Redskins remove linebacker Perry Riley from PUP list

RICHMOND, Va. -- Washington Redskins linebacker Perry Riley had started to play the way the team hoped last season before getting hurt. He finally has a chance to start reminding them what he can do.

The Redskins activated Riley off the physically unable to perform list Friday, clearing the way for him to resume practicing. Riley missed the last five games of 2015 with a broken bone in his right foot. He needed a second surgery in February.

Riley missed the spring practices as well as minicamp. Redskins coach Jay Gruden said they will ease him back into practice, but he can now resume competing for his old job. Mason Foster replaced him last season and continues to be the starter alongside Will Compton.

The Redskins liked how Riley played in three games next to Compton last season. Coaches have long praised Compton for his communication skills and believed he helped get Riley in the right spots. Riley’s play improved, from his reactions to his drops in zone coverage and getting to the right gaps.

“Just a good, solid all-around linebacker,” Gruden said in assessing Riley's play next to Compton. “No glaring weaknesses. Very instinctive. Maybe it was Will helping him anticipate some of the calls or plays. Maybe it was just [more] experience in Joe [Barry’s] system.”

Riley would save the Redskins $4 million in cap space if he fails to win the starting job and they cut him. But if he wins the job, Foster is an inexpensive backup at $1.1 million. Riley is entering the final year of his contract. They also have Martrell Spaight, Terence Garvin and Steven Daniels among their top inside linebackers.