, really im­pres­sive for our of­fense against a very good de­fense and there was some plays that we’d like to think we can make,” Gru­den said. “Un­for­tu­nately we didn’t make them. Just got to get back to the draw­ing board here, 4-5, and try to make sure we con­tinue to com­pli­ment them on the good they’re do­ing, coach them on the things we need to do bet­ter and go from there.”

Cousins had an­other solid out­ing, throw­ing for 327 yards with one touch­down. He also added two rush­ing touch­downs.

But the Red­skins strug­gled in the red zone and on third down. The Red­skins were forced to set­tle for field goals be­cause of er­rors, and in some cases, un­lucky bounces. For in­stance, Cousins com­pleted a 27-yard throw to run­ning back Chris Thomp­son on fourth down, but if Thomp­son stays up­right, it’s a touch­down.

In­stead, Thomp­son fell and Red­skins kicker Nick Rose went on to make a field goal to put Wash­ing­ton ahead, 10-7.

Later on, Cousins had re­ceiver Josh Doct­son wide open in the end zone, but Doct­son slipped and fell as the ball went right past him. The next two plays re­sulted in a Jami­son Crow­der drop and an­other in­com­plete pass in­tended for Crow­der.

The Red­skins were just 2-of-4 in the red zone and 5-of-14 on third down.

“If you want to beat a good de­fense, you’ve got to score when you’ve got them backed up like that,” left tackle Trent Wil­liams said.

Cousins also threw a costly in­ter­cep­tion near the end of the first half, which the Vik­ings cap­i­tal­ized on. At the time, the Red­skins trailed 21-17 and had the ball with 1:49 left.

Cousins then threw an in­ter­cep­tion straight to Vik­ings cor­ner­back Mack­en­sie Alexan­der, which was re­turned to the 23-yard line.

The Vik­ings went on to score and the Red­skins trailed 28-17 at half­time.

“I just felt some trash at my feet and wasn’t really able to trans­fer my weight and just kind of tried to touch it over the line, but the ball was high to Jami­son Crow­der,” Cousins said. “Then there’s a de­fender be­hind him who catches it.

“That’s the chal­lenge of play­ing in this po­si­tion, you put the ball in the air 45 times, you’re mak­ing split-sec­ond de­ci­sions.”

For most of the game, Cousins‘ split­sec­ond de­ci­sions were good. But not con­vert­ing key chances, along with a por­ous de­fense, gave the Red­skins an­other loss.

Comp­ton hurt

Red­skins linebacker Will Comp­ton suf­fered a Lis­franc sprain in the Red­skins’ loss to Min­nesota. Like Kel­ley, Comp­ton is a can­di­date for in­juries re­serve. The in­jury is an­other blow to the Red­skins de­fense, who’ve lost Ma­son Foster and Jonathan Allen with long-term in­juries. De­fen­sive line­man Matt Ioan­ni­dis and safety Mon­tae Ni­chol­son are banged up, as well, miss­ing Sun­day’s game.


Quar­ter­back Kirk Cousins and the Wash­ing­ton Red­skins strug­gled with red zone and third down op­por­tu­ni­ties in Sun­day’s 38-30 loss to the Min­nesota Vik­ings.

Wash­ing­ton Red­skins run­ning back Rob Kel­ley could be a can­di­date for in­jured re­serve as he will miss “a few weeks” with an MCL sprain and a high an­kle sprain suf­fered in Sun­day’s loss.

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