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DeAngelo Hall Making Presence Felt After Year-Long Absence

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After tearing his ACL in Week 3 of last season, Hall endured a long rehab process that culminated with his return to the field last week in Seattle.

In a Week 3 win over the New York Giants last year, veteran Redskins safety DeAngelo Hall suffered a torn ACL in the second quarter of the game and thus was ruled out for the rest of the season.

Hall was 32 years old at the time, which caused some to wonder if he would ever make it back to the field. After all, he had already suffered two major Achilles injuries in 2015 and the ACL tear represented another long rehab process.

Hall, however, thought othewise. 

"I didn't think I was done," Hall said on ESPN 980's Cooley and Kevin this week.

After the Achilles injury in 2014, Hall noted, his mental outlook was not quite as confident. "I kind of approached that one as if that was the one that was like, 'Man, I don't know if I can come back from this,'" he said.

However, after he was able to get back to the field and win a starting spot at corner the very next season, that seemed to give him confidence heading into the ACL rehab process this past year.

"With ACL's I kind of knew a little bit about them and I knew a lot of guys who had them, I should say, and I knew how successful they were [after] coming back. So, it was no hesitation in my mind that I had a chance to come back and play if I wanted to," Hall said.

To cap off the rehab process, Hall made his return to the playing field in Sunday's win in Seattle, playing in all 83 of the Redskins' defensive snaps. The veteran safety notched five combined tackles and two passes defended.

Cornerback Josh Norman and head coach Jay Gruden both spoke highly of Hall's play on Sunday, but as someone who holds himself to a high standard, he came away disappointed that he was not able to haul in an interception or two.

"I was so anxious to be out there, things were moving a little bit fast at first," Hall said. "Definitely now that I look back on the game, having played in it, I'm like, 'God, I left two picks on the table.' As a guy who loves to get the ball, you always think about that."

Despite the missed opportunities to get a turnover, Hall's presence was still heavily felt in Seattle, playing as a key cog in the Redskins' secondary and even getting some time as a return man. He didn't get much of a chance to shine as a returner, totaling seven yards on his two returns, but coaches turned to him in Jamison Crowder's absence because they could trust him to handle the ball. Between his short appearance as a punt returner and his savvy play in coverage, the Redskins were happy to have Hall back on the field in a key tilt against the Seahawks.

Check out the top images from the Washington Redskins' defense in their 2017 Week 9 matchup against the Seattle Seahawks November 5th, 2017, at CenturyLink Field.

"I was super impressed. You know, that guy, heck, what can you say about him?" Norman said this week. "He comes in there like he picked up where he left off and he even got a little better with it."

Gruden, who said that Hall's performance didn't come as a surprise to him, expressed the work ethic and dedication that the safety used throughout the rehab process.

"I wouldn't say I was surprised. I was glad to see it," Gruden said this week. "A lot of veterans could have taken time off in OTAs and not come in and when he wasn't able to participate in training camp, maybe sat out some, but he was participating in all of them. He was like a coach out there." Hall and the Redskins now look towards the 6-2 Minnesota Vikings, who come to FedExField with a talented duo of wide receivers in Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen. Both of the wideouts rank in the top 12 of the NFL in receiving yards per game. 

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