While the Washington Redskins' cornerback situation remains fluid entering this Sunday's game against the Indianapolis Colts, head coach Jay Gruden believes they have components already in place to slow down Andrew Luck and Co.
Last Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers, the Redskins had to get creative in their secondary after essentially running out of cornerbacks to due to injury the pregame placement of No. 1 corner David Amerson on the inactive list. At times, Washington trotted out as many as four safeties against San Francisco, some of whom were playing at cornerback against a talented 49ers receiver group.
This week against the Colts, Gruden said the cornerback position should be stable once again for what should be a stern test from the No. 1 offense in the league.
"I think we proved last week that we can be pretty flexible with our personnel, so we're working a lot of people in at different spots trying to get used to that," he said Thursday. "We're OK in-house. [Greg] Ducre played last week. We have [Chase] Minnifield on our roster, so we've got enough guys. We still have, obviously, [David] Amerson will be back up this week."
A look back at some of the top images in games between the Washington Redskins and Indianapolis Colts.
Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett said that after being inactive last week against the San Francisco 49ers for violating team rules, Amerson is ready to be out on the field again putting everything on the line for his team.
"Young guys like that sometimes put themselves in bad position and he did," Haslett said. "I think it was important that we did what we did. I know it hurt him that he wanted to be out there and play."
Minnifield rejoined the active roster this week after the team placed Tracy Porter on the season-ending IR list with a shoulder injury.
Minnifield, a third-year Virginia product, has appeared in six games this season with two tackles.
Ducre, meanwhile, got his first-ever defensive action last week and made his presence felt immediately when he picked off 49ers quarterback Colin Kapernick on just his third snap of the game.
"I knew they were going to do that," Ducre said of the 49ers challenging him right out of the gate. "Rookie, free agent and I'm late in the game and sitting on the bench the whole game and we're going to go at him. I had to just bring my A-game and just play the ball like Coach Raheem [Morris] and Coach Haz [Jim Haslett] taught to do and teach me to do."
The biggest question mark for the Redskins' secondary right now is the playing status of cornerback E.J. Biggers, who left last Sunday's game with a concussion.
Having not practiced yet this week, Gruden said there's some concern as to whether or not he'll play, but that he wants him to be healthy first and foremost.
"We want to make sure E.J. is obviously 100 percent," Gruden explained. "He's going to go through the proper measures and if there's any lingering side effects whatsoever, obviously safety first with these players and we'll have to make adjustments and work out some other guys inside in the Nickel."