Redskins head coach Jay Gruden on Saturday said second-year cornerback Bashaud Breeland will miss 4-6 weeks after injuring his knee during Friday's training camp practice.*
Washington Redskins cornerback Bashaud Breeland will miss 4-6 weeks after spraining his MCL during Friday's practice, head coach Jay Gruden confirmed on Saturday.
Gruden said the diagnosis was the "best-case scenario" after fearing for the worst Friday, when Breeland's knee gave out as he tried to quickly cut and change directions during a 1-on-1 drill against the wide receivers.
Breeland had to be carted off the field to undergo testing at the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center in Richmond, Va.
"While he was withering in pain there, we thought it was pretty bad," Gruden told reporters on Saturday. "[A] similar thing happened to him last year and he healed pretty quickly. … We'll take it day by day, see how it is."
Gruden said while Breeland recovers – the team expects him back by no sooner than Week 2 of the regular season – several players will get the opportunity to fill his role on defense. On Saturday, Gruden gave Justin Rogers, Tevin Mitchel and Kyshoen Jarrett the audition. Like Breeland's distinguished role, Mitchel played corner collegiately.
Check out these photos of Justin Rogers, who the Washington Redskins re-signed on Friday, March 13, 2015.
As for Rogers, it is a chance to prove his worth to his fourth team in five years. Rodgers has been a journeyman in the league since being drafted by the Buffalo Bills in 2011. Under these circumstances, he said players like him should always come in with a "chip on their shoulders."
"You're kind of against the odds," Rogers said this week. "I hold high expectations for myself."
Rogers has three career interceptions in the NFL, one from each of his first three seasons. In 2014, the Redskins had limited takeaways in the secondary. The team tied for 28th in the league with seven interceptions.
But, it's not just the takeaways. Cornerback David Amerson said he's working to become a more complete corner rather than key-in on specific techniques. Although Amerson has not recorded an interception since his rookie season in 2013, he has become a reliable tackler. Amerson compiled 61 total tackles, just one tackle fewer than Breeland, last season.
"When someone goes down, we have to rally around each other," Amerson said about Breeland's injury. "We really take the mentality that we want to step it up for him and push."
This core of young defensive backs is reaching out to veterans in the unit so they can "step it up." With cuts looming and a final roster to be solidified after the preseason, players are grasping at their resources – mainly veterans.
DeAngelo Hall, a 12-year veteran, said he tells his squad the same thing: "Keep working, keep fighting, and try to master this playbook as best as possible." In the defensive backs meeting room, Hall wants all of his teammates to have the opportunity to perform in the league.
Understandably, there are limited spots on the roster, and in training camp everyone may "ball out," Hall said. But the Virginia Tech product strives to help players be competitive in general, whether it is in the Redskins' system or elsewhere.
"We're just trying to get these guys ready to play in the league," Hall said. "It's such an honor to be a part of the NFL, man."