The Washington Redskins had wanted to promote receiver Maurice Harris from the practice squad for a few weeks. But, with injuries elsewhere, they couldn’t add him to the active roster. However, with injured players returning, they had their chance.
Washington promoted Harris to the 53-man roster, along with defensive lineman Brandon Banks. Defensive lineman Arthur Jones, signed the week of the Nov. 5 Seattle game, will be placed on injured reserve. Rookie guard Tyler Catalina was released.
Banks’ promotion gives the Redskins five healthy defensive linemen, so his was a necessary move. Matt Ioannidis remains out with a broken hand. At 6-foot-3 and 267 pounds, Banks would primarily be a nickel pass-rusher. He was originally signed as an undrafted free agent in May.
Like Banks, Harris was placed on the practice squad before the season. Harris missed substantial time in camp to injury, preventing him from building on a solid finish in 2016. Had he been more of a factor on special teams, he might have made the initial 53-man roster, but he’s limited to being a backup punt returner.
Still, the Redskins didn’t want to see him get signed elsewhere and had made it known they’d sign him if that became a possibility. However, the Redskins needed to carry multiple extra offensive linemen -- 12 at one point -- because of injuries to four-fifths of the starters and a key backup. They were down to 11 linemen as of Friday, and there’s a chance at least three starters will return Sunday.
Also, receiver Brian Quick remained in the concussion protocol as of Friday. Starting receiver Jamison Crowder missed last week with a hamstring injury, but said Thursday he would play. Still, if he’s limited or re-injures his hamstring, the Redskins would be down to three healthy wideouts.
Harris, who caught eight passes for 86 yards in 10 games on the active roster last season, is considered to have among the best hands on the team. At 6-foot-3 and 200 pounds, he also offers size, although the Redskins needed that size more a year ago than they do now with Terrelle Pryor and Josh Doctson. But Harris also gives them someone who can run routes from all three spots.