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Thursday, December 6, 2012
Can Redskins' secondary hold it together?

By Dan Graziano

The defensive backfield has not been a team strength for most of this season, and the problem the Washington Redskins' secondary faces at this point is a potential lack of bodies. With cornerback Cedric Griffin suspended for the rest of the regular season and cornerback DeAngelo Hall getting around on crutches this week due to an ankle injury, a unit that's been able to rely on week-to-week scheme changes to overcome personnel deficiencies is facing more daunting challenges all the time. Per Mark Maske:
Hall resumed practicing Thursday, participating on a limited basis. He vows to play Sunday, saying there’s no way he will miss the game. But with Griffin out as the third cornerback behind starters Hall and Josh Wilson, the Redskins likely will have to rely on young cornerbacks Richard Crawford and D.J. Johnson when the Ravens use formations with three or four wide receivers.

"We're excited to get those young guys out there, get them on the field, see what they can do," Hall said. "No stage and no time like the present. They're stepping into some bright lights. Hopefully they're up for the challenge and we'll keep getting them prepared out here in practice and in the film room so that they're ready to go."

The Redskins are ranked 31st among the 32 NFL teams in pass defense, but there has been improvement lately.

Indeed there has. As Mark points out, the only quarterback to pass for 300 yards against the Redskins in their past five games was Tony Romo, who was chucking it like crazy on Thanksgiving to try and make up a 28-3 halftime deficit. They have been able to find ways to limit the damage done by guys like Eli Manning and Cam Newton in spite of all the problems they've had personnel-wise, and with four games left in the season and a chance to reach the playoffs, their assignment to continue doing so is not going to get any easier.