With both of their starting safeties out for the season the Redskins are forced to do some scrambling.
Free safety DeAngelo Hall went on injured reserve with a torn ACL last week. Yesterday strong safety David Bruton was put on IR with a concussion. Although neither player was playing particularly well, losing two starters for the season forces a team to scramble. The Redskins now have five safeties on their roster. How will the sort out on the depth chart?
Will Blackmon took Hall’s starting spot at free safety. He played fairly well against the Browns last Sunday but he is still learning the position after 10 years as an NFL cornerback.
The starting strong safety is Duke Ihenacho, at least for now. He was inactive the first two games, played some against the Giants and then he stepped in after Bruton went out.
Ihenacho earned the starting job last year before a wrist injury ended his season just eight snaps into the opener. It seems likely that he will start on Sunday against the Ravens and it will be up to him to hold on to the job.
Pushing Ihenacho soon could be newly acquired Donte Whitner. He has 10 years at the position under his belt. He has been the starter at strong safety for three teams and he has been durable.
Since 2010 Whitner has started 93 of a possible 96 games. Whitner was a Pro Bowl selection three straight years from 2012-2014.
Yesterday he said that football is football and that he would take the playbook back to the hotel to study up on terminology. Whitner could get some snaps this week but he is more of a threat to Ihenacho’s job security as the weeks go on.
For a while the Redskins were debating whether they should sign Whitner or Josh Evans. They decided to put Bruton on IR and sign both.
Evans is 25 and he started 36 games in Jacksonville. It’s kind of puzzling why the Jaguars decided to let him go on September 2 when the league is short of competent players at the position. Perhaps he will fit better into a role as a part-time performer on defense and as a contributor on special teams.
But the way things are going at safety for the Redskins, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him start at some point this season.
Deshazor Everett is the fifth safety on the team. He has yet to play a defensive snap this year and the signing of two safeties indicates that the Redskins might want to keep it that way. He is a good special teams contributor and that will keep him around while he learns how to play defense.
One other thing that should be noted here is that Bruton isn’t necessarily done for the season. The team can choose to activate any player who went on injured reserved after the formation of the 53-man roster after that player has been out for eight weeks.
Right now center Kory Lichtensteiger and Bruton seem to be the main candidates to be activated if their respective rehabs go well.
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