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Posted at 10:17 AM ET, 09/04/2011

Five questions for the days ahead

The Washington Redskins cut their roster down to 53 players Saturday, but with eight receivers and no backup guards, it’s obvious that this isn’t the roster Mike Shanahan will open the season with.

At this very moment, Redskins front office officials are working the phones as they look to improve different parts of the team. Moves will be made today.

Here are five questions facing the team as it enters Week 1 of the regular season:

1.) What are they going to do with all these receivers?

Santana Moss, Jabar Gaffney, Anthony Armstrong, Terrence Austin and Leonard Hankerson making the team were not surprises. Niles Paul and Donte Stallworth also making the cut were, however, not because they can’t play, but because with kick/punt return man Brandon Banks, that’s eight wideouts. Washington has the same number of receivers as they do offensive linemen. Could a trade be in the works as the Redskins try to use the depth at this position to upgrade another spot?

2.) Who backs up guards Kory Lichtensteiger and Chris Chester?

A surprise Saturday was the release of Artis Hicks, the only veteran backup interior lineman. The Redskins obviously weren’t happy with Hicks’ play this preseason and must be targeting another veteran or two, because second-year pro Erik Cook isn’t exactly a go-to guy if one of the starters -- both have struggled this preseason -- goes down.

3.) Do they have enough at safety for now?

LaRon Landry’s availability for the season opener is in doubt, and it’s believed he could miss a few weeks with that hamstring injury. On Saturday, Washington cut Chris Horton and Anderson Russell. That means rookie DeJon Gomes is the first -- and only -- man off the bench if Reed Doughty or Oshiomogho Atogwe are hurt. Backup cornerback Kevin Barnes can play some free safety, but is that enough?

4.) Who makes the eight-man practice squad?

Draft picks Evan Royster and Maurice Hurt make sense. And with only two quarterbacks on the 53-man roster, so does Ben Chappell, who was cut on Monday but spent all of camp and preseason with the team. If not Chappell, another passer would be added. Somebody’s got to run the scout team. The team is a little thin at defensive end, so a player at that position would make sense as well. Doug Worthington maybe?

5.) Who starts at quarterback?

Is it Rex Grossman, who has the experience and the better preseason numbers? Or is it John Beck, who is more athletic, did do some nice things in the preseason and has a bigger upside in Mike Shanahan’s mind? Shanahan would like to keep it under wraps, but this has to come out at some time this week.

By  |  10:17 AM ET, 09/04/2011

 
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