The Washington Redskins gave plenty of indication it would happen -- and Stephen Bowen certainly looked like a guy who knew he would be playing soon. Saturday, the Redskins made it official: Bowen was placed on the 53-man roster.
It represents another step in a long journey back from microfracture surgery on his right knee last season. Considering his age (30) and position (defensive end), Bowen and the Redskins knew it would be a tough, but not impossible, trip back.
“It’s been a hard road back,” he said Friday. “I finally feel healthy and I’m ready to get out there and have fun.”
The Redskins then placed linebacker Akeem Jordan on injured reserve. Jordan had been bothered by a bad knee for a while and was a non-factor this season. The Redskins hoped he would provide depth at inside linebacker and help on special teams. But he did little thanks to his injury.
In the offseason, Washington tried to improve its depth here by signing Jordan and Darryl Sharpton. Both got hurt and were eventually placed on
injured reserve, with Sharpton later being released with an injury settlement.
As for Bowen, he gives Washington more depth up front, something it could use. Plus, if he’s healthy and playing to his previous level, then Bowen and Jason Hatcher could provide more push inside in nickel packages. At least that’s what the Redskins hope.
But even before his knee issues last year, Bowen’s pass-rush ability was not the same. Three years ago, when he had 6.5 sacks, he and outside linebacker Brian Orakpo worked well on stunts. Orakpo and Hatcher have had little impact next to one another -- at least not the impact Washington has needed.
If nothing else, though, for now Bowen gives Washington an experienced player capable of 10-15 snaps.