Last season the Washington Redskins had major missing pieces on the defense, which in returned caused for one of the worst Redskins defenses in history. In fact, the Redskins luckily escaped being the worst defense the NFL has ever season.
Most of that was due to injuries to the defensive line, but the secondary also had some major issues themselves. Starters Brandon Meriweather and Tanard Jackson were both lost for just about all of the season (Meriweather was able to play one game, while Jackson was suspended the entire season). This year, things are a little bit different, but easily could be just as bad if Brandon Meriweather is unable to play due to his everlasting knee injury.
Much like all of last season, if Meriweather is unable to play, cornerbacks will again have to play in between both their natural positions, but also Safety in order to not be beat deep, such as they were against the New York Giants with minutes remaining thanks to an error by Madieu Williams (who I might add is no longer with the team).
The issues however with Brandon Meriweather is the lack of depth. While Phillip Thomas might have had trouble starting this season, there’s no doubt he would have been able to overcome Reed Doughty’s position as he (Thomas) brings much more to the game. Mike Mayock called Thomas “the best ball-hawking safety in the draft.” Reed Doughty, who is dependable, by no means is a ball hawk nor has ever brought that to the table at anytime during his career.
That alone is the main reason why the defense might be held in the hands of Brandon Meriweather, who if is unable to return this season or at least play during the majority of the season, could cause major issues for the team.
Mike Shanahan in fact doesn’t know when we’ll see him this season. He already said he won’t play on Saturday against the Bills, but he is hoping he can play next week against the Buccaneers. As far as week one is concerned:
“I didn’t say I was that confident. I said we’re just going to test it out. I said I would like to get him to go in the Tampa game, I just felt that it’s a little early right now, watching him in practice. I think he’s close, but he’s not there yet. He might be ready for the first game, he might not. He might be ready vs. Tampa. I just don’t know at this time. I don’t want to put him out there unless practice looks a little bit different to me than I first saw it today.”
Brandon Meriweather went from shining in training camp and being ready, to having to slow him down because they felt he was doing too much. Now, it’s another story, that Brandon Meriweather again might not be ready for week one.
Unfortunately, the Redskins have no other choice but to hope he can be out there, unless the NFL is kind enough to reinstate Tanard Jackson, who during last season’s preseason looked great with the Redskins.
Meriweather played in one game during 2012, coming against the Philadelphia Eagles. He immediately had an impact with 7 combined tackles (three solo), four assist and one interception. There’s no denying the Redskins need him on the field, the question is how far off are they without him?