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Posted at 09:39 AM ET, 08/13/2012

Redskins-Bears: Five things to watch

The Washington Redskins return to the practice fields today after receiving Sunday off. Today and tomorrow mark the final days of training camp, and then the team will transition into more of a regular season practice mode.

 On Saturday, Washington plays its second preseason game, facing the Bears at 8 p.m.

 Here are five areas to monitor in this week leading up to that game.

1.) Griffin’s assessment, progress — Robert Griffin III said he felt good about his first preseason outing when he spoke immediately after Thursday’s game. Since then, he’s had a chance to review film of his play, and that of his teammates. He’ll address members of the media this evening and discuss what improvements he aims to make this week.

2.) Offensive line health — Mike Shanahan said on Saturday that he didn’t expect left guard Maurice Hurt (knee) to practice today, and he also didn’t know when left tackle Trent Williams (foot) would return. Right guard Chris Chester (ankle) could return to action this week. The linemen need snaps together to sharpen their chemistry, but with the aforementioned players sidelined and original starters Kory Lichtensteiger and Jammal Brown still sidelined as well, it could be a while before that happens. The only positive, is that the backups are getting plenty of preparation.

3.) Wide receiver competition — Leonard Hankerson appeared to have an edge in the battle for the wideout spot opposite Pierre Garcon, but Josh Morgan — after a week on the sideline – had a decent showing in the preseason opener. Santana Moss looks like the favorite at slot receiver, and then a gang of young players find themselves battling for the final few spots on a crowded receiver corps. Anthony Armstrong (shoulder) is expected to return to action after missing the last week. Meanwhile Brandon Banks aims to bounce back from a disappointing preseason debut, and Aldrick Robinson and Terrence Austin also aim to catch up.  

4.) Place kicking competition — Graham Gano and Neil Rackers didn’t get to attempt any field goals in Thursday’s game, so for now, there’s no clear edge in the battle for the place kicking job. The two will continue to go head-to-head in practices until they get their shot in actual games.

5.) Young hopefuls — Cornerback Richard Crawfordhad a strong showing both on defense and special teams, while fellow rookie Alfred Morris showed some potential at running back. Both are at crowded positions but will continue to try to defy the odds and overtake some veterans as they battle for roster spots by continuing to produce in practice this week and then in the game Saturday.

By  |  09:39 AM ET, 08/13/2012

 
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