Veteran defensive back DeAngelo Hall confirmed he didn't tear his calf on Saturday, but he'll continue to rehab this week in hopes that he'll be ready to go for the team's Wild Card round game.
As his teammates jumped around the locker room, celebrating their NFC East-clinching victory over the Philadelphia Eagles late Saturday night into the next morning, Washington Redskins defensive back DeAngelo Hall sat stoically at his locker.
It wasn't for a lack of emotion for what had just transpired minutes earlier.
No, Hall had feared he had torn his calf muscle.
"I came out the game I guess one series before the last series the Eagles had. I initially thought it was a cramp," Hall said. "If anybody has ever had a cramp, normally when you get a cramp it keeps contracting and kind of lock up. It didn't keep locking up so it had me thinking, 'Did I really tear my calf? This [stuff] is unreal, this can't be happening.'"
Hall said all kinds of thoughts ran through his head, but mainly, "I kind of was so worried about my calf and, 'Gosh, am I going to be able to keep fighting in this journey with my guys or what?'"
After a bus ride back to Philadelphia International Airport, Hall could barely walk onto the team plane.
A few days later, Hall says he's feeling better, relieved to hear he did not, indeed, tear his calf. But his status for Sunday's regular season finale against the Dallas Cowboys is not yet known. With a playoff spot clinched, any healthy postseason reps take precedence over risking it in Week 17.
Hall did not participate in Wednesday's practice, but was upgraded to limited status on Thursday.
"Just been rehabbing," Hall said. "I went from barely being able to walk when I got on the plane to I'm walking around fine, light jogging. I don't know if I'll play. I don't know if they'll hold me out just for precautionary reasons or what. It's getting better, it's feeling better. I'm getting treatment, been in treatment every day since the game ended for hours at a time. Just trying to get back so I can help my team win."
Hall certainly helped the team win on Saturday night, scooping up a fumble return for touchdown in the third quarter.
The 12-year veteran became the first player in NFL history to score five touchdowns off of fumble recoveries and five touchdowns from interceptions in a career.
Hall also tied Jessie Tuggle for second-most fumble returns for touchdowns in NFL history (five).
"It's a pretty amazing feat," Hall said. "You know, just looking back at it, it's hard to believe nobody's ever done it. It's just, I mean, it's special. It's obviously something that I'm going to cherish but, you know, it wasn't anything I set out to do. It wasn't goal that I said, 'Let me return as many as these fumbles...' It's just, I try to be around the ball and I try to get the ball as much as I can and I always feel like when I have the ball in my hands I have a chance to do something with it. I mean, it just speaks to just — I guess — time. You know with time you tend to do some things that you never set out to do. I mean, it's been a blessing. Hopefully, I can rack up a couple more."
Fewell has bright future
During this past offseason, the Redskins made it a priority to bring in veteran coaches.
On the offensive side, quarterbacks coach Matt Cavanaugh and offensive line coach Bill Callahan were added to the coaching staff while defensive coordinator Joe Barry and defensive backs coach Perry Fewell brought in a different flair for the defense.
Fewell was most recently the defensive coordinator for the New York Giants and has prior head coaching experience – in an interim role – with the Buffalo Bills before that.
Hall believes Fewell, who has guided a vastly improved secondary this season, will soon be a head coach in the NFL again.
"He's going to be a head coach in this league sooner than later," Hall said. "I think he's going to be a hell of a head coach because he's such a motivator. He's such a guy that understands X's and O's and understands how to put guys in the right position to make plays. He's done it with us. He's taken a guy in Quinton Dunbar, who, hell, I know Quinton Dunbar's college coach who had him as a freshman at corner and thought that Dunbar didn't stand a chance and talks to me about, 'Man, what are you guys doing? Like how is he transitioning?' I'm like, man, it's just our coach, our scheme. I mean, he can definitely play in this league and he can play for a long time. You know, it's little things like that."
The Redskins won't know their Wild Card Round matchup until the final whistle of Sunday night's Green Bay Packers-Minnesota Vikings game, but Hall said regardless, he doesn't have a preference in facing either NFC North team, or the Seattle Seahawks, for that matter.
"I understand that we can face any of those guys," Hall said. "And, I mean, at some point, you're going to have to play whoever you've got to play. No, I mean, it doesn't matter to me one way or the other. I think a lot of people want Seattle because they're thinking payback and this and that, but that's a different Seattle team and we're a different Washington team. You know, it doesn't matter. I'm just thankful and happy that we get the first one at home. You know, that's all I'm worried about."