NFC Notes: Commanders, Cowboys, Giants


The change at quarterback has obviously been a big component of the Commanders’ in-season turnaround, as Washington is 5-1 since Taylor Heinicke took over for Carson Wentz. Another big piece is that the running game has become effective behind the 1-2 punch of third-rounder Brian Robinson and Antonio Gibson. The rookie is looking better and better the further he gets away from being shot, punishing defenses with his physical running style while Gibson brings an explosive element to the table. 

“You’re starting to see, all of a sudden, Brian Robinson be the Brian Robinson that we were trying to feature during the preseason,” Commanders HC Ron Rivera said via Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer. “And Antonio Gibson has played his role. I mean, this is what’s frustrating to me — you hear people and you see people in the media talking about, ‘Oh, they’ve found the running game.’ Well shit, I did that when I was in Carolina. We had a two-back set. And if anybody studied my history, they’d go, ‘Well, that’s what Coach did. He wants to run a two-back set, and that’s what we’ve done.’ So kudos to our guys. These guys, they’re great. You don’t see Brian Robinson or Antonio Gibson out there b—— and moaning about not getting enough carries. They understand what we’re trying to do. They get it. The team is getting it.”

  • Commanders OC Scott Turner said they have a “plan” for Gibson’s recovery from a foot injury and is confident he’ll recover: “We got a plan for him to get him ready. As we go, I think he’ll be all right.” (Nicki Jhabvala)
  • Commanders HC Ron Rivera said they will evaluate DE Chase Young (knee) on gameday: “He had a good day. We’re going to evaluate him on Sunday.” (John Keim)
  • Washington has ruled out WR/PR Dax Milne (foot), CB Benjamin St-Juste (ankle), and G Trai Turner (knee, ankle) from Week 13. (Nicki Jhabvala)


  • Cowboys HC Mike McCarthy said RT Terence Steele was excused from Friday’s practice due to a personal issue related to Steele’s family. (Jon Machota)


Giants HC Brian Daboll said he’s reminding the team that they are entering a critical portion of the season in December as they contend for a playoff spot. 

“When you play meaningful games in December, I think that’s why we all do this,” Daboll said, via “You go all the way back to OTAs and to preseason and the beginning part of the season; now you’re in December. And I’ve been on teams that have played meaningful games in December, and I’ve been part of teams that haven’t. It’s not a lot of fun when you’re not playing meaningful games. So, let’s come to work with a great attitude, a positive mindset. Keep getting better. And you focus on the week’s opponent: That’s how you have to do it. But they’re important games now.”

Daboll is confident that the team is handling adversity while being on a two-game losing streak and wants them to stay consistent. 

“I think the way they’re handling winning – they’re consistent,” Daboll said. “We’ve all been in this league a long time. The last time that you haven’t faced adversity will be the first time. You’re going to face it. Week 1, Week 5, Week 10. So, the approach is to be consistent, like the message I’ve tried to give really since I’ve been here.”

  • Giants WR Sterling Shepard has been a consistent presence on the sideline as he recovers from a torn ACL. As a part of a pay cut he took this summer, his deal is up after this season. It seems Shepard would like to be back but he said: “I’ll let that take care of itself.” (Charlotte Carroll)
  • Giants HC Brian Daboll said he met with WR Odell Beckham Jr. on Thursday night over dinner and the free agent is set to visit the team facility on Friday following a physical. (Ryan Dunleavy)
  • Giants RB Saquon Barkley plans to speak with Beckham on Friday and will have a better idea of the receiver’s plans. (Connor Hughes)

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