DeAngelo Hall returned to the Redskins on Sunday, playing for the first time since suffering a sprained toe during the Redskins Week 3 loss to the Giants. He was a starting cornerback at the time of his injury but while he was out, Will Blackmon, who signed with the team shortly after the start of the season, established himself as a solid option at corner. And with Chris Culliver healthy and Bashaud Breeland playing well, there weren’t many cornerback snaps available for Hall.
The solution was to give Hall some reps at safety. A move of Hall, who will turn 32 later this week, to safety has been long discussed but he has rarely taken snaps in the last line of defense. That changed on Sunday.
“He’s been fine,” said Gruden. “He’s had that toe, so you know, we started to pull out our crystal ball with the way Breeland’s [CB Bashaud Breeland] been playing. Once we got [Chris] Culliver back, we had the corners there. We wanted to find a spot for D-Hall because he’s a big leader for this football team and a heck of a player, so we put him out there — as he’s recovering — at safety on scout team and he did some good things. It’s a transition that I think he can make. How much of it moving forward, we’ll determine that later.”
The Redskins have had a perpetual need at the safety position. Hall playing safety might be a trial and not necessarily something the team is committed to going forward. But he is under contact for two more seasons and it wouldn’t be surprising if Hall’s future is in the middle of the field and not on the edges.