Will the Redskins need to make a move at cornerback?
Starter DeAngelo Hall is out for at least three to four weeks and possibly longer, according to coach Jay Gruden. He suffered a grade-two partial tear of a toe on his right foot. That was the preliminary diagnosis. The “possibly longer” part will come into play when Hall visits a specialist to determine if surgery will be needed to repair the injury. If surgery is necessary, “longer” could become the entire season.
Hall’s status leaves the Redskins with just three fully healthy cornerbacks on the roster. Chris Culliver is the starter on one side. It seems likely that Bashaud Breeland will start opposite Culliver. Will Blackmon filled in as the slot corner when Hall went out on Thursday night.
Justin Rogers also could play the slot but he has been inactive the last two games with plantar fasciitis. Gruden said that he is “day to day” so we will find out more about his status as the week goes on.
It remains to be seen if the Redskins will try to get by with just four cornerbacks if Hall is out for a month or so. They might be able to because safety Kyshoen Jarrett can play in the slot as he did during the Rams game when Rogers was out and Culliver was serving a one-game suspension.
There are some options on the practice squad if they do want to add a corner to the 53. Undrafted rookie DeShazor Everett made the initial 53-man roster but he was subsequently cut before Week 1. Quinton Dunbar came to camp as a wide receiver, converted to cornerback when the team needed help there, and remained a defensive back. Dashaun Phillips spent 2014 in the Cowboys’ training camp and the Jets’ practice squad.
In any case, what was a shaky situation at cornerback will deteriorate further for as long as Hall is out.
The other question here is whether or not the Redskins should have moved on from Hall during the offseason. Hall missed the last 13 games of last year with a torn Achilles and he will turn 32 shortly after the bye week. He carries a salary cap number of $4.8 million, the seventh highest hit on the team. Injuries happen but perhaps Hall is at the stage of his career where they are more likely to happen to him.
His cap number climbs north of $5 million in 2016. If Hall does not return this year it is legitimate to ask if we have seen the last of him in a Redskins uniform.