Meriweather uncertain for Redskins' opener

Josh Wilson will make his preseason debut. Brandon Meriweather, meanwhile, will continue to wait – and the Washington Redskins aren’t sure how long that wait will take.

Meriweather did not participate in the full-team portion of practice; he’s been limited to scout-team duty for the past two weeks. He’s out for Saturday’s game against Buffalo.

And with less than three weeks before the season opener, Meriweather’s availability is in question. Coach Mike Shanahan would not profess confidence that Meriweather would be ready by then, and said he didn’t know if he’d return for the preseason finale at Tampa Bay on Aug. 29.

“We’ll just test it out,” Shanahan said. “He’s close, but he’s not there yet. He might be ready for the first game, he might not. He might be ready against Tampa. I just don’t know at this time. I wouldn’t put him out there unless practice looks a little different.”

Shanahan said they’re not just being cautious with Meriweather, whose 2012 season ended with a torn right ACL.

“If I felt like he would be ready, he’d be in a game situation,” Shanahan said, “and practicing full speed. I just don’t feel like he’s quite there yet. I like the strides he’s made.”

The Redskins have struggled at safety this summer, with Meriweather and Reed Doughty limited as they recover from injuries. Rookie free safety Bacarri Rambo has missed several open-field tackles. Doughty will play in the opener and likely would start if Meriweather misses the game.

Wilson, coming back from offseason shoulder surgery, will start Saturday and play 15-20 snaps, along with the rest of the starters. Rookie David Amerson has worked in place of Wilson, who is coming off a tough season and took a pay cut in the offseason.

Quarterback Kirk Cousins is a long shot to play and nose tackle Barry Cofield won’t play. Cousins hasn’t practiced this week after spraining his right foot; Cofield fractured his right hand against Pittsburgh. Linebacker Brian Orakpo has been full-go in practice after suffering a thigh bruise last week.