It was a day of firsts for Kevin Barnes.
On Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Redskins' second-year cornerback made his first NFL start – at safety.
He also recorded his first NFL interception.
It turned out to be the key play in the Redskins' 20-17 overtime win over the Jaguars at EverBank Field.
Barnes' pick came early in overtime with the game tied at 17-17. The Jaguars started the drive at their own 11-yard line.
On 3rd-and-4, defensive end Vonnie Holliday got strong push on the edge and linebacker Chris Wilson blitzed into the backfield to pressure Jaguars quarterback David Garrard.
Garrard targeted tight end Marcedes Lewis, who was in one-on-one coverage with Barnes across the middle.
Garrrad's arm was hit as he threw to Lewis and the pass was short. Barnes was there for an easy interception.
"I was man to man on Marcedes Lewis," Barnes said. "He ran a drag route, and I undercut it. The quarterback didn't see me and I made a play."
Barnes returned the ball to the Jaguars' 14-yard line. Two plays later, Graham Gano nailed a 31-yard field goal to seal the victory.
Barnes, who finished with three tackles, was one of several young defenders to play significant roles in the Jaguars game.
Macho Harris, a second-year player who joined the Redskins in November, also started the game at safety and Jeremy Jarmon and Rob Jackson also saw substantial playing time up front.
Barnes may not be a natural fit at safety – he is listed at 6-1 and 190 pounds – but he welcomes the chance to start.
"Even out of position, to start is a great opportunity," he said.
The introduction of young players into the lineup had an unexpected benefit, Barnes added.
"I think it brought us closer together as a team," he said. "The older vets were there supporting us. We made a few mistakes out there, but we could come to the sidelines and correct what we could correct. Otherwise, the coaches were letting us play."
It's uncertain if Barnes and Harris will start at safety in the Redskins' season finale vs. New York next Sunday.
Starters Reed Doughty and Kareem Moore could be back by then. Doughty is recovering from a concussion and Moore has a knee injury.