Thu Sep 19 6:25pm ET
By STEPHEN WHYNO
AP Sports Writer
Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Michael Gallup (13) looses control of the ball as Washington Redskins cornerback Josh Norman (24) looks on in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Washington Redskins quarterback Case Keenum (8) celebrates after throwing a touchdown pass to wide receiver Paul Richardson in the second half of an NFL football game against Dallas Cowboys, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Chicago Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky (10) throws against the Denver Broncos during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) breaks away from Washington Redskins cornerback Josh Norman (24) to run downfield in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, in Landover, Md. Also on the field is Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Michael Gallup (13). (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
LANDOVER, Md. (AP) Mitchell Trubisky wants the Bears to believe this will be the week their struggling offense gets going.
It might actually be that week because Chicago is facing a Washington Redskins defense that hasn't been able to stop much of anything.
The Bears (1-1) go into Monday night's matchup with the third-worst offense in the NFL through the first two weeks of the season. Fortunately for them, the Redskins (0-2) rank third-worst on defense and are dealing with some key injuries contributing to that disappointing start.
''They got some openings where we could have some success on offense this week,'' Trubisky said Thursday. ''We've got to believe that this offense can explode at any minute because of the playmakers and the special guys we have in the locker room.''
Chicago's offense has produced just one touchdown through two games - a 1-yard-run by David Montgomery last week - and Trubisky is a combined 42 of 72 for 348 yards and an interception. The 2017 second overall pick is near the bottom of the league at 4.8 yards a completion.
''Right now, it's just about getting into that rhythm and then understanding the execution of the plays,'' coach Matt Nagy said. ''And us as coaches, too, making sure that we're putting them in optimum position to make the plays with whatever play call is made. We're not running different plays. We're not running anything different than we did last year. It's a long season.''
That's the mantra inside the Redskins' locker room where injuries to defensive lineman Jonathan Allen and cornerbacks Fabian Moreau and Quinton Dunbar have contributed to them getting worn down as games go on. Coach Jay Gruden said it's not time to panic yet, but the defense underachieving is alarming.
Washington has allowed a combined 569 yards in the second half in losses to Philadelphia and Dallas .
''We're struggling a little bit, but it takes time,'' defensive tackle Tim Settle said. ''The more we work together as a team, the more we progress as a team, the better we're going to get. We're going to get things rolling. It's going to be pretty.''
Not much is pretty about the Redskins' defense or the Bears' offense so far. Settle mentioned communication as an issue, and first-year Washington middle linebacker Jon Bostic pointed to a lack of cohesiveness on the defensive side of the ball.
''Everybody's got to be on the same page,'' Bostic said. ''If you got 10 guys on the same page and one guy that's off it, it's going to lead to an explosive play. Explosive plays win ballgames for you.''
A big kick by Eddy Pineiro won the Bears their game last week at Denver, and they're still looking for the big plays that have eluded them.
''That comes down to everybody being locked in, making sure that everybody's on being on the same page - no miscues on any part of the offense,'' Chicago receiver Allen Robinson said. ''It just comes down to everybody being on the same page and executing.''
Some things to watch when the Bears visit the Redskins on Monday night:
MONSTERS OF THE MIDWAY
Unlike the Redskins, the Bears' defense is doing just fine. It's ranked fourth in the league and sixth against the run under new coordinator Chuck Pagano after Vic Fangio left to take the Broncos' head coaching job.
''They're physical in the middle and they have speed at linebacker,'' Gruden said. ''They have good edge play. They have a safety that's a ball hawk. Their corners are pretty good and experienced. They don't really have a weakness in their defense.''
Chicago has seven sacks through two games, two off the league lead.
KEENUM IN RHYTHM
Case Keenum won Washington's starting QB job essentially by default because longtime backup Colt McCoy is still injured and first-round pick Dwayne Haskins isn't ready. But Keenum is far from a problem for the Redskins, throwing for 601 yards and five touchdown passes with no interceptions.
''I'm well aware of Case Keenum and what he can do,'' Nagy said. ''He's obviously having a good year right now. Statically he's protecting the football. He's very, very football smart. So his football IQ is high. He gets the ball out.''
The Bears brought in a long line of kickers during the offseason after letting the embattled Cody Parker go following his double-doink miss in the playoff loss to Philadelphia at Soldier Field. They ultimately went with Pineiro, and he just might be winning them over.
He nailed a 53-yard winner as time expired last week after hitting from 40 and 52 earlier in the game and is 4 for 4 this season. The big boot against the Broncos came after Nagy chose to go for a first down on fourth-and-10 in the opener against Green Bay at home rather than try a 51-yarder.
''I'm trying to gain trust from them,'' Pineiro said. ''Now that he's seen me hit a couple 50-yarders, maybe he lets me try a few longer ones. So it's all a trust process. But we work for that moment behind the scenes at practice. Last-second kick, your team loses, we've been doing this for the past four months now.''
STILL NO REED
The Redskins hoped to get matchup nightmare tight end Jordan Reed back last week after being concussed Aug. 23. This is his fifth documented concussion in seven years, Reed didn't practice again Thursday and all possible caution being taken means he could miss the Bears game, too.
''This is all a part of the process of recovering from this ordeal,'' Gruden said. ''We're just taking it very slowly, making sure he goes through the right process to make sure it's right before he goes back on the field.''
Seattle Seahawks S Lano Hill (elbow) is expected to be sidelined for several weeks due to an elbow injury, according to head coach Pete Carroll. He was ruled out for Week 7's game against the Baltimore Ravens after being unable to practice during the week.
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (knee) will miss three-to-five weeks with a dislocated patellar. He'll either return in Week 11 when the Chiefs play the Chargers on Monday night, or in Week 13 against the Raiders following the bye week. Mahomes is the fantasy QB1 when healthy, so fantasy owners have to hold onto him for now. Matt Moore is expected to start in his place, and while the weapons the Chiefs have make Moore slightly interesting, his track record suggests he's no more than a QB2 at best. Maybe Mahomes owners can grab him to help them get through this stretch, but that's only if better options are already owned.
Dallas Cowboys WR Amari Cooper (quadriceps, ankle) is expected to play in Week 7's game against the Philadelphia Eagles, according to a source.
Fantasy Spin: Cooper was listed as questionable on the injury report after participating in just one of the team's three practice sessions during the week on a limited basis. He makes a somewhat risky starting option in fantasy leagues this week because the Cowboys won't play until Sunday evening and it is unknown if he will see a reduced number of offensive snaps.
Dallas Cowboys CB Byron Jones (hamstring) is expected to play in Week 7's game against the Philadelphia Eagles, according to a source. He was listed as questionable on the injury report after participating in just one of the team's three practice sessions during the week on a limited basis.
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green (ankle) isn't expected to be ready until after the October 29th trade deadline. While there have been rumors that the Bengals could deal Green to a contender, the team has said multiple times that they have no plans to do so. Green could still be a top fantasy receiver when he returns on an offense that's been playing from behind a ton, but the team could also play it safe and limit his snaps in what's clearly a lost ear from the 0-6 Bengals.
Chicago Bears QB Mitchell Trubisky (shoulder) will play in Week 7's game against the New Orleans Saints, according to multiple sources.
Fantasy Spin: Trubisky had been listed as questionable on the injury report despite fully participating in all three of the team's practice sessions during the week. He should only be used in two-quarterback leagues and as a bye week replacement this afternoon because of the difficult matchup versus the New Orleans defense.
Dallas Cowboys WR Randall Cobb (back) is expected to play in Week 7's game against the Philadelphia Eagles, according to a source.
Fantasy Spin: Cobb was listed as questionable on the injury report after participating in just one of the team's three practice sessions during the week on a limited basis. He has posted decent numbers this season and can be viewed as a WR3 or flex option in most fantasy formats.
The Green Bay Packers could have at least one of their injured wide receivers back for Sunday's meeting with the Oakland Raiders. Marquez Valdes-Scantling (ankle/knee) and Geronimo Allison (concussion/chest) will be tested pregame, with the hopes being that at least one can suit up. With Davante Adams (turf toe) out, the Packers need all the help they can get. It'll be tough to trust either guy if they play as they could be limited, but they'd be better fantasy options than the current crop of Packers receivers who've been getting inserted into DFS lineups this week, Allen Lazard and Jake Kumerow.
Green Bay Packers WR Geronimo Allison (concussion, chest) will be a game-time decision for Week 7's contest against the Oakland Raiders.
Fantasy Spin: Allison was upgraded from doubtful to questionable Saturday, Oct. 19, despite not participating in any of the team's three practice sessions during the week and still being under concussion protocol. He should be viewed as a risky WR3 or flex option this afternoon if he is active.
Green Bay Packers WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling (ankle, knee) hopes to be able to play in Week 7's game against the Oakland Raiders despite being listed as questionable on the injury report, according to a source.
Fantasy Spin: Valdes-Scantling did not practice at all during the week and should be viewed as a risky flex option in fantasy leagues based on his health and recent performance, having posted fewer than 50 receiving yards in each of his last three contests.
Jacksonville Jaguars WR Dede Westbrook (shoulder) will participate in pregame workouts prior to Week 7's contest against the Cincinnati Bengals to determine if he will play. However, early indications are that there is optimism about him being active for the game, according to a source.
Fantasy Spin: Westbrook was listed as questionable on the injury report after missing one of the team's three practice sessions during the week and being limited in another. If he is active, he merits consideration as a WR3 or flex option in most fantasy leagues because of the favorable matchup.
Detroit Lions CB Darius Slay (hamstring) is expected to play in Week 7's game against the Minnesota Vikings, according to a source. He was listed as questionable on the injury report after being a limited practice participant throughout the week.
Arizona Cardinals RB David Johnson (ankle) is expected to play in Week 7's game against the New York Giants, according to a source.
Fantasy Spin: Johnson was listed as questionable on the injury report after participating in two of the team's three practice sessions during the week on a limited basis. He should be viewed as a starting option in all fantasy formats.
Arizona Cardinals WR Christian Kirk (ankle) is unlikely to play in Week 7's game against the New York Giants, according to a source.
Fantasy Spin: Kirk was listed as questionable on the injury report after being a limited practice participant throughout the week but it appears as though he needs additional time for rest and recovery. Fantasy owners should have alternative options available since it looks like Kirk will miss his third game in a row.
Miami Dolphins CB Xavien Howard (knee) is expected to play in Week 7's game against the Buffalo Bills, according to a source. He had been listed as questionable on the injury report after being a limited practice participant throughout the week.
Indianapolis Colts DE Justin Houston (calf) is expected to play in Week 7's game against the Houston Texans, according to a source. He had been listed as questionable on the injury report after missing the team's last two practice sessions during the week.
The Dallas Cowboys will have four important pieces of their offense back for Sunday's meeting with the Eagles, with wide receivers Amari Copper (thigh) and Randall Cobb (back) plus tackles Tyron Smith (ankle) and La'el Collins (knee) expected to play. All four players' statuses have been up in the air this week, but if the four of them play, the Cowboys offense sees a huge boost. Cooper will be a solid start, and both quarterback Dak Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliott will see a boost to their fantasy stock.
Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Dede Westbrook (shoulder) will likely play against the Bengals in Week 7, though he'll test the shoulder out in warmups to be safe. The Bengals Defense is an enticing matchup for Westbrook, but he's fallen from his team's top wideout to the number-two guy for quarterback Gardner Minshew, which limits his value. Play him in 12-team PPR leagues, but feel free to avoid him in shallower leagues and in standard scoring.
Chicago Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky will play on Sunday against the New Orleans Saints. He had been questionable heading into Week 7 with a shoulder injury. New Orleans allows the 10th-most fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks, so this isn't a bad spot for Trubisky if you're in a pinch at the quarterback position. With Trubisky back, owners who picked up Chase Daniel in two-quarterback leagues can safely drop him.
Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson (ankle) is expected to play in Week 7 against the New York Giants. New York has struggled to keep opposing running backs in check, so feel comfortable firing up Johnson in all formats on Sunday, even if we see Chase Edmonds worked into the mix a little more than usual.