As we're all anxiously debating this afternoon's showdown between the Dallas Cowboys and their bitter rivals from the District of Columbia, here's a quick look at the injury situations for both teams.
The following is based on the teams' final Wednesday practices on the short week:
DNP – Did Not Practice
LP – Limited Participant
OUT – Already Ruled Out
- OT Tyron Smith (back) – LP
- OT Chaz Green (foot) – DNP
- DE DeMarcus Lawrence
(back/shoulder) – LP
- DT Terrell McClain (thigh) – LP
- CB Morris Claiborne (groin) – OUT
- SS Barry Church (forearm) – OUT
Smith, Lawrence, and McClain are all expected to play. The short week is not going to do them any favors, but they have been limited in practice so that they could be as physically ready as possible for today.
Chaz Green practiced on Monday and Tuesday but sat out yesterday. This may have been precautionary but he will likely be inactive again this week. Dallas still has Emmett Cleary on the roster as a reserve at offensive tackle.
Church and Claiborne remain out. While Church could be back in a few more weeks, Claiborne is looking like a longer wait. He may not return until the playoffs.
While Dallas did activate running back Darren McFadden and linebacker Jaylon Smith from the Non-Football Injury list this week, they are still in “practice only” status. They do not yet count on the 53-man roster and are thus ineligible to play.
- LS Nick Sundberg (back) – OUT
Everyone but the long snapper was a full participant in yesterday's practice, giving Washington exceptional health along their current 53-man roster. Missing Sundberg is hardly minor, though, as we all know what one bad snap can do on a punt or field goal. This will only be backup Rick Lovato's second game with Washington
While their current roster is healthy, Washington's taken some big personnel losses since our Week 2 meeting. Here's a quick rundown of key players that played in that game but are no longer available:
WR Josh Doctson – The 22nd pick in last April's draft, Doctson has been out since the last game against Dallas. He only had one catch that day but it was a 57-yarder. The rookie is currently on Injured Reserve with an Achilles problem.
OT Trent Williams – Suspended four games at the start of November for a substance-abuse violation, the franchise left tackle will be missing. Playing in his plae is 31-year-old Ty Nsehke, a journeyman who has played well but is not nearly the talent that Williams is.
C Kory Lichtensteiger – The starting center suffered a leg injury in late September and is on IR. His replacement is Spencer Long, a third-round pick of Washington's in 2014.
NT Kedric Golston – It's not surprise that Washington has one of the league's worst run defenses after losing Golston, who's on IR after a hamstring injury suffered in the first Dallas game.
FS DeAngelo Hall – One of the most antagonistic players in the NFL, Hall suffered an ACL tear in Week 3 and is on IR. Veteran Will Blackmon has been starting in his place.