With Brandon Meriweather unlikely to play for the rest of the preseason with a swollen knee, veteran safety Reed Doughty could be in line to get the start at safety vs. the Colts.
This is a familiar situation for Doughty, who led the secondary in starts at safety last season (11), despite never leading on the depth chart. He was also second on the team in special teams tackles, trailing only ace Lorenzo Alexander.
"My versatility is definitely an asset to the team," Doughty said. "I've played just about every position on special teams. I've played just about every position on the back end on defense and different safety positions."
In 2011, Doughty appeared in all 16 games and registered 88 tackles, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. He has recorded at least 88 tackles over the last three seasons.
Now in his seventh season, Doughty is the longest-tenured defender on the roster and the third-longest tenured Redskin.
Over his career in Washington, he has totaled 357 tackles (245 solo), 88 special teams stops, 3.5 sacks, and six takeaways in 76 regular season games, with 36 starts.
"I know what I bring to the team: accountability," he said. "You can rely on me to do a lot of different things on special teams and within the defense."
At this point, coaches trust Doughty in whatever role he is called upon to fill.
"We know what we're going to get with Reed," defensive coordinator Jim Haslet said. "He's going to give you everything he has every snap. Whatever you ask him to do, he's going to do it to a T."
During training camp and preseason action, Doughty has been challenged by newcomers Brandon Meriweather, Madieu Williams, Tanard Jackson and Jordan Bernstein. But Doughty is no stranger to competition.
"I know that I'm a guy, that if I don't take a single rep in practice, I can go in the game and produce," Doughty said. "I just go out there and work hard every day and leave that decision up to the coaches."
Doughty says his experience and comfort level in the Redskins' 3-4 defensive scheme is something for coaches to consider when compiling the final 53-man roster.
"I'm very comfortable with the defense at this point," Doughty said. "I know the ins and outs of it. I'm able to make quick decisions out on the field to put us in the best defensive position possible."
Although Doughty is likely to start on defense vs. the Colts on Saturday, he refuses to take anything for granted. This is just another opportunity to show his value as a defender and a leader in the locker room.
"I always put my best foot forward and I'll help anybody who needs help," Doughty said. "I'll answer any questions that the younger guys have.
"In the end, the right player for the team is going to make the team. I'll let the coaches make that decisions and I'll continue to do my best."