Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan told the media on Monday that safety Brandon Meriweather tore his ACL in Sunday's 31-6 victory over the Eagles, ending his season on injured reserve.
"Brandon Meriweather, ACL tear on the right knee," he read off the injury report. "That will be about a six-month recovery, and he'll have the operation in the next two weeks."
After recovering from a lingering injury in his left knee, Meriweather returned to the gridiron for the first time yesterday, starting at strong safety.
Meriweather played into the third quarter, tallying seven tackles, two passes defensed, and an interception with a 25-yard return.
"He played great; you can't ask a guy to play any better than he played," Shanahan said Monday. "Thirty-seven plays, the tackles, pass breakups, the interception--he's just a football player.
"He adds a lot to our football team."
Meriweather fell awkwardly after cutting hard in the third quarter, and was attended to by the Redskins training staff.
He walked off the field under his own power and was initially diagnosed with a knee sprain. Meriweather told Shanahan after the game that he felt fine and was ready to go for Dallas.
"He talked to me after the game and said 'Don't worry about me coach, I'm ready to go. It's just a little sprain and I could have gone in there and finished the game,'" Shanahan told the media. "Obviously with the score the way it was, we weren't going to take a chance and put him back in."
After weathering a minor knee injury in the preseason, Meriweather suffered a major setback in Week 4 against Tampa Bay, before sustaining a major injury on Sunday.
Meriweather delivered the news to Shanahan on Monday, expressing disappointment and frustration.
"He's obviously shocked, disappointed. He loves football," Shanahan said. "He's got energy out there, and that's obviously one of the reasons we brought him in.
"Unfortunately, it's the first time he's ever been hurt. It's just a couple of freak injury situations. Everyone once in a while, these things do happen. Hopefully he can take care of that and be back next year ready to go."
The Redskins again turn to safeties DeJon Gomes and Reed Doughty to fill in for Meriweather. Doughty started six-of-nine games in his absence this season, but Gomes took the lion's share of the snaps to finish yesterday's game.
"I thought DJ [Gomes] came in and played well after Brandon went down," Shanahan said. "He came in and had a nice hit in there.
"I'm expecting these guys to come in and take [Meriweather's] spot."