- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 15, 2015

ASHBURN — Kirk Cousins ran to the sideline, then back to the huddle, frantically looking back at Sean McVay, all while the play clock ticked dangerously close to zero.

The Washington Redskins were flagged for a delay of game — after a timeout, no less — during the third quarter of Sunday’s 24-21 win against the Chicago Bears. The breakdown in communication was rooted in the Redskins‘ inability to get the right personnel on the field, something coach Jay Gruden said was solely his fault. The problem was compounded when Cousins was having issues with the headset inside of his helmet.

Facing third-and-goal from the Bears’ one-yard line, Cousins was clearly struggling to get the play call from McVay after the timeout. The biggest problem was getting the right package in place. With five seconds left on the play clock, backup left tackle Ty Nsekhe hesitated as he was running onto the field.

Tight end Derek Carrier was already out of the game after tearing the ACL and MCL in his right knee and right tackle Morgan Moses missed the previous nine plays because he was being evaluated for a concussion. Moses returned after the timeout, but there was confusion about which goal-line package the Redskins wanted to use.

Following the delay of game, Cousins connected with tight end Jordan Reed on a five-yard touchdown pass, which gave the Redskins a 21-7 lead. Had they not converted and settled for a field goal instead, it got have been a costly error.

“We were trying to figure out what personnel to get to and they started the clock and I didn’t know it,” Gruden said. “That was my fault all the way. They usually tell me or point at me or hit a whistle or something, but nobody did that. We were just trying to get our guys out there.”

At the end of the third quarter, the Redskins had to burn their second timeout to avoid another delay of game penalty. After DeSean Jackson caught a 29-yard pass, the Redskins scrambled to get a play together, not realizing there was more time remaining in the quarter.

“The one at the end of the quarter we were like a second off, thought we had the quarter and didn’t,” Gruden said. “We called a play out there and it was too late and we had to take a timeout. Other than that, you prepare for situations where the headsets do go out, so we have a wristband ready to go. We have signals available for Kirk and he also has some go-to plays out of each formation.”

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