The Washington Redskins traveled to Baltimore Thursday as the team opened their 2017 preseason against the Ravens. While the team ultimately dropped the game 23-3, the real story was the injuries they sustained.Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins was ineffective in the two series he played in going three and out both times as the Ravens stacked the box against him and dared him to throw the ball.

Injury Issues

Injuries are never justification for losing games as the National Football League has become the land of the 'next-man up' theory in which you're great until you're hurt, then you're replaced.

With that thought in mind, the Washington Redskins looked like a collection of individuals who haven't learned how to play as a team yet on Thursday night in Baltimore. The Ravens, on the other hand, were prepared for battle. Two things that can openly determine success in a preseason game, the ability to run plays just as you practiced them, and the luck to stay healthy in the process. Washington failed at both in their first time out of the gate this year.

The Redskins suffered two significant injuries as linebacker/edge rusher Trent Murphy and safety Su'a Cravens both strained their knees, both will need MRI visits with the doctor on Friday to determine just how hurt they are.

Murphy left the stadium with a cast on his leg and using crutches. Left tackle Trent Williams also left the game early along with linebacker Zach Vigil, but there is nothing to report on that end as of yet.

The Redskins came into the game with ten players currently inactive including tight end Jordan Reed, receivers Jamison Crowder, Josh Doctson, and defensive stud Preston Smith among others.

The team made a valiant effort to play through their injuries but in the end were just not strong enough to contain Baltimore or stop their defensive push. The Ravens front seven had their way with the Redskins offensive line at times as the franchise struggled to get anything going.

Redskins fans were left once again wondering if Spencer Long is the guy they want anchoring that offensive line for years to come.

His ability to cover the center of action has come into question before, his moving audition didn't come off as perfect on Thursday night after Raven's defender Brent Urban pushed him around and came up with several big plays in the backfield. It's just preseason game one, so we'll save the criticism, for now.

Bumpy start

No team has ever started their year off by going undefeated in preseason and then matched that success for an entire year. Meaning everyone is just plain going to lose games, it's the nature of the business. The Redskins are not going to go undefeated, yet they're not a horrible football team either. Judging how good the team is or what they might look like the entire season after the first practice game is literally a waste of time.

Let's just leave it at they didn't get the job done, and hope for improvement against Green Bay.

While the Redskins got off to a bumpy start Thursday night, some of the issues they displayed are more than fixable. While I'll wait to break-down the game-film until the starters play longer than two series, it's also plain to see they need to work on getting tougher in the trenches, which was a spot most Redskins fans were unsure of heading into the season. That part of the defense has been re-tooled and honestly hasn't taken full shape yet with some doubt still there on who will start.

The Washington Redskins will play host to the Green Bay Packers at FedEx Field Saturday night at 7:30 PM.