- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 18, 2014

Five questions facing the Redskins as the head to Philadelphia on Sunday:

1. How will Kirk Cousins perform? After Robert Griffin III dislocated his left ankle last week against Jacksonville, Cousins will step in for an indefinite period of time as the Redskins’ starting quarterback. He played well after Griffin left, and now it will be up to Cousins to show that he can be a starter by playing within the offense, managing the game and, of course, winning.

2. Is DeSean Jackson ready for his return? Jackson will return to Philadelphia for the first time since being released by the Eagles in March following six seasons with the team, though his status is partially shrouded after he separated his shoulder against Jacksonville on Sunday. Jackson has insisted he’ll be able to play, and if he does, he should drastically change what the Redskins are able to do on offense.

3. Can the Redskins match Philadelphia’s tempo? The Eagles have been able to wear their opponents down over the first two weeks, becoming only the fourth team in the last 30 years to come back from consecutive 14-point deficits in the second half. Their pace of play is a big reason why, and it will again test a Redskins defense that could again be suffering from a lack of depth on the defensive line.

4. Will Darren Sproles continue to be a game-changer? The Redskins were interested in acquiring Sproles, the explosive, diminutive running back during the offseason, but could not work out a trade with New Orleans. The Eagles swooped in, and he’s been a disruptive force both carrying the ball and catching passes out of the backfield. Containing Sproles will be one of the defense’s top priorities.

5. What impact will Brandon Meriweather make? Meriweather was reinstated on Monday after being suspended for the first two weeks of the season because of repeated helmet-to-helmet hits. Much more comfortable within the defense than his replacements — one of whom, Bacarri Rambo, was waived on Tuesday — Meriweather will need to find a balance between playing physically and playing illegally. 

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