By Kevin Ross II
It’s fair to conclude that the team with the most rushing yards will advance in the tournament. If Washington is able to contain Eddie Lacy, and garner some yards on the ground themselves, their chances of winning increase.
Green Bay ends the regular season ranked at a pedestrian 21st in rush defense. So it will be imperative for Washington to gash the Packers with the run. But before Washington get’s too excited they must understand that they are in fact ranked even worse than Green Bay at rush defense as they end the regular season ranked 26th. And the good news for Green Bay centers on the fact that the Redskins most dynamic and explosive running back, Matt Jones is listed as questionable on this week’s injury report.
The general consensus around Redskins Park is that Matt Jones will not play. Coach Gruden took a moment to elaborate specifically on Matt’s status, “Unless he shows us some major improvement on Saturday he’s going to be the odd man out. We’ll see how he’s doing tomorrow and if all four running backs are healthy then we’ll have to make that determination come Saturday.”
With playoff football typically boiling down to who can run the ball, and who can stop the run, the Redskins find themselves at a slight disadvantage with Jones being sidelined. This will mean that Alfred Morris will most certainly be the feature back and will have the opportunity to revitalize a rather dreadful season. Make no mistake about it, Alfred Morris is in a contract year and if he performs against Green Bay, all may be forgiven. Please note that some viewers of this playoff matchup will be surprised to see an extra motivated version of Alfred Morris on the field.
Another notable about the injury report revolves around the fact that starting center Kory Lichtensteiger was nowhere to be found. Lichtensteiger who is considered the quarterback of the offensive line is set to make a return to action after last playing in week 5 against Atlanta. Coach Jay Gruden took a moment to discuss Kory’s return, “Kory is a guy we feel very confident in, a veteran player that does a great job with the communication up front. Certainly until you actually play in a live situation, we won’t get a real feel for how his body will respond, but we feel good about the week he has had and looking forward to having him back.”
The official Redskins injury report can be seen below. The Redskins are as healthy as any team in the NFL right now, as they only include 10 players on the report. In comparison, the Green Bay Packers listed almost double the amount of players at 18.
CB Quinton Dunbar (Quad)
S Dashon Goldson (Shoulder/Rib)
RB Matt Jones (Hip)
LB Perry Riley, Jr. (Foot)
DE Jason Hatcher (Neck/Knee)
WR DeSean Jackson (Knee)
S Jeron Johnson (Chest)
CB Dashaun Phillips (Neck)
RB Chris Thompson (Toe)
T Tren Williams (Knee)
Kevin Ross is a freelance writer covering all things Washington Redskins. His work can be found on Examiner.com.