- The Washington Times - Monday, October 9, 2017

ASHBURN — Redskins punter Tress Way tweeted on Sunday a .GIF of Leonardo DiCaprio raising a toast in the movie, “The Great Gatsby” and captioned it with just two words: Aaron Rodgers.

The Green Bay Packers — and Rodgers specifically — gave a gift to the Redskins. They stormed down the field for 75 yards in just over a minute to beat the Dallas Cowboys, 35-31.

The Cowboys’ loss dropped them to 2-3, giving the 2-2 Redskins, who had the weekend off thanks to a Week 5 bye, sole possession of second place in the NFC East — 1½ games behind the 4-1 Philadelphia Eagles.

Before the season started, the early bye seemed less than ideal. But after a slew of injuries to key contributors, the breather was just what the Redskins needed.

A rested-but-still-banged-up Washington returns to action Sunday, hosting the winless San Francisco 49ers — the start of a grueling 12-game stretch.

“These guys have to commit themselves to a long haul,” Redskins coach Jay Gruden said. “You’d like to break it up at maybe the half point like we had last year, but … we have to just adjust our schedules and really all commit ourselves to the grind of the NFL season 12 weeks in a row.”

The Redskins still have a laundry list of injuries.

Washington won’t release an updated injury report until Wednesday, but linebacker Zach Brown (illness), tackle Trent Williams (knee), cornerback Josh Norman (rib fracture), safety D.J. Swearinger (hamstring), safety Deshazor Everett (hamstring) and running Rob Kelley (ankle/rib) all missed practice on Monday.

In Norman’s case, the cornerback had a follow-up with doctors. His timetable was initially pegged at 2-4 weeks, but Gruden said he’d have a better idea later in the week.

During the break this year, most of the team stayed around the Redskins’ practice facility, running back Chris Thompson said.

“For us, the vibe is different,” Thompson said. “We’ve got a lot of different guys, different personalities in this locker room. We’ve been able to mesh together well. I think for us, that’s been one of the biggest things and it’s kinda changed the way we’ve approached practices, the way we approach every single day.”

The 49ers may be more of a test than the record would indicate. They’ve lost four of their five games by three points or less. On the opposing sideline will be former offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, who was in Washington for four seasons from 2010-13.

“They can hang in there with any team, can probably beat any team, so we can’t take them lightly,” said tight end Vernon Davis, who was drafted by San Francisco in 2006 and played there for 10 seasons.

• Matthew Paras can be reached at mparas@washingtontimes.com.

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