ASHBURN, Va. -- Chase Minnifield looked like it was just another day at Redskins Park for him, concealing any sort of joy over the news. The Washington Redskins corner had been told earlier in the day that he would be signed off the practice squad. His reaction? Well, there wasn't much.
The Redskins had a roster spot to fill after placing Stephen Bowen on injured reserve and cutting cornerback Jerome Murphy earlier in the week. For Minnifield, it represents the latest step in a journey that went awry before the 2012 NFL Draft. Minnifield needed microfracture surgery several months before the draft, taking him from a potential third-round pick to going undrafted. He then tore his ACL nearly two months after the draft and spent 2012 on injured reserve.
"I just needed to get football speed underneath my belt and practice every day," Minnifield said. "It's been a good situation for me."
Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said Minnifield earned the promotion based on his approach.
"The way he practices, the way he handles himself," Shanahan said. "He can play corner or he can play inside in a nickel situation. We just like the way he's developed. We'll see how it goes; hopefully we stay healthy."
Minnifield impressed the coaches with his toughness this summer, and showed the ability to play press man coverage. But he was not as strong in off man or zone coverage, and he had to learn to play special teams.
"I'm still learning," Minnifield said. "My whole life I've been a returner or kicker or punter. I'm still learning the blocking and reading and things like that. I'll get better at it if I see it full speed. Still a work in progress. [But] as a practice squad [player], you have to play all the special teams and give everybody a look. I've been doing that the whole season."