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Redskins: 3 burning questions following third preseason game

The Washington Redskins have been a team everyone has kept their eye on in the preseason due to a certain rookie. Dwayne Haskins has been up and down all preseason, but so has every other quarterback on the roster.

The Redskins played their third preseason game against the Atlanta Falcons on Thursday night. After four quarters of play, Washington came out on top 19-7 to secure its first win in the preseason.

Jay Gruden understands the outcomes of the games don’t matter, but he does know that his starting quarterback will decide how the 2019 season goes. Entering a contract year, Gruden knows he has to produce some wins if he hopes to remain with the organization.

The Redskins are an interesting team entering the 2019 season with talented players at multiple positions. However, most people believe the Redskins and the New York Giants will fight an ugly battle to be the last-place team in the NFC East.

After the Redskins won on Thursday night, the team has quite a few questions that need to be answered ahead of the final week of the preseason.

3. Can Jordan Reed remain healthy in 2019?

The talent of Jordan Reed has never been in question but the athletic tight end can’t seem to avoid the injury bug every season. During the Redskins’ third preseason contest, Reed suffered a concussion after taking a brutal helmet-to-helmet hit against the Falcons.

Reed exited the game and the timetable for his return has yet to be determined. This isn’t the first time Reed has missed time due to injury in his career.

In six seasons, the Redskins’ tight end has missed 31 games due to an injury. Furthermore, the Florida product has failed to start in 10 or more games in any season in his football career.

That said, it’s tough to believe that Reed can play in all 16 games in 2019. The best ability is availability, and Reed has been unavailable for a decent portion of his career.

2. Will Derrius Guice become the eventual starter in 2019?

Aside from Haskins, fans in Washington were exhilarated to see Derrius Guice return to the field on Thursday versus the Falcons. Guice played in his first game since he tore his ACL in last year’s preseason opener for the Redskins.

Guice was drafted in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft and was expected to be the team’s featured running back. After Guice went down with his injury, Washington signed veteran Adrian Peterson to provide production at the position.

What the Redskins didn’t know was that Peterson was going to be reinvigorated and rush for over 1,000 yards. As a result, they decided to bring the 34-year old Peterson back for another season. Where does that leave Guice?

On Thursday, Guice carried 11 times for 44 yards—including a 12-yard scamper on his first carry. The second-year running back showed his aggressive running style as he tried to become the team’s leading rusher. Guice will need to remain healthy to keep his chances of becoming the full-time starter by year’s end.

1. Who is the starting quarterback?

Ever since the Redskins selected Dwayne Haskins with the 15th overall pick in this year’s draft, people have wondered if the rookie out of Ohio State will be the starter in Week 1. After three preseason games, those people are asking the same question.

Gruden has yet to officially name a starter despite saying he would make the decision by the third preseason game. To begin the third preseason game, Case Keenum was under center and completed nine of his 14 attempts for 101 yards.

In comparison, Haskins finished with 74 yards on seven completions. Due to Haskins having a hot-and-cold preseason, it’s likely that Gruden will lean toward starting Keenum.

The one guy who gets forgotten in the competition is Colt McCoy. He is still recovering from his broken leg in 2018 but figures to be in the mix upon his eventual return.

As it currently stands, Washington is going to keep Haskins off the field as long as it can and give the veterans a shot to win games. It is a bold strategy for Gruden in a deciding season, but it is also risky to play an unproven rookie.