LONDON – Sunday’s game has plenty of story-lines. It’s the first appearance in an NFL International Series game for both Washington and Cincinnati. But by 9:30 a.m. ET (no, this isn’t a typo), the only story-line that will matter is the Redskins (4-3) looking to seize momentum headed into their bye week.
This game is important for the ‘Skins to keep pace in the loaded NFC East. Currently, Washington is tied with New York for the bottom spot in the conference, and one game behind Philadelphia who is 4-2.
The Redskins will get an extra boost on offense with the return of tight end Jordan Reed, who’s been out the last two games due to a concussion. Josh Norman is also expected to play after clearing the concussion protocol earlier this week. Norman will be relied upon to cover All-Pro wide receiver A.J. Green.
With additions, come subtraction though, as the ‘Skins will be without starting running back Matt Jones (knee). Rookie running back Robert Kelley will be the lead back, splitting the workload with Chris Thompson.
“Chris has such an important role as far as third downs and his specialty role that we need him in that role and he’s not a very big guy. We don’t want to give him the ball 35 times between the tackles, you know?” head coach Jay Gruden said earlier this week. “We’d like to have a more physical guy do that. Chris is going to get plenty of touches without a doubt but if Matt can’t go it’ll be mainly Chris and obviously Robert.”