2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Redskins' Meriweather, like RG3, aiming for Week 1

By JOSEPH WHITE - AP Sports Writer
    2013-08-27 15:45

ASHBURN, Va. (AP) - During lunchtime Tuesday in the Washington Redskins locker room, a computer tablet lay on the floor, plugged into a nearby socket to get charged. It bore the team's logo and the No. 31, the jersey that belongs to safety Brandon Meriweather.

How appropriate. It's time to charge up Meriweather and get him out the field, time to see if he is truly the missing piece in the Redskins secondary.

``I'm just happy,'' Meriweather said as he walked off the practice field, ``to still be relevant.''

Robert Griffin III doesn't have a monopoly on major knee surgery rehab. Meriweather is returning from a torn right ACL, an injury that cut short a frustrating 2012 in which he played a little more than half of one game - and still made quite an impact.

To recap: Meriweather's only action came in the Week 11 win over the Philadelphia Eagles. In just 41 plays on defense, he had one interception, broke up two passes and made seven tackles before his knee buckled while pursuing a running play early in the third quarter.

``The guy was all over the field making plays,'' linebacker Brian Orakpo said.

The Redskins went on to win the NFC East, but they ranked 30th against the pass for the season. They surely need a better effort this year from the back end of the defense if they're to repeat as champs, and much of that hope hinges on Meriweather. If his knee isn't ready, the starting tandem on opening day will likely be promising-but-raw sixth-round draft pick Bacarri Rambo and veteran backup Reed Doughty, who has gamely filled in many times over the years but is more valuable on special teams.

Orakpo said when Meriweather's presence creates a chain reaction throughout the defense, allowing those up front to play more aggressively.

``It makes me a lot more confident in what I'm doing,'' Orakpo said. ``Because I know he's going to be back there to make plays.''

Meriweather was a two-time Pro Bowl safety with the New England Patriots, but he's been jinxed from the moment he joined the Redskins last year. He sprained two ligaments in his left knee in a preseason game, reinjured the knee during practice just before the regular season opener, then reinjured it again when he collided with teammate Aldrick Robinson during pregame warm-ups in Week 4.

When the left knee finally healed enough for him to play, he wowed the Redskins for half-a-game - then hurt the right knee.

The right knee was still sore throughout much of this year's training camp, causing Meriweather to sit out practices. He was kept out of the first three preseason games. Coaches figure he's finally ready to play in Thursday's preseason finale against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, when nearly all of the other projected Week 1 starters will be getting the night off.

``He's going to be a little rusty, obviously,'' defensive coordinator Jim Haslett said. ``He hasn't played in a while, but I thought he's had good practices here the last week and a half. It looks like he's running full-speed and everything looks smooth. We'll see when the tackling comes and the hard stuff.''

Coincidentally, it was in Tampa where Meriweather collided with Robinson in the end zone last year.

``Actually, I'm not allowed to go out in Tampa and warm up,'' said Meriweather, with a laugh.

Meriweather deals from comparisons with Griffin, who had ACL surgery later than Meriweather but has made a remarkably quick recovery. Griffin didn't miss a single practice during training camp - unusual for a player coming off an ACL injury - and appears on pace to start in the Week 1 opener.

The Redskins hope they can soon say the same about Meriweather.

``He wanted to play for the last three weeks, but we felt he wasn't ready just watching him,'' Haslett said. ``He was still dragging his leg a couple of weeks ago, and he's worked his way out of that.''

Note: The Redskins made their final roster moves to get the roster to 75. They cut T Jeremy Trueblood, waived LB Roddrick Muckelroy and CB Ryan Mouton with injured designations, and waived OL Jacolby Ashworth with an injury settlement. Also, DE Adam Carriker was moved from the active physically unable to perform list to the reserve PUP list.

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

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Follow Joseph White on Twitter: http://twitter.com/JGWhiteAP

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Julius ThomasNov 27 07:52p

Denver Broncos TE Julius Thomas (ankle) was limited during practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Anthony DavisNov 27 07:23p

The San Francisco 49ers have declared OT Anthony Davis, WR Bruce Ellington, DL Glenn Dorsey, QB Josh X. Johnson, WR Quinton Patton, CB Tramaine Brock, TE Vance McDonald inactive for Week 13.

Arian FosterNov 27 07:12p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) was limited during practice Wednesday, Nov. 27.

Allen BradfordNov 27 07:12p

The Seattle Seahawks have declared LB Allen Bradford, TE Cooper Helfet, CB Jeremy Lane, LB Kevin Pierre-Louis, C Max Unger, TE Rashaun Allen, DL Travian Robertson inactive for Week 13.

Jordan CameronNov 27 06:32p

Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron (concussion) was limited during practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Latavius MurrayNov 27 04:52p

Oakland Raiders RB Latavius Murray (concussion) was limited during practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Larry FitzgeraldNov 27 04:02p

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee) did not participate in practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Tony HillsNov 27 03:22p

The Dallas Cowboys have declared LB Dekoda Watson, OG Donald Hawkins, QB Dustin Vaughan, FS Jeff Heath, DL Joshua Brent, OT Tony Hills, CB Tyler Patmon inactive for Week 13.

Taylor HartNov 27 03:12p

The Philadelphia Eagles have declared OT Dennis Kelly, DB Jaylen Watkins, WR Jeff Maehl, OG Julian Vandervelde, QB Nick Foles, CB Rashad Carmichael, DE Taylor Hart inactive for Week 13.

Jordan ReedNov 27 03:02p

Washington Redskins TE Jordan Reed (hamstring) was limited in practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Dwayne AllenNov 27 02:32p

Indianapolis Colts TE Dwayne Allen (ankle) did not participate in practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Kyle FullerNov 27 11:32a

Chicago Bears CB Kyle Fuller (knee) will play in the team's Week 13 game against the Detroit Lions. Fuller had been questionable during the week.

Lance BriggsNov 27 11:22a

The Chicago Bears have declared WR Chris X. Williams, LB Darryl Sharpton, OT Eben Britton, DL Jeremiah Ratliff, LB Lance Briggs, CB Terrance Mitchell, DL Trevor Scott inactive for Week Week 13.

Reggie BushNov 27 11:12a

The Detroit Lions have declared QB Kellen Moore, OG Larry Warford, DE Larry Webster, DL Nick Fairley, RB Reggie Bush, OT Riley Reiff, WR Ryan Broyles inactive for Week 13.

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Jimmy StatenNov 26 09:43p

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Marcus ThigpenNov 26 09:03p

The Buffalo Bills claimed WR Marcus Thigpen off waivers from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Wednesday, Nov. 26. The team also waived DE Bryan Johnson.

Richard GordonNov 26 09:03p

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Larry FitzgeraldNov 26 08:33p

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Dwayne AllenNov 26 07:33p

Indianapolis Colts TE Dwayne Allen (ankle) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

C. PattersonNov 26 06:23p

Minnesota Vikings WR Cordarrelle Patterson (knee) did not practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Jerick McKinnonNov 26 06:13p

Minnesota Vikings RB Jerick McKinnon (back) did not practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Brandon LaFellNov 26 06:03p

New England Patriots WR Brandon LaFell (shoulder) was limited during practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Jace AmaroNov 26 05:13p

New York Jets TE Jace Amaro (head) is not expected to play in Week 13, because he is going through the concussion protocol.

Reggie BushNov 26 04:53p

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Jordan CameronNov 26 04:43p

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