In the revengiest of revenge games, Washington traveled to face the Vikings on Thursday night football. Each of the team’s starting quarterbacks once led the other team while veteran RB Adrian Peterson faced his former team for the first time since Week One of the 2017 season when he was with the Saints. Throw in WR Stefon Diggs facing his hometown team, growing up in Maryland and this game was like a walk down Narrative Street.
The slow-moving first half was a battle of stalled drives and field goals until RB Dalvin Cook scored from four yards out with just 11 seconds left in the half. Cook was as dominant in this game as he’s been all year, rushing for 98 hard yards and adding five grades for 73 yards. His touchdown gave the Vikes a 13-6 lead at the break.
Any chance the Redskins had for mounting a second-half comeback was diminished when it was revealed that starting QB Case Keenum was being evaluated for a concussion and raw rookie QB Dwayne Haskins would take over. Haskins predictably struggled as he was sacked twice and completed just three passes in the second half.
As the Redskins struggled to put together anything offensively, the Vikings took the air out of the ball with extended drives taking 4:59, 6:25 and 8:18 off the clock with two of those drives ending in field goals and the third all but ending the game.
Diggs produced an impressive box score of 143 yards on seven catches and he broke Randy Moss’s team-record for receiving yards in a three-game span with 452. After a slow start and vocal complaints, Diggs is now on pace for over 1,400 receiving yards. His sidekick WR Adam Thielen missed the game after suffering a hamstring injury on Sunday. The extra time the Thursday game gives him to recover will be much needed. Red-hot QB Kirk Cousins threw for 285 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions.
Peterson broke off a long 27-yard run and ended the night with 76 yards on 14 carries but he had no help around him, especially after Keenum was officially ruled out with the concussion. Rookie WR Terry McLaurin started hot but was shut down in the second half and finished with four catches for 39 yards.
New Injury for Allen
Chargers WR Keenan Allen missed Thursday’s practice with a hamstring injury. This is a new one after he was not listed at all on the team’s Wednesday injury report. Late week injuries are never good and it is even more worrisome that Allen was not even able to get in a limited practice. The team travels to Chicago to face the Bears with an already thin receiver depth chart after veterans Travis Benjamin and Dontrelle Inman landed on the injured reserve in recent weeks. This is a situation to closely monitor over the next two days.
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Star RBs Out?
Another week and more star running backs in danger of missing time. First, rookie RB Josh Jacobs is battling a shoulder injury and has yet to practice all week. Oakland HC Jon Gruden stressed earlier in the week that the injury was legitimate and could cost Jacobs a chance to play in Week Eight. Jacobs himself said he could play against the Texans this week even without practicing at all. Watch for Friday practice reports in hopes that Jacobs gets in a limited session.
After teasing us with a token carry to start the game for the Cardinals, RB David Johnson is now in danger of missing the team’s game altogether. Johnson is dealing with ankle and back issues and was not spotted at Thursday’s practice. The signing of veteran RBs Zach Zenner and Alfred Morris earlier in the week was our first hint that DJ will sit out against the Saints. After his breakout game last week, second-year RB Chase Edmonds would be a strong option if Johnson sits out.
Finally, the status of Saints RB Alvin Kamara is still unclear. Kamara missed last week’s game with an ankle injury and was adequately replaced by veteran RB Latavius Murray. Kamara missed practice on Wednesday before getting in a limited session on Thursday. The Saints host the Cardinals this week before their Week Nine bye. It would make sense to give Kamara another week to rest.
Jaguars DT Marcell Dareus will miss up to six weeks with a core muscle injury. … Giants WR Sterling Shepard (concussion) is not expected to play in Week Eight. … Jets QB Sam Darnold (toe) was able to fully practice and is expected to play against the Jags this week. … Jets TE Chris Herndon (hamstring) was able to return to practice but was limited. He is unlikely to play this week. … Buccaneers TE O.J. Howard (hamstring) did not practice Thursday after being limited on Wednesday. The late-week downgrade is a bad sign for Howard’s chances to play this week. … Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes (knee) is not expected to play but he did get in a limited practice. It appears Mahomes will beat his six-week timeline by a lot. … Giants RB Saquon Barkley (ankle) practiced in full. … Panthers QB Cam Newton (foot) has yet to practice. If QB Kyle Allen struggles in Week Eight, expect a miracle recovery for Cam. … The Rams have ruled out RB Malcolm Brown (ankle) for Week Eight, leaving rookie RB Darrell Henderson to backup RB Todd Gurley in London. … Packers WR Davante Adams (toe) remains sidelined from practice and will be a game-time decision at best in Week Eight. … No surprise here, but the Bengals have ruled out veteran WR A.J. Green (ankle). With the trade deadline quickly approaching, we may never see Green in a Bengals uniform again. … Falcons QB Matt Ryan (ankle) missed another practice on Thursday, though HC Dan Quinn, coaching for his job, insists Ryan will start on Sunday. … Raiders WR Tyrell Williams (foot) was able to practice and is expected to return to the field this week against the Texans. … Veteran TE Delanie Walker (ankle) remained sidelined at Thursday’s practice. It appears that Walker may sit out this week. … Dolphins WR Albert Wilson (hip) practiced in full. … Patriots RB Rex Burkhead (foot) was again limited in practice. … Veteran WR Julian Edelman (chest) was limited at Patriots practice. … Cardinals WR Christian Kirk (ankle) was again limited, though it is unclear if he will be able to play this week against the Saints. … Saints veteran TE Jared Cook (ankle) has yet to return to practice and is looking doubtful to play this week. … Packers WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling (ankle/knee) was limited but is still expected to play against Kansas City…49ers WR Dante Pettis (knee) was a late add to the team’s injury report, though the team is expected to get rookie WR Deebo Samuel back on the field after he missed last week with a groin injury.
Following the trade of slot WR Mohamed Sanu to the Patriots, second-year WR Russell Gage is the “next man up” according to Falcons WR coach Raheem Morris. … The Patriots pulled off their second trade of the week, sending DE Michael Bennett to the Cowboys in exchange for a 2021 seventh-round draft pick. Bennett had reportedly grown frustrated with his limited playing time for the dominant Patriots Defense. … The Jets are willing to trade DT Leonard Williams. … The Jets are also reportedly shopping WR Robby Anderson prior to next week’s trade deadline.