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DeAngelo Hall says he's close to returning to the Redskins' lineup

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DeAngelo Hall says he's close to returning to the Redskins' lineup

DeAngelo Hall has missed the last four games with a sprained toe, but the veteran cornerback said on Monday that he expects to return soon.

How soon? Well, that depends on how the toe responds to an increased workload this week.

“It’s definitely on the table—for myself and a lot of other guys in this locker room that’s been banged up,” Hall said, asked if he hopes to suit up against Tom Brady and the Patriots on Sunday. “We’ll keep working throughout the week.”

“[Tuesday] we actually have a day off, but I’ll probably be working harder [Tuesday] than I did [Monday],” he added. “It’s really just about trying to keep the progress going. See how it responds the day after, just make sure it’s not too painful or hurting too bad. …I’m off the week-by-week thing now. Now, it’s just kinda day-by-day.”

It’s been a rough couple of years for Hall, who turns 32 later this month. He missed all but three games last season with a torn Achilles’ tendon that he ended up re-injuring at home. Then against Giants in Week 3, Hall suffered a Grade 2 plantar plate rupture in his right foot. Hall says it’s a similar injury to the one that forced tight end Logan Paulsen to have season-ending surgery. Paulsen’s injury, however, was a Grade 3 or compete tear, Hall said.

Hall, who started the first three games at left cornerback, also acknowledged that his recovery has progressed slower than he had anticipated.

“Normally when they tell me two-to-three weeks, I’m back in a week-and-half or I’m back that next week,” Hall said. “So, for somebody to tell me four-to-six weeks, and it’s been five, six weeks, that’s been tough to deal with. But we’re right in the thick of things [in the NFC East] and I couldn’t ask for a better situation to come back to.”

He added: “I wanted to be out there so bad for the Atlanta game [in Week 5], but I couldn’t move at all. No matter how hard I tried to convince myself or trick myself, it wasn’t going to happen. You want to rush yourself back. But at the same time, your body is only going to let you do what you can do.”

On Monday, Hall participated in the early portion of practice and completed some individual drills. But he was withheld from full speed, one-on-one drills vs. pass catchers, indicating there's still some concern about pushing the injury too hard, too soon. If he hopes to suit up at Foxborough, he’ll need to start and finish an entire practice on either Wednesday, Thursday or Friday. If he can’t, the focus will shift to the Saints game.   

“When you’re a defensive back, you have to use those toes to push off,” Hall said. “I really have to be able to plant on a dime. That’s what really has been holding me up as opposed to if I was a safety or played another position, I probably could have been back a week ago. But when you’re a corner, you have to go in a split-second. You can’t think about it. If you do, it’s six points.”

Hall’s impending return will provide a boost for a Redskins’ secondary that’s been besieged by injuries ever since starting strong safety Duke Ihenacho went down with a wrist injury early in the opener. Meantime, the team’s other starting cornerback, Chris Culliver, has missed the past three games with a knee injury. But he’s also nearing a return to the field. 

MORE REDSKINS: Doc Walker breaks down the Patriots' underrated defense

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New free agent Doug Martin unlikely fix to Redskins' woeful run game

New free agent Doug Martin unlikely fix to Redskins' woeful run game

News broke Tuesday that the Tampa Bay Bucaneers released former Pro Bowl running back Doug Martin, and while the name certainly triggers value, his play of the last two seasons should calm the excitement. 

Since a 2015 season where Martin rushed for 1,400 yards and averaged nearly 5 yards-per-carry in 16 games, Martin has been suspended, undergone substance abuse rehab and missed games due to injury.

In the last two seasons, Martin has played in 16 of 32 games, rushed for 827 yards and averaged less than 3 yards-per-carry.

Over his six year NFL career with the Bucs, Martin has only played two full seasons. Those two seasons were great, in 2012 and 2015, but the other four have been largely disappointing. 

RELATED: WHAT SHOULD THE REDSKINS DO AT RUNNING BACK?

The Redskins averaged just 3.6 yards-per-carry last season, and could definitely use a boost in the run game. It's entirely possible Washington might look to upgrade their offensive backfield this offseason, either in free agency or in the 2018 NFL Draft, but Martin does not look like the player to help. 

Early in the 2017 season, it appeared the Redskins run game might be a strength for the offense. After a disappointing effort on the ground to open the year in a loss to the Eagles, the Redskins rushed for at least 111 yards in their next three contests, including nearly 230 yards on the ground in a Week 2 win over the Rams. 

Injuries undid the run game, however, as Rob Kelley got hurt and the offensive line lost players, too. Over the course of the season, rookie Samaje Perine sustained minor injuries and Chris Thompson was lost for the year with a broken leg. 

Going into 2018, Kelley, Perine, Thompson and Kapri Bibbs are all on the roster and expected for now to stay with the team. That's yet another reason why the Redskins are likely to stay away from Doug Martin.

RELATED: 2018 NFL MOCK DRAFT 5.0

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Need to Know: Redskins' Junior Galette will be a valued free agent

Need to Know: Redskins' Junior Galette will be a valued free agent

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, February 20, 22 days before NFL free agency starts.

I’m out this week so I’ll be re-posting some of the best and most popular articles of the past few months. Some may have slightly dated information but the major points in the posts still stand. Thanks for reading, as always.

Galette to be a valued free agent

Originally published 12/13/17

Like the Redskins, the Broncos are no longer relevant in 2017. Both teams’ fan bases have started to look towards the coming offseason.

To give their readers what they want, the Denver Post published an article by Mike Renner of Pro Football Focus that discussed some of the top pending free agents who have done the most to increase their values in the past year. There were two Redskins named, one you would expect to see on such a list and one that might surprise some people.

Kirk Cousins is at the top of the list. “The Washington signal-caller is grading as a top-10 quarterback (82.8), and soon he’ll have the long-term contract of one,” Renner wrote. “Only this time its value will be exponentially higher than any one he would have signed back when he first became a free agent in 2016.”

But the surprising name is that of Junior Galette. After missing the last two seasons with two torn Achilles tendons, he played this year on a one-year, $800,000 deal. And while he hasn’t been on fire in the sack department with just two on the year, he has been getting pressure on the passer.

“He’s accumulated the 27th-highest pass-rushing grade of any edge defender this season, but in only 264 snaps,” wrote Renner. “At 29 years of age, it’s doubtful he ever gets back to the level of the contract that he once had on the table with New Orleans. With how he’s played this season though, some pass-rush-needy team will pay handsomely for his services.”

One team that could be considered to be pass rush needy is the Redskins. Preston Smith is the starter and supposedly one of the Redskins’ top pass rushers. But in 100 fewer pass rush snaps this year, Galette has only three fewer quarterback hits than Smith and six more hurries.

And after missing those two seasons, Galette has remained healthy. Although he was limited with a hamstring during much of the preseason, he has not missed a practice or appeared on an injury report this year.

But would the Redskins be willing to pay him “handsomely”? Perhaps a good comp would be Connor Barwin, who moved from the Eagles to the Rams this past offseason at the age of 31. He had five sacks in Philly in 2016. That got him a one-year deal worth $3.5 million.

Barwin likely will have more sacks on his ledger going into free agency so let’s say Galette could command around $3 million. Perhaps he could offer Washington a bit of a hometown discount and agree to something in the $2.75 million range. If that is the case, the Redskins would be smart to keep him around for another year.

Plenty of things could alter the equation. If Galette gets hot in the last three games and posts a few more sacks his price could rise. With Smith and Ryan Kerrigan both back next year, perhaps Galette will want to go somewhere that he might get more playing time.

The details need to be sorted out but don’t be surprised if Galette gets a lot of attention in free agency, as much as teams need pass rush, and if the Redskins have to make a very tough decision about how much he is worth.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.

Timeline  

Days until:

—NFL Combine (3/1) 9
—NFL Draft (4/26) 65
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 201