Washington Redskins Face Indianapolis in Preseason Week 3: What to Watch for

Brad Gagnon@Brad_Gagnon NFL National ColumnistAugust 24, 2012

CHICAGO, IL - AUGUST 18:  Jarvis Jenkins #99 of the Washington Redskins rushes past J'Marcus Webb #73 of the Chicago Bears during a preseason game at Soldier Field on August 18, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Again, we're all going to be watching Robert Griffin III like hawks Saturday when the Washington Redskins host the Indianapolis Colts. But believe it or not, there are other very important things to keep an eye on. 

Here are four of them.


Tim Hightower's debut

Considering the state of the backfield in D.C., the 'Skins might need Hightower to step up immediately. Hightower's surgically-repaired left knee is finally feeling good enough for him to take the field Saturday, and he'll be the only back active who was on the 2011 roster. 

Alfred Morris and Tristan Davis will likely get the majority of the carries, but it'll be helpful to finally get a read on Hightower, who is the only veteran back the team has. If he can show signs of progress over the next two games, they might make him the starter. If he can't, he might get cut.


Jarvis Jenkins tries to keep gaining momentum

After somewhat of a slow start to training camp and the preseason, Jenkins was bringing heat against the Bears. It might be too late for the second-year defensive end to earn a starting role, but he'll be a very active member of the defensive line rotation. 

How active? Well, how he performs this weekend and next Wednesday will help determine how much work Jenkins gets in what will actually be his first season after he lost his rookie year due to a knee injury.


Robert Griffin on deep passes

I know I already noted that we'd be watching Griffin regardless, but I'll be interested to see if the 'Skins finally let him loose a little in his third preseason game. Griffin has yet to attempt anything deep, which is understandable, but you'd think the team would want to see him unleash at least a couple of bombs before the preseason wraps up.

Since he's not likely to play as much in the finale next week, this is Griffin's last big chance to show off his arm. If the Shanahans don't let him air it out, it might be a good indication that the offense is going to be applying a conservative approach to start RG3's career.


The secondary's attempt to bounce back

We talked this week about the unit's issues against the Bears. Now it'll be interesting to see if they've made any adjustments for this game. I don't expect a lot will have changed schematically, but the 'Skins might consider giving Richard Crawford and Kevin Barnes more opportunities early and on the outside. 

We'll see tonight if Jim Haslett is losing faith in Cedric Griffin, and we'll also get an indication of what they expect from DeAngelo Hall, who has played everywhere in the secondary this summer.


Other things to watch for

I'll also be watching guard Chris Chester as he returns from injury, youngster Aldrick Robinson as he looks to build on a huge Week 2 performance, and Tyler Polumbus as he looks to prove that he can manage as a starter at right tackle.

Check back Saturday for a complete wrap on the game.