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3 things you can expect to see from the Redskins on Thursday night

Redskins Wire logo Redskins Wire 8/22/2019 Zachary Neel
a group of people in a field: Getty © Getty Getty

The third week of the NFL preseason is largely looked at as the unofficial start of the season. In the past, starting players would often see up to two full quarters of football, and the game would act as a dress rehearsal for many.

Any more, coaches are starting to get more conservative when it comes to exhibition action for their star players, and first-stringers get yanked earlier and earlier. Still, though, there are likely to be more stars on the gridiron starting Thursday, with storylines aplenty. Here's what you can expect to see from the Washington Redskins as they travel to Atlanta to take on the Falcons.

A Starter is Born

a group of people wearing costumes: USA TODAY © USA TODAY USA TODAY

Jay Gruden wants to name a starting quarterback. The players want to know where they stand. Washington fans want to know who to pray for at night. The Redskins will likely use this preseason game as the last showcase for both Case Keenum and Dwayne Haskins in their QB competition.

Coming into the game, it's safe to say that Keenum has an edge over Haskins due to his experience and mistake-free play, and NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported earlier this week that the veteran would be dubbed the starter before Week 1 of the regular season.

Still, though, Haskins has shown flashes of brilliance so far this year, and the mistakes that tag along have started to winnow down. It's highly unlikely that Haskins wins the starting QB job on Thursday night against the Falcons, but it's not impossible for him to extend the competition another week and make Gruden's decision even tougher than it is.

Guice looks nice (Again)

a group of football players on a field: File photo © File Photo File photo

Second-year running back Derrius Guice is set to make his return to the field on Thursday, just over a year after his rookie campaign ended with a torn ACL in the 2018 preseason. After a year of rehab and strengthening, not to mention learning from the sidelines, Guice is ready to run.

Throughout the offseason and training camp, word out of Redskins Park has been that Guice looks incredible, and his quickness and burst has returned with time. As a rookie out of LSU, Guice built a rather sizeable hype train behind him, which all came crashing down before the season could get underway. Look for that hype train to leave the station once again on Thursday night; Guice is back, and ready to turn heads.

Has anyone seen Terry?

a group of baseball players playing a football game: File photo © USA TODAY File photo

Much like Derrius Guice in 2018, rookie wide receiver Terry McLaurin has built a mountain of buzz around him throughout this offseason since being drafted by the Redskins in the third round. Since then, he has taken only one snap in the preseason, leaving many fans and media members scratching their heads.

McLaurin was on the field for one play in preseason Week 1, and he watched the game entirely from the sidelines in Week 2. After the contest against the Cincinnati Bengals, Gruden claimed that the rookie was dealing with a minor tailbone injury and was being held out for precautionary reasons.

If McLaurin is held out of Thursday night's game as well, serious questions will start to be raised. This rookie WR has turned heads so far in training camp, and he is said to have a legitimate chance to secure a sizeable portion of the target-share in Washington. The only problem is that Redskins fans haven't seen him play outside of highlight clips on Twitter. Until we can see him on the big screen, expectations have to be frustratingly tempered for this supposed dynamic pass-catcher.

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