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Perry Riley Jr. Returns To The Field


After missing the first day of training camp, linebacker Perry Riley Jr. made his return to the field off the PUP list.

Prior to Friday's afternoon practice, the Redskins announced that they activated inside linebacker Perry Riley Jr. from the Active/Physically Unable to Perform list.

Riley Jr. missed the final five weeks of the regular season with a broken right foot that he suffered in practice in early December. The diagnosis at the time was that he would miss the next 3-6 weeks, but a setback in the offseason forced him into a walking boot, causing him to miss offseason workouts and minicamp.

Head coach Jay Gruden said the team would ease Riley Jr. back into the swing of things as the week progressed. The linebacker participated in walkthroughs in the morning and looked fluid in individual and team drills during the afternoon practice session.

"We'll see how it goes," Gruden said. "We don't have an exact plan right now, we just want to make sure he's 100 percent. Then we'll let him in there and compete with Mason [Foster] and Will [Compton] and [Martrell] Spaight and all the rest of the linebackers and [Terence] Garvin and see how it goes."

Riley Jr.'s 2015 season was cut short just as he was starting to find his stride. In his final three games he recorded two interceptions to complement 43 tackles for the year. The decision to start linebacker Will Compton halfway through the season seemed to help Riley Jr.'s play in coverage, according to Gruden.

"His reactions, playing his position, his drops were good in zones, getting on the right people, hitting the right gaps, sound tackling. He was just a good, all-around solid linebacker," Gruden said. "He really didn't have any glaring weakness that I can remember. I just know that he was all over the place and very instinctive, more so when Will [Compton] was in there. I don't know if maybe Will was helping him anticipate some calls or some of the plays, or maybe it was just experience in Joe's system. During the first half of the year, maybe everybody was a little late to react. I think the second half of the season – when Perry started playing well – they were more comfortable."

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