With the fourth preseason game coming only four days after the third, the Redskins coaching staff followed through with benching the starters for the fourth game and letting the reserves play.
[Note: None of the players on the 75-man roster are designated inactive during the preseason, so all players are technically available tonight.]
Fellow rookie quarterback Kirk Cousins will get the start tonight in place of Robert Griffin III or veteran Rex Grossman. After playing the entire second half vs. the Bears, Grossman got the nod against the Colts and went eight-for-eight with two touchdowns. Newly-re-signed quarterback Jonathan Crompton could see playing time in reserve.
Starting at running back tonight, Evan Royster returns from a knee injury that sidelined him last week. Royster is in contention for the opening day nod, but will need to beat out Alfred Morris's 100-yard game last week.
Blocking for Royster in the starting unit is fullback Dorson Boyce, who earns his first start in place of Darrel Young. Young is healthy and expected to return vs. the Saints. With Cooley no longer on the roster, Boyce will have an opportunity in the offense and special teams.
Leonard Hankerson makes his fourth start of the preseason in place of top receiver Santana Moss. On the other side, veteran receiver Anthony Armstrong gets his first start of the preseason in place of Pierre Garcon.
Niles Paul moves into the first reserve spot at tight end, and gets his first start of the season in place of Fred Davis.
Along the offensive line, Tyler Polumbus gets another start at right tackle in place of Jammal Brown (hip), and rookie offensive guard Josh LeRibeus gets his first start in place of Kory Lichtensteiger.
Also along the line, Erik Cook starts at center, Adam Gettis gets his third start at right guard, and Willie Smith gets his first start of the season at right tackle in place of Tyler Polumbus.
The defensive line tonight will be comprised of defensive ends Kedric Golston and Darrion Scott, joined by nose tackle Marlon Favorite. Favorite was a late addition to the roster this preseason, and recovered a fumble vs. the Colts that was overturned last week.
At linebacker, the Redskins will start Rob Jackson for the second-consecutive week, and Chris Wilson in place of Ryan Kerrigan. At inside linebacker, Lorenzo Alexander starts in place of London Fletcher, joined by rookie Keenan Robinson.
In the secondary, cornerbacks Richard Crawford and David Jones man the corners, and safeties DeJon Gomes and Reed Doughty get the nod at free and strong, respectively.
Sav Rocca will handle the punting duties with long snapper Nick Sundberg, while kicker Billy Cundiff makes his Redskins debut. .