With focus set on extending its win streak to four, the Washington Football Team travels to Las Vegas to take on the Raiders in a game that could have important postseason implications. Here are three players who could have pivotal roles in the Week 13 matchup.
Antonio Gibson put up eye-popping stats in a dominant performance against the Seahawks on Monday night, leading the team in rushing yards (29 carries, 111 yards) as well as receptions (7). Those 36 touches were a career-high. And make no mistake -- this productive outing wasn't out of the ordinary. In the last three weeks, Gibson ranks fourth in the league in carries (72) and sixth in yards (270). Those are headache-inducing numbers for Raiders defense looking ahead to this weekend.
But, as teammate Terry McLaurin pointed out this week, there's more than meets the eye to those numbers. McLaurin noted that one thing that's stood out to him about Gibson's play is his yards after contact. Gibson's ability to dig his feet in to fight for every yard grinds down defenses over time.
Logan Thomas was activated off Injured Reserve and saw action for the first time since Week 4 against the Atlanta Falcons. Like offensive teammate Curtis Samuel, he was kept on a strict snap count, but he play well with three catches or 31 yards on six targets.
When healthy, Thomas is viewed as one of the top tight ends in the league by position coach Pete Hoener. He acts as a security blanket for Taylor Heinicke, and he was a friendly red zone target during the training camp. It's likely that as he gets closer to his former self, Washington will continue to rely on him.
And considering that running back J.D. McKissic, one of Washington's best offensive weapons, has been ruled out of the Week 13 game, having Thomas back on the field is a welcome sight.
Washington's kicking situation this season has been, to put it mildly, a story with a lot of twists and turns. That dramatic tale witnessed the addition of yet another chapter on Monday when kicker Joey Slye went down with a hamstring injury.
With confirmation that the knock will sideline Slye for a handful of weeks, Washington has been forced to pick up its fourth kicker of the season. Brian Johnson, who grew up in Bethesda and went to Virginia Tech, is the next man up. Johnson was signed by Washington off Chicago's practice squad earlier in the week. It's the second time this season Johnson has been picked up as an emergency kicker. He spent time in New Orleans earlier in the year when Cody Parkey went down with injury.
Johnson, a rookie, will take the field for the fifth NFL game of his career when he suits up in Vegas this weekend.