Redskins.com’s Stephen Czarda answers YOUR questions submitted on Twitter about the Redskins' roster and more as the team enjoys a Week 5 bye.
@ShrihanVijay asks: @Redskins #HailMail When is Josh Norman returning?
We’ll get more of an official update on Norman’s status this week as the Redskins return to practice following their bye week.
Having said that, Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said after last week’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs that Norman is currently week-to-week with a rib fracture.
Norman hinted on Twitter that his return may not be for another month, leaving Washington potentially without their star cornerback for the next few weeks.
“It’s just very disappointing that I wasn’t able to be there with my teammates when they needed me the most,” Norman said after the Kansas City game.” Like I said, I’m pretty upset right now. Human, mortal body, and you try to go out there and think you’re more than that and sometimes it sits you down and realize, makes you see that we’re still here on earth. When we’re out there we try to be more than that.”
If Norman really is out for the next few weeks, the Redskins will likely rely on Quinton Dunbar and Fabian Moreau to fill the void opposite Bashaud Breeland and Kendall Fuller in the slot.
Dunbar originally filled in for Norman after his exit against the Chiefs, but the third-year Florida product was also briefly sidelined with Moreau coming in for a few plays.
Now in his third season at cornerback after making the switch from wide receiver as a rookie, Dunbar has appeared in 29 regular season games with four starts.
As for Moreau, he’s mostly played special teams to date for the Redskins. But Gruden said that defensive backs coach Torrian Gray had the UCLA product as one of the highest rated cornerbacks in the 2017 NFL Draft.
Now the Redskins could see what the 23-year-old offers from a defensive aspect early in his career.
@Real_MacDaddy asks: How are we going forward with the running game? We have success but Perine doesn't seem like he can get it done #HailMail
This has been a question that’s been asked quite a bit over the last few months, but the answer has remains the same.
When healthy, Rob Kelley remains the Redskins’ featured back with Samaje Perine spelling the second-year Tulane product at times. Then, of course, there’s Chris Thompson, who has gotten off to a hot start as Washington’s third-down back.
Through Washington’s first four games of the season, Perine is actually the leading rusher with 143 yards to Thompson’s 142 and Kelley’s 131. This has mostly been due to the fact that Kelley missed the second half of the Redskins’ games against the Los Angeles Rams and Chiefs while also being inactive against the Oakland Raiders.
Perine has flashed big-play potential at times, but the 2017 fourth-round pick had a late fumble against the Raiders and failed to secure a pitch from Kirk Cousins against the Chiefs. The fumble went down under Cousins’ name, but it was Perine who never was able to keep his hands on the ball before it rolled out of bounds.
Despite a few ball security errors, Gruden and the coaching staff are confident Perine can have success in his rookie campaign.
“I think he’s still in the process of developing, like all young running backs are,” Gruden said. “The kid for Kansas City is a special guy – [Kareem] Hunt – but Perine is in a spot right now where he’s just continuing to get the workload, especially if Rob Kelley has got an ankle injury for any due time. He’s going to get more and more reps and he’s going to get better and better.”
@JKStoneberger asks: Vernon Davis looks like he has found his youth. Is it possible, since Garcon is gone, that Davis can be a hybrid TE/Reciever? #HailMail
It seems like there’s nothing that can slow down Vernon Davis.
Now in his 12th NFL season at 33 years old, Davis possesses speed and agility that players 10 years his youth don’t even have for their game.
After being held catchless in the regular season opener against the Philadelphia Eagles, Davis has caught eight passes for 160 yards and a touchdown in Washington’s last three games.
He followed up a five-catch, 58-yard performance against the Raiders with two catches for 89 yards against the Chiefs A 69-yard catch-and-run moved Davis past Heath Miller (6,569) for the 10th-most career receiving yards by a tight end in NFL history.
And entering Week 5 action, his 20 yards per reception paced all NFL tight ends.
“He’s the most impressive guy I’ve been around really as far as taking care of his body, and whatever he’s doing, he needs to tell all our young guys to do it because he’s amazing,” Gruden said last week. “He’s just one of those guys you look forward to seeing every day and then you watch him practice and it’s always hard and effective. Great guy, great player. [He] takes care of himself.”
While there’s so many positives to Davis’ game, the Redskins still want to get reps for their young receivers in Terrelle Pryor Sr., Josh Doctson and even Ryan Grant. So it may be hard to picture Davis’ role expanding past what it already is: a top-level No. 2 tight end option who can fill in for Jordan Reed if needed. Sure, he can make the tough catches, but the Redskins want to get the wide receivers more involved on a consistent basis.
There’s certainly still a lot of hope that Doctson can fill some of what Pierre Garçon left behind when he signed with the San Francisco 49ers.
Even though Doctson dropped a potential game-winning touchdown against Kansas City, he’s beginning to make more plays in the passing game.
“I have no problem with any of them at any given time, but I think the more Josh – obviously if he can stay healthy – gets on the practice field does it in practice, the more reps he will get,” Gruden said. “…We’re fine with Josh and where he’s at.”