- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 8, 2013

What can we expect from Robert Griffin III?

The Redskins quarterback admitted there will be some emotions churning as he prepares to run out onto the field for the first time since Jan. 6. But how will the lack of game action affect him? While he’s had several weeks of legitimate practice time and no injury setbacks, it’s hard to imagine a mistake-free game. The NFL doesn’t work that way.

Will strong safety Brandon Meriweather play?

Meriweather missed the first 10 games last season with a knee injury and then tore his ACL in the third quarter of a Week 11 game at Philadelphia. There were already questions about how close Meriweather was to 100 percent. Then, after his first and only preseason game, he sustained a groin injury and is listed as questionable for Monday. Reed Doughty would start in his place.

How do the Redskins slow Philadelphia’s expected fast tempo?

Keeping the ball out of their hands works pretty well. And while the spotlight is on Griffin, running back Alfred Morris and the offensive line will play a huge role here. The Eagles weren’t good at stopping the run last season and don’t appear to have improved much personnel-wise. Expect a big day from Morris.

Who will return punts?

It should be Chris Thompson, who returned a kick 69 yards for a touchdown in the preseason finale vs. Tampa Bay and has showed a fearlessness there rare for a player who last did that job as a senior in high school. But he better not put the ball on the ground as he did twice at running back in preseason. Mike Shanahan wouldn’t tip his hand saying he has other veteran options available.

Is Washington’s secondary up to par?

Not having Meriweather at full strength, if at all, hurts. He has the speed to cover someone like Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson, if necessary. Of course, that’s if he’s at full strength. Meanwhile, rookie free safety Bacarri Rambo, a sixth-round draft pick, better make tackles in space with playmakers Jackson and LeSean McCoy roaming the field.


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