Redskins notes: Rambo must make plays

ASHBURN, Va. -- Rookie safety Bacarri Rambo didn’t play a snap from scrimmage on defense after starting the first two games. The Redskins opted for three corners and one safety in their base package because they wanted to play a lot of man coverage and wanted Brandon Meriweather instead of Rambo playing the deep middle.

But Rambo also has to start making plays if he wants to stay in the lineup. He did participate on special teams Sunday.

“When he gets his opportunities he has to take advantage of it,” coach Mike Shanahan said. “We’re not here to keep his spirits up. When he does play special teams, whatever role you’re in, you better play 100 percent and make some plays. If he doesn’t play anything on defense, he better play well on special teams. And if you don’t play well on special teams and you’re not a starter, you won’t be dressing. Everyone has a role and it changes during the season.”

In other news:

  • Leonard Hankerson started over Josh Morgan at the Z receiver position because he had a better game against Green Bay. Neither one did much versus Detroit; Hankerson caught three passes for 21 yards while Morgan caught two for 19.The storyline with Morgan this summer was whether or not he had regained some explosiveness after his 2011 ankle surgery.“He’s much better than he was a year ago, there’s no question about it. But there’s still competition,” Shanahan said. “People are fighting for playing time and you have two guys that are close and each game dictates how much he’ll play the following week.”

  • Morgan replaced Chris Thompson for the final two kickoff returns. It didn’t make much of a difference as Morgan averaged 21.5 yards compared to Thompson’s 22.5.“I wanted to give him a chance,” Shanahan said. “He’s a bigger body.”

  • Nothing new on the injuries to tight ends Fred Davis (ankle) and Jordan Reed (quad). Shanahan said of Reed that he's not sure how long it will take him to recover.

  • Kicker Kai Forbath said his groin injury has lasted a lot longer than he originally expected, but he’s hopeful that he’ll return for Sunday’s game at Oakland. “I thought it would be a couple days and it would be better,” Forbath said. “It’s frustrating but we’re making progress.”Forbath said he didn’t kick at all last week, wanting to make sure he didn’t aggravate it and delay his return.

    “It’s real close,” Forbath said.

  • Shanahan said he thinks Brandon Meriweather’s $42,000 fine for hitting Green Bay’s Eddie Lacy will be rescinded. “That was a legal hit,” Shanahan said. “But I think what they’ll try to do is emphasize even coming in on that angle from now on will not be allowed. That will be a new rule that will be implemented as time goes on.”

  • Cornerback Richard Crawford, who tore his left ACL in the preseason, said his injury was not as bad as doctors originally feared. He suffered a partial tear of his LCL, but did not need it reconstructed. He said the recovery time is around eight months.