Redskins defensive line coach Jim Tomsula says he isn’t concerned with which players earn the three starting defensive line positions. (John McDonnell / The Washington Post)

Mike Jones gives his top three takeaways from Day 7 at Redskins training camp

1.) The defensive line depth chart is still an unknown: A week’s worth of practices has brought little clarity to the defensive line depth chart, and position coach Jim Tomsula is quite alright with that. Tomsula said he’s not worried about who starts, because he plans on rotating players with such frequency that it won’t really matter.

“If they’ve got a helmet on, they’re going to play,” he said Thursday. Tomsula acknowledged that he’ll have to trot three players out to start next week’s preseason game. But he has time before having to decide who to pick. For now, he continues to mix and match to see which combinations work the best. Thursday saw free agent pickups Terrell McClain and Stacy McGee share the field for the first time this summer. They lined up at left and right end, respectively, and A.J. Francis got the nod at nose tackle.

Then Jonathan Allen, Joey Mbu and Ziggy Hood shuttled in a couple of plays later. Phil Taylor had started at nose tackle the last two days. But today he still saw a good deal of first-team action despite not starting. Taylor said the constant swapping in and out and lack of clarity doesn’t bother him. “It just truly shows that we’re a unit and we’re all going to play,” he said.

2.) Rookie defensive backs see action: Limited to position drills during the first six days of camp, rookies Fabian Moreau and Montae Nicholson received a slight increase in workload, as each saw some action during special drills. Moreau, a third-round cornerback out of UCLA, lined up with the first-team kick return unit. He took the spot on that unit that was previously held by safety Earl Wolfe IV, who got cut earlier on Thursday.

Nicholson, a fourth-round safety out of Michigan State, saw some action on the second kick return unit. Moreau has been recovering from a torn pectoral muscle suffered early in the spring, and Nicholson has been recovering from shoulder surgery in the winter. With multiple veterans at cornerback and safety, special teams play will be key for both players. Once offensive and defensive drills began, both went to the side field for position-specific drill work.

3.) The offense continues to struggle in the red zone: Thus far, the first-team offense has yet to catch fire in the red zone. Terrelle Pryor’s impressive one-handed grab earlier this week was while lining up with the second team. And Thursday’s diving catch by Josh Doctson also came with the second team. Kirk Cousins had a scamper for a touchdown Tuesday, and he had a five-yard touchdown pass to Niles Paul on Saturday, and Samaje Perine had a touchdown run.

But Cousins doesn’t have any other touchdown passes inside the 20-yard line. Deshazor Everett intercepted his bootleg pass two days ago. Cousins threw another interception Thursday. Facing first-and-goal from the 7-yard-line with 20 seconds left on the clock during a two-minute drill, Cousins had his pass over the middle tipped by D.J. Swearinger, and Josh Norman made a diving grab for the pick. Jay Gruden blew the whistle just as Cousins threw the ball, saying Junior Galette would have had a sack. But the defensive players celebrated the interception like it won the Super Bowl.

Regardless, Washington’s starters still have work to do in this area. Cousins looked to the middle for that touchdown pass, but he missed Pryor (split out wide to the right) cutting inside on a slant and with good position on cornerback Bashaud Breeland. It’ll be interesting to see how the red zone offense changes once Jordan Reed and Jamison Crowder return.

Injury updates: Linebacker Preston Smith left practice with an ankle sprain. Meanwhile, Crowder and linebacker Martrell Spaight sat with hamstring injuries. Wide receiver Maurice Harris was going to return from a knee strain, but he got sick today and didn’t practice.

Reed says his big toe injury just needs time to heal

Redskins tight end Jordan Reed said he just needs more time for his left big toe to fully heal. He’s been on the physically unable to perform list since the start of training camp because of an injury Reed said was nagging him throughout last season.

The big toe improved over time, but it regressed after offseason practices when Reed received stem-cell treatment on the injury.

“It flared up, so now I’m at the point where I’m just letting it calm down before I get back out there,” Reed said.

Reed said he would overcut on routes because he was overcompensating for the pain in his toe, causing him to roll his ankle. He plans to take his time with the injury so he can cut properly once he finally hits the field.

“I just gotta get it stronger, get the right cleats and things like that and I’ll be all right,” Reed said.

Practice standouts

Mike Jones took note of some strong practice play from Jonathan Allen, Spencer Long, and others.

Jay Gruden weights in on defensive line, his brother’s future

Washington’s head coach was asked about the status of his brother, Jon Gruden, the ESPN “Monday Night Football” commentator and former Super Bowl-winning head coach. He said he didn’t know whether Jon would return to coaching, but he did weigh in on the importance of versatility along the Redskins’ defensive line.

Ryan Anderson is saying little, but learning a lot

The Redskins’ second-round pick, outside linebacker Ryan Anderson from Alabama, spoke to reporters Thursday. Liz Clarke has more here, but Anderson emphasized how much he was learning from the team’s veterans, specifically Junior Galette and Ryan Kerrigan.

Redskins’ practice music playlist

Master Tesfatsion has a story on the role that practice music plays during training camp. You can also listen to a playlist of 16 favorite camp songs, as selected by 16 players, on Spotify, and read each player’s reasons for choosing his song.

We’ll start things out by answering one fan question.

Master Tesfatsion: At this point, it’s clear that Rob Kelley will be the starting running back. Kelley has been the first running back to receive carries with the first team, when he’s healthy. Redskins Coach Jay Gruden’s past would also suggest that Kelley should receive most of the carries during the regular season. He started Alfred Morris over Matt Jones two years ago. Last year, Jones had the starting job despite Kelley’s impressive performance during training camp and the preseason.

Chris Thompson will still be the third-down back, so that must be accounted for as well. I would think that, just as he did two years ago, Gruden will likely roll with the hot hand between Kelley and Perine. Kelley should get most of the carries, but if Perine can get something going during a game in his limited role, I would think Gruden would stick with him until he cools off or needs a breather.

Perine has been impressive, but I’m still a fan of Kelley. They are both aggressive runners who should give the Redskins a level of physicality they didn’t consistently have last year.

What you missed

— Three takeaways from Wednesday’s Redskins training camp

When Brandon Scherff isn’t blocking, he’s back in Iowa making deer fajitas

— Redskins’ revamped receiving corps is showing its potential in training camp

Thursday’s schedule

The Redskins will begin their walk-through at 10:35 a.m. Rookie outside linebacker Ryan Anderson will speak to the media around 11:45 a.m. Redskins Coach Jay Gruden will hit the podium around 2:45 p.m. Practice is slated for 3 p.m.

Redskins | Mike Jones | Liz Clarke | Master Tesfatsion

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