The Washington Redskins today kick off the final week of the preseason, and the next five days are the most important for the bubble players.
The Redskins play their final preseason game Wednesday at 7 p.m. at home against Tampa Bay — and next week begin preparation for the Sept. 9 season opener.
Here are five areas to monitor this week:
1.) First cuts — The Redskins must go from 90 players to 75 by 4 p.m. today. Last season, the first cut-down day of the preseason saw the team part ways with oft-injured wideout Malcolm Kelly, but no other significant names. This week, most of the more intriguing roster moves will likely be made on Friday.
2.) Running back health — The Redskins will learn how Tim Hightower emerged from Saturday’s preseason debut. The running back did well in his first live action since Oct. 23, 2011, and said that he wasn’t worried about his knee. The hope is that he can continue to build on that outing. Meanwhile, Evan Royster should return to action, and we’ll get an update on Roy Helu Jr.’s bad Achilles’ tendons.
3.) Griffin’s assessment — Robert Griffin III will address members of the media today and take a look back at his final preseason outing (Mike Shanahan has said he doesn’t plan on playing his starters Wednesday), and also look ahead to what areas he wants to work on leading up to the season opener.
4.) Final audition — Wednesday will mark the last chance for players such as wide receivers Brandon Banks, Anthony Armstrong, Aldrick Robinson, Terrence Austin, Dezmon Briscoe and defensive backs Richard Crawford, Brandyn Thompson, Jordan Bernstine to convince coaches that they — and not their competitors — are deserving of spots on the 53-man roster.
5.) Final cuts — Friday is cut-down day. The Redskins will have to get down to the league-mandated 53-man roster by 9 p.m. This year has seen an increase in competition across the board, so we could see some familiar names sent packing. Then, over the weekend, the Redskins will round out their eight-man practice squad, and that likely will include of some of the rookies that have been in camp with the team.