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Mailbag: A Closer Look at Playing Time
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Q: What's wrong with Jatavis Brown? He was leading the team in tackles earlier in the season and now his snaps have dwindled. – Diego Ramirez
A: Jatavis Brown’s playing time was far and away the hottest topic in this week’s mailbag. The answer is simple – the Bolts have been more successful with Adrian Phillips on the field. It is not an indictment on Brown at all, but the team inserted AP into this role Week 5 against the Giants, which has coincided with the Chargers going 6-2 since. The need to turn to Phillips came when Brown was dealing with a nagging injury. He has been fully healthy for a while, but with the way AP is playing and the return of Denzel Perryman, there has been no need to change what is currently working. It’s a good problem to have when a player like Brown is unable to crack the lineup.
Q: What is Brandon Oliver's status? Will he return this season? – Richard Bennett
A: BO is in the same boat as Brown. He missed a couple weeks due to injury, and Austin Ekeler has seized such control of the complementary back role to Melvin Gordon that Oliver has been a healthy scratch for most weeks. Again, it is not a knock on Oliver, but rather a testament to the way Ekeler’s been performing.
Q: If we win the Division and host a wild card game at the StubHub Center, what color uniform will we wear? – Oscar Ramirez
A: Slooooooow down there, Oscar. How about we take it one week at a time and focus on getting a W against Washington before looking that far down the line!
Q: How are you guys going to prepare for the Doctson-Crowder-Grant trio? It's a pretty deadly one. I'm going to StubHub this Sunday, and I'm ready for you guys to win it. Thanks, Max – Max Heubusch
A: Can’t wait to see you out at StubHub, Max! I’m happy someone pointed out that trio of weapons for the Redskins because they are a solid corps that flies under the radar. Terrelle Pryor was expected to be their go-to receiver, but he was banged up for most of the year and eventually went on IR. However, this trio has played solid ball for Kirk Cousins. Jamison Crowder leads the way with 51 catches for 628 yards and one TD while Josh Doctson has been a touchdown machine, hauling in five TDs while snaring 24 passes for 354 yards. Then there’s Ryan Grant, who hails from my alma mater at Tulane. Grant is a 6-0, 204-pound target who has stepped up for Washington, catching 36 balls for 417 yards and four TDs. With tight end Jordan Reed already ruled out, those three along with veteran Vernon Davis are going to get a ton of looks. As far as how the Bolts prepare for them, I think it all starts with the pass rush. If Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram can force Cousins off his spot, it will be a long day for the away team.