- Dan Graziano, ESPN Staff Writer
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Had the Washington Redskins signed Brandon Meriweather for the sole purpose of playing a lights-out first half in their Week 11 game and leading them to a convincing victory over the Philadelphia Eagles, then you could absolutely call that a first-rate signing. Problem is, the Redskins signed Meriweather to play strong safety hoping for more than that. And at least as far a 2012 is concerned, they will not get it.
The Redskins announced Monday that Meriweather has a torn ACL in his right knee and will miss the remainder of the season. Meriweather left Sunday's game in the second half with the injury. He was playing in his first game of the season after missing the first nine with an assortment of left knee issues, including one that surfaced after he'd been cleared to play in Week 4 but re-injured the knee in a collision with teammate Aldrick Robinson in pregame warmups that day.
Add in the fact that Meriweather was signed to replace LaRon Landry, whom the Redskins cut loose because he couldn't keep himself healthy, and this whole thing really splashes right down into the middle of you-can't-make-this-stuff-up territory. From Redskins.com:
When Meriweather finally got on the field for the Redskins on Sunday, you could tell something was different. A unit that ranked 30th in the NFL in pass defense coming into the Eagles game looked like a completely different bunch.
"He was a boost for us," linebacker and captain Lorenzo Alexander said after the game. "He's a guy that loves to fly around, is real physical and has a ball of energy. He was real fresh today, and you could see that. That's a guy that you want to have out there because he plays with a lot of passion and makes a lot of big plays for us. That's somebody we definitely need, and I think he really helped our defense get off to that great start today."
He did indeed. Mike Shanahan envisioned Meriweather as a player he could use in run support and in blitz packages, and Meriweather's all-around playmaking ability was indeed on display while he was on the field Sunday against the Eagles. Now, they'll go back to Reed Doughty at starting safety and try and figure out some other way to improve a pass defense that so far this season has ranked among the worst in the league.