LB Will Compton to start, but Redskins won't make change at center

ASHBURN, Va. – The Washington Redskins are healthy for a change. And they’re also making changes at two positions, but not at center.

As expected, and reported throughout the week, the Redskins will start Will Compton at inside linebacker and Jeron Johnson is expected to start at strong safety against New Orleans on Sunday. Compton confirmed the news after practice Friday. Johnson, meanwhile, is anxious to play more after being used sparingly until this past Sunday when he played a season-high 45 snaps. He would replace Trenton Robinson.

“It’s just a good opportunity to do what I planned on doing from the jump,” Johnson said. “I can’t lie and say I wasn’t frustrated. I just had to stay patient and do whatever else I could to help the team win.”

It appears Compton could be taking the place of Keenan Robinson inside, alongside Perry Riley, Jr. The Redskins have long liked the way Riley attacks the line of scrimmage, something they feel Compton does as well.

“He has a great understanding of the defense and when he does play, he plays with violence,” Redskins coach Jay Gruden said. “He steps up in the hole and is a very physical linebacker and athletic enough to cover in space. He’s done everything that’s been asked of him and he’s done it well.”

Josh LeRibeus will start at center, ahead of newly-signed Brian de la Puente.

“The big thing is getting used to the calls and get back to playing shape,” Gruden said. “We’re happy with the way Josh is playing. We just need another true center if something were to happen with him.”

Meanwhile, the Redskins have three players listed as questionable for Sunday’s game: corner DeAngelo Hall (toe), receiver Andre Roberts (ankle) and Robinson (shoulder/neck). Hall said Thursday that he was going to play and it was still uncertain if Robinson would be available.

The players listed as probable: LeRibeus (elbow/shoulder), running back Chris Thompson (back), defensive end Jason Hatcher (knee), corner Chris Culliver (knee), safety Dashon Goldson (hamstring/wrist), corner Bashaud Breeland (hamstring), linebacker Ryan Kerrigan (hand) and nose tackle Terrance Knighton (headaches).