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.
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