ASHBURN, Virginia -- As one key member of the Washington Redskins’ defense, lineman Jonathan Allen, hobbled into the facility on crutches, two others were on the field providing more hopeful news. Cornerbacks Bashaud Breeland and Josh Norman were, at the least, going through part of practice.
It’s still too early to say what that means for Monday’s game against the Eagles, but just being on the field was a positive step for both players. Norman fractured his rib in an Oct. 2 game at Kansas City and couldn’t play last week. Breeland sprained his left MCL in Sunday’s win over San Francisco.
Allen was placed on injured reserve earlier in the day after undergoing surgery to repair a Lisfranc injury in his left foot. There’s a chance he’ll be able to return after being on IR for the mandatory eight weeks.
Meanwhile, both Norman and Breeland were limited in practice in preparation for Monday’s game at Philadelphia. Each participated during individual drills, but Norman did not take part in one-on-one work against the receivers or the full-team sessions.
Breeland took one rep in the one-on-one work, going against receiver Jamison Crowder. As Breeland ran inside with Crowder, secondary coach Torrian Gray noticed he was in the drill and told him to “chill on these.” So Breeland stopped, went to the sideline and took a knee.
“He looked good,” Redskins coach Jay Gruden said of Breeland’s work.
Breeland wore a compression sleeve on his left knee. The Redskins have long considered him a fast healer; two years ago he was supposed to miss at least a month with a sprained MCL in training camp but returned more than a week early. However, he still missed time. And while he wasn’t running full speed, Breeland did move OK in individual work.
Norman planted and drove off his left leg well in individual workouts. But it was his most extensive work since first hurting his rib. He wore a small protective pad around his midsection; Norman said he’d have to wear a larger pad during a game. He typically does not wear any padding underneath his jersey.
“If you talk to the trainers, they’ll be cautious about stuff,” Norman said. “I’m still optimistic. ... I’m out there working. That’s a step forward. Who knows if that’s going to progress into something else. It’s the first time I did work in pretty much three weeks. It’s progression. I don’t know how I’ll feel when I wake up in the morning, if I’ll be sore or not. But right now, I feel all right.”
Norman said he felt fine -- for the most part -- when he worked. But there were moments.
“On some movements I could feel it, some movements I didn’t,” Norman said. “It’s pain tolerance, obviously. That has a lot to do with it, how you turn and torque your body. I know how I play, so I’m trying to be cautious in that area because I go get it and sometimes you have to pull that back. When I step on the field, that never happens.”
If these two corners can’t go, then the Redskins would start Quinton Dunbar and rookie Fabian Moreau against the Eagles. Norman said Breeland’s availability won’t factor into his decision whether to play.
Norman said he just wants to return to have fun. After Kendall Fuller sealed last week’s win with an interception, Norman was among the players running down the sideline to celebrate with him.
“I just want to bring some of what I have out there with them,” Norman said. “I see them and they’re making plays and it’s exciting. It’s so contagious. I want to bring a little bit of what I have to the front as well. Not being able to sucks. ... But we have guys that can play. I won’t be as [upset] if I don’t come out as I would be if guys couldn’t hold that job down.”
Redskins left tackle Trent Williams did not practice, working off to the side with trainers. He did not practice before the win over San Francisco either, but did play. Others who were limited Thursday: running back Rob Kelley (ankle), tackle Ty Nsekhe (core muscle injury), safety Deshazor Everett (hamstring), linebacker Ryan Anderson (back), safety Stefan McClure (knee) and offensive lineman Tyler Catalina (concussion).