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Pregame Primer: Redskins at Broncos

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DENVER – As if facing Peyton Manning and the Broncos’ top-ranked offense on the road wasn’t already an issue, the Redskins will have to do so this weekend with significant questions surrounding who will be healthy enough to play in the defensive backfield.

Free safety Brandon Meriweather was suspended by the league earlier in the week and will miss this weekend’s game, while strong safety Reed Doughty sustained a concussion in the Redskins’ victory over the Bears a week ago and did not practice on Friday, leaving his availability in doubt.

That’s bad news against the Broncos, who lost their first game of the season a week ago and will look to get back in the win column. Denver has averaged 42.6 points per game, which would shatter the single-season scoring mark set in 2007 by the Patriots, and Manning has thrown for 2,565 yards already this season – well on the way to surpassing Saints quarterback Drew Brees’ record 5,476 yards in 2011.

The game will be the homecoming for Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan, who served in that same capacity for the Broncos from 1995 through 2008 and guided the team to consecutive Super Bowl victories after the 1997 and 1998 seasons. The Broncos will honor Shanahan with a short video before the game.

Some other details:

Logistics

Site: Sports Authority Field at Mile High, Denver (76,125)

Kickoff: 4:25 p.m.

Records: Redskins 2-4, Broncos 6-1

Television: Fox (Thom Brennaman, Troy Aikman, Pam Oliver)

Radio: ESPN 980-AM / 95.9-FM (Larry Michael, Sonny Jurgensen, Chris Cooley, Doc Walker)

Weather: 69 degrees, mostly sunny

Lines: Broncos by 13, over/under 59 per Bovada

Projected Starters

Redskins Offense: QB Robert Griffin III, RB Alfred Morris, WR Pierre Garcon, WR Joshua Morgan, TE Fred Davis, FB Darrel Young, LT Trent Williams, LG Kory Lichtensteiger, C Will Montgomery, RG Chris Chester, RT Tyler Polumbus

Redskins Defense: DE Kedric Golson, NT Barry Cofield, DE Stephen Bowen, OLB Ryan Kerrigan, ILB London Fletcher, ILB Perry Riley, OLB Brian Orakpo, CB DeAngelo Hall, CB David Amerson, CB David Amerson, FS Jose Gumbs

Broncos Offense: QB Peyton Manning, RB Knowshon Moreno, WR Demaryius, WR Eric Decker, WR Wes Welker, TE Julius Thomas, LT Chris Clark, LG Zane Beadles, C Manny Ramirez, RG Louis Vasquez, RT Orlando Franklin

Broncos Defense: DE Derek Wolfe, DT Kevin Vickerson, DT Terrance Knighton, DE Shaun Phillips, SLB Von Miller, MLB Wesley Woodyard, WLB Danny Trevathan, CB Chris Harris, CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, SS Duke Ihenacho, FS Rahim Moore

Injury Report

Redskins: Probable – TE Logan Paulsen (sprained left knee), TE Jordan Reed (right hip pointer), C Will Montgomery (unspecified knee injury); Questionable – SS Reed Doughty (concussion), DE Stephen Bowen (torn PCL in right knee), WR Leonard Hankerson (bruised right foot), NT Chris Neild (strained right calf).

Broncos: Probable – QB Peyton Manning (ankle), WR Wes Welker (ankle), WR Eric Decker (toe), TE Joel Dreessen (knee), MLB Wesley Woodyard (neck), DE Shaun Phillips (hamstring), DT Mitch Unrein (groin), DE Robert Ayers (shoulder); Questionable – RT Orlando Franklin (ankle), LG Chris Kuper (ankle); Out – CB Champ Bailey (sprained left foot).

Also

All-time: Broncos lead regular-season series, 6-5

Last meeting: Nov. 15, 2009 (Week 10) – Redskins 27, Broncos 17

Offensive ranks: Total – Broncos first, Redskins fourth; Passing – Broncos first, Redskins seventh; Rushing – Redskins fourth, Broncos 16th.

Defensive ranks: Total – Redskins 25th, Broncos 30th; Passing – Redskins 22nd, Broncos 32nd; Rushing – Broncos first, Redskins 29th.

Notable connections: Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan was the Broncos’ head coach from 1995 through 2008, the quarterbacks coach from 1989 through 1991, the offensive coordinator from 1985 through 1987 and the wide receivers coach in 1984; Redskins left guard Kory Lichtensteiger (2008), right tackle Tyler Polumbus (2009) and defensive end Chris Baker (2009) all began their careers with the Broncos; Polumbus was raised in Englewood, Colo. and went to college at Colorado, while strong safety Reed Doughty was raised in Johnstown, Colo. and went to Northern Colorado; Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey played for the Redskins from 1999 through 2003.

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