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Barnes Steps In At Safety

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It appears Kevin Barnes could finish the season at safety.

Barnes, a 6-1, 190-pound cornerback, played safety in last week's game vs. Dallas when Reed Doughty was sidelined with a concussion.

By all accounts, Barnes played well.

"I was surprised at the way Kevin stepped in and did a nice job," defensive coordinator Jim Haslett said. "He did a nice job tackling – he had five tackles – and he did a good job covering."

Asked if Barnes would get a chance at cornerback in the last two games, Haslett responded: "I don't know if we'll have that opportunity. Right now we need some safeties. He'll work there right now."

Barnes said he had a handful of reps at safety in practice this season.

He said he played safety in high school and also periodically at Maryland, so it wasn't a difficult adjustment.

"It's all about being able to play. I took a lot of pride this offseason in learning the defense – safety as well as corner," he said. "So I felt pretty comfortable out there."

Even though cornerback is his natural position?

"Playing safety did feel natural," he replied. "It's playing football. Playing corner, you like to see the ball. Playing safety back there, you get to see the whole field. You get to see everything."

Barnes, in his second NFL season, has played in eight games this season. He has posted nine tackles.

This week, Doughty remains sidelined with a concussion and Kareem Moore has missed practice time due to a knee injury.

So Barnes could see significant action at safety this Sunday in Jacksonville, along with Macho Harris who signed with the Redskins on Nov. 24 and has had limited action so far.

Harris is also a natural cornerback playing safety in the pros.

Asked about evaluating Barnes and Harris at safety, Haslett replied: You're coaching them on every play, basically.

"You're coaching them on every play," Haslett said. "These are our fifth and sixth safeties this season, based on injuries. That's the way it is in the NFL."

For depth at safety, the Redskins could call up practice squad safety Sha'Reff Rashad to the active roster. The team does not have to make that decision until Saturday, however.

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