ASHBURN, VA — (WMAL) What made Jay Gruden happy this week?
“Just seeing guys with their helmets — at least they’re wearing helmets out at practice today, which is good,” the Redskins coach said after Wednesday’s practice. “Certainly, guys are getting back in the flow. Now it’s a matter of getting them back up to speed making sure we get them mentally right, as well as physically. Looking a little bit better.”
The Redskins could not even field a complete roster when they improbably beat the Seahawks in Seattle Sunday, but they realize their chances of defying the odds to win with a patchwork quilt of spare parts along the offensive line for a second week in a row are highly unlikely – especially facing an aggressive Minnesota Vikings defense that may be even more ferocious.
Over the course of the week, the team saw three of their four injured starting linemen – left guard Shawn Lauvao, center Spencer Long and right guard Brandon Scherff – return to work, along with key backup tackle Ty Nsekhe. Left tackle Trent Williams, who has missed the past two games, did not practice with the team, but did not rule out a return Sunday as he nurses a badly-bruised knee that wil require post-season surgery.
“Hopefully we’ll get a couple of those guys back [for the Vikings game],” Gruden said. “We’ll wait and see.”
Two of the Redskins’ best offensive weapons also returned to the practice field to test the injured hamstrings that sidelined them in Seattle. Wide receiver Jamison Crowder told the media he’ll be ready to go Sunday. Tight end Jordan Reed is still a question mark, but he was also able to run some routes this week.
On defense, starting defensive lineman Matt Ioannidis is likely to miss his second straight game after breaking his hand two weeks ago against the Cowboys. Ioannidis underwent surgery, and is on a week-to-week basis.
The Vikings (6-2) come into Fed Ex Field in better shape than the Redskins, but they have some bumps and bruises as well. Defensive end Everson Griffen missed practice all week with a foot injury, but is expected to play Sunday. Griffen has at least one sack in every game this season.
MINNESOTA (6-2) at WASHINGTON (4-4)
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, Fox
OPENING LINE — Vikings by 1
RECORD VS. SPREAD — Vikings 5-3, Redskins 3-5
SERIES RECORD — Redskins lead 13-12
LAST MEETING — Redskins beat Vikings 26-20, Nov. 13, 2016
LAST WEEK — Vikings had bye, beat Browns 33-16 on Oct 29; Redskins beat Seahawks 17-14
AP PRO32 RANKING —Vikings No. 5, Redskins No. 14
VIKINGS OFFENSE — OVERALL (11), RUSH (9), PASS (14)
VIKINGS DEFENSE — OVERALL (4), RUSH (3), PASS (7)
REDSKINS OFFENSE — OVERALL (14), RUSH (21), PASS (11)
REDSKINS DEFENSE — OVERALL (18), RUSH (16), PASS (16)
STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES —Vikings visiting Redskins in Week 10 for second consecutive season. … Teams playing each other for seventh time in eight years. … Vikings on four-game winning streak. … QB Case Keenum has 1,443 yards, seven TDs, three INTs in past six games. … RB Jerick McKinnon has 100-plus yards from scrimmage and rushing TD in three consecutive road games. … WR Adam Thielen is sixth in NFL with 627 yards receiving. … WR Stefon Diggs tied career high with 13 catches, 164 yards receiving last year at Washington. … TE Kyle Rudolph has TD in three consecutive games vs. Redskins. … DE Everson Griffen is third player since 1982 with sack in each of team’s first eight games. … DT Tom Johnson has sacks in consecutive games. … LB Eric Kendricks has nine-plus tackles in consecutive games. … S Harrison Smith tied for third in NFL with three INTs. … Redskins have held opponent without points on opening drive in eight consecutive games. … Redskins’ streak of 32 games with sack is longest in NFL, second longest in franchise history. … QB Kirk Cousins has 958 yards passing, six TDs, two INTs in past three home games. … RB Chris Thompson has 704 yards from scrimmage, five TDs. … WR Josh Doctson coming off game with career-high 59 receiving yards. … TE Vernon Davis led team with six catches, 72 yards vs. Seahawks. … LB Ryan Kerrigan has 4 1-2 sacks, INT in past four home games. … LB Zach Brown leads league with 86 tackles. … CB Josh Norman has two INTs, forced fumble in last two outings vs. NFC North. Fantasy Tip: Redskins’ banged-up defense is getting healthier but still struggles against TEs, which gives Rudolph chance for big day.
The Associated Press contributed content to this report.
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