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Jay Gruden cancels practice to aid 'banged-up' team

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As the season enters its final weeks, the good coaches and bad coaches are often separated by more than just a game plan.

There is an inherent understanding of what players need this time of year, and as Washington head coach Jay Gruden wisely theorized Wednesday, that was a day off. Kind of.

Gruden cancelled practice on Wednesday, opting for a light walkthrough and game plan session ahead of Sunday's game against the Bears.

"We're a little banged up here, obviously, and I thought it was important for our staff to get a good plan together and the players to get an extra day of rest," Gruden said via CSN Mid Atlantic. "Come back tomorrow with a plan in place and get a good day of practice."

It's unfathomable how sore and tired these players are once December hits, and if you're not going to be Bill Parcells, who would use this as an opportunity to have a full-padded practice with high speed tackling drills, it's better to be the guy who is willing to lighten the load a little bit.

With Washington, it seems like their problems are not a product of something practice can fix. The team is talented enough to win a bad division but needs to start playing like a team good enough to win the division.

The next two weeks will be a primer for an end-of-season stretch that sees them play both the Cowboys and Eagles on the road to finish 2015. Ideally, Gruden has his best players healthy but also in a position to still do some damage in the NFC East.

Will his practice strategy pay off?

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