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3 Under-The-Radar Players To Watch When The Redskins Play The Lions

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There will be plenty of intriguing storylines when the Washington Redskins face off with the Detroit Lions on Sunday at FedExField. Will quarterback Dwayne Haskins get his first career win? Does Derrius Guice receive the majority of the carries in his second week back from injury? Can the defense avoid the big play?

Of course, there will be other developments to keep an eye on, too, such as which reserves could potentially receive bigger roles. Here are three under-the-radar players to watch entering the Week 12 matchup.

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

With veteran wideout Paul Richardson missing last Sunday's game against the New York Jets with a hamstring injury, rookie wide receiver Kelvin Harmon saw an increased role within offensive coordinator Kevin O'Connell's game plan. In all, Harmon, a sixth round draft pick out of NC State, appeared in 63 of the Redskins 68 offensive snaps -- the most of any receiver -- and recorded five receptions on six targets, both team highs, for 53 yards.

"It's a blessing to get an opportunity to go out there and play and get to start, and just try to play and fill my role," Harmon told Redskins.com on Thursday. "It was good going out there and seeing the [quarterback], the [offensive coordinator], everybody trust me to give me those targets."

As it stands, Richardson remains questionable for this weekend's matchup with Lions, giving Harmon a chance to earn his second-career start. And even if Richardson does suit up, expect Harmon to garner at least some of the opportunities Sunday based on last week's performance.

Through his first two years with the Redskins, outside linebacker Ryan Anderson struggled to find an identity with his new team. Listed behind more seasoned players like Preston Smith and Ryan Kerrigan on the depth chart, Anderson totaled 33 tackles (19 solo) while appearing in 27 games.

Things have changed in year three; Smith departed to Green Bay in free agency, while Anderson put himself through an intense offseason workout regimen. And though it has not been as significant a jump as the former Alabama product might have wanted, he's been much more of a factor defensively in 2019. (Through 10 games, Anderson has already posted a career-high 20 total (11 solo).

A big part of that growth can be explained by him simply playing more of late. He appeared in 52% and 51% of the snaps against the Bills and Jets, respectively, -- his two highest rates this season -- and recorded five combined tackles and one forced fumble.

"The best thing is he's a good striker on the edge," defensive coordinator Greg Manusky said Thursday. "He brings some fire and energy across the board ... on special teams and on defense. We like seeing him in there."

Prior to Week 11, second-year offensive tackle Geron Christian had been on the field for 10 or more snaps just once during the 2019 season. He appeared in 14 plays during the team's 33-7 loss to the New England Patriots on Oct. 6.

That all changed Sunday, though, as Christian recorded 23 offensive snaps against the New York Jets.

"Coming here everyday ... it felt good to actually get in the game and play," Christian said Thursday. "Just been trying to learn technique, everything that the coaches are asking of me. We got a good group of guys this year to last year ... older guys who have been to Pro Bowls, had a lot of success. Just sitting here learning from those guys, as well as waiting on my opportunity. "

Despite receiving more playing time last week, the former third-round draft pick has maintained the same approach entering Sunday's matchup.

"Every week this season I just study and prepare like I'm gonna start," Christian said. "Just do the same routine I've been doing all season, and then when my number's called, be ready."

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