Injuries to their young quarterbacks have left the Washington Redskins and Buffalo Bills with lots of questions before they square-off on Saturday afternoon at FedEx Field.
Washington lucked out when an MRI came back negative for any structural damage to the right foot of backup passer Kirk Cousins earlier this week. The second-year player went down five days ago in the Redskins 24-13 win over Pittsburgh, and most of the snaps went to Rex Grossman.
With Robert Griffin’s status for Week One still a major concern, Grossman, who went 10-for-16 for 133 yards with one touchdown and a pick against the Steelers, could make a play for starting job. The injuries also open up an opportunity for Pat White, who's behind Grossman on the depth chart. Though the chances of the Redskins carrying four quarterbacks on the roster are very slim, White could use the time to catch the eye of teams around the league.
Despite the passing woes, the Redskins running game looks as dominant as last season’s No. 1 ranked squad. Fourth-year veteran Keiland Williams led the team with eight carries for 39 yards against Pittsburgh, and as a team Washington totaled 146 yards on the ground.
According to the Washington Post two rookies are hoping to steal a spot from Roy Helu and Evan Royster, but it’s unclear how much they will play. Young rushers Jawan Jamison and Chris Thompson reportedly believe more snaps will give them a chance to shine. Thompson had three carries for 14 yards, and Jamison five for 20 yards against the Steelers.
Buffalo learned they will be without first-round rookie quarterback E.J. Manuel for the rest of the preseason while he recovers from a minor knee procedure. The Florida State blue chipper looked sharp against Minnesota last week, going 10-for-12 for 92 yards and a touchdown in a 20-16 win.
Starter Kevin Kolb totaled 111 yards and a pick, and running back Tashard Choice chipped in 54 yards on the ground. While receiver Marcus Easley shined with three receptions for 46 yards. Kolb overall had a solid game, but Manuel’s early progress had him challenging for the starting job. The injury will force Buffalo to be far more cautious in the coming weeks.
The Bills can use this game to work out their penalty issues. Last week they were penalized 14 times for 106 yards. In two preseason games they been flagged a total of 23 times for 180 yards.
The game kicks-off at 4:30 p.m. ET and a live online stream is available by subscription on the NFL’s official site here.
Washington can watch on WRC-TV NBC 4, and Buffalo on WKBW-TV.
Betting Odds: Washington is favored by 3.5 points.
Over/Under: 42.5 points
Prediction: Washington 17, Buffalo 10