Washington Redskins head coach Jay Gruden confirmed on Friday that No. 1 cornerback Chris Culliver will be placed on the season-ending IR list with a torn right ACL and MCL.*
Chris Culliver's frustrating first season with the Washington Redskins has come to an end.
Head coach Jay Gruden announced on Friday that Culliver – the team's top free agent signee this past offseason – will be placed on the season-ending Injured Reserve list after the cornerback tore his right ACL and MCL during Thursday's practice.
"He's a good player for us, obviously. You hate to lose good players," Gruden said. "Unforutnately, it happened. It was just a fluke deal – he just went up for a ball and landed on it and it tore."
Friday's news puts a finale on an injury-plagued season for Culliver, who had already missed three games this season after dealing with pain and weakness in his left knee. Culliver had missed the entire 2013 season with a torn left ACL, although an MRI performed on that knee this season showed no structural damage.
Culliver was also dealing with a shoulder injury this week that required an MRI and was going to lead to a second opinion before he could be cleared play in Sunday's game against the New York Giants at FedExField.
The Redskins are expected to move second-year Clemson product Bashaud Breeland into the No. 1 cornerback spot, while nine-year veteran Will Blackmon – who had been playing the nickel corner spot in recent weeks – will likely take over the No. 2 cornerback position.
Rookie safety Kyshoen Jarrett could now also get some more reps at the nickel cornerback position, as well.
Rookies Deshazor Everett – who is questionable for Sunday's game with a hamstring injury – and Quinton Dunbar could also see added reps at cornerback, while veteran DeAngelo Hall, who has been working out at safety, is also always an option at the position.
"[Defensive backs] Coach [Perry] Fewell, he's been schooling these other guys up, and that's what pro football's all about," Gruden said. "You hear all the time, 'Next man up,' and that's the way it is. You know, we're very sad for Chris – we're going to miss Chris quite a bit. But other guys are going to have to step up and play. We don't have any other choice."
Blackmon said the Redskins have done a good job this season training up their depth at the cornerback position.
"You know, that's the most important part, is you have faith that the veterans are going to be professionals and do their job, but it's really important that you've trained your depth that when their number is called, they're ready to go," he said.
For Everett, who has performed well on special teams for the Redskins, the opportunity to get more reps on defense will be huge for his development.
"Even though I've only got a couple snaps on defense, once you experience it, you learn things and you're out there practicing every day and you're taking tips from the older guys," he said Friday. "You pretty much get an understanding of things, and the more you grasp, the more opportunities you get to go out there, the better you become. So when I get out there, I'll make the most of my opportunity."