Redskins' Josh Norman on benching: 'Got to play the cards you're dealt'

ASHBURN, Va. -- Washington Redskins corner Josh Norman remains confident in his abilities -- even if the team that once made him the highest paid corner doesn't want him on the field.

The Redskins were forced to play him Sunday after two corners were injured during the game. Norman was in coverage on the Philadelphia Eagles' winning touchdown pass in a 37-27 win Sunday. Norman played just six snaps, but it was the most he has played from scrimmage since he was benched after Week 11.

However, when asked after the game if he still believes he's an elite corner, Norman -- talking about his situation for the first time since his benching -- didn't hesitate.

"I don't believe anything," Norman said. "I am. When you are something you don't believe it, you go out and do it. Sucks that I can't prove it right now, but formalities and situations, you've got to play the cards you're dealt. That's what it is. I was dealt a hand right now, and I've got to play it."

Norman said he has resisted talking about his situation because he wanted to "take the high road."

"I don't think I've spoken in a long time just because I want to be prepared and everything, but I've been built up strong," he said. "This has made me stronger. I will rise again for it, because that's who I am."

Norman has one year remaining on the five-year, $75 million deal he signed in 2016. The contract made him the NFL's highest-paid corner. But the Redskins haven't received the high level of play they hoped for from Norman. He has not been voted to the Pro Bowl since signing with Washington. He made the Pro Bowl in 2015 with Carolina.

Norman has stayed upbeat.

"I'm blessed, man. I truly am," he said. "Even in this situation, it may not look that way. Trust me. It ain't no gray skies when I look out. Only thing is sunny. I'm looking forward to the time when we do touch that blade of grass again, and I'm going to do it in a big way. But like I said, I've been blessed. If I don't play another snap, another down, that's what it is."

Norman said his focus has been on helping his teammates.

"I'm a guy who, when I shake your hand, when I signed, that's what it is," he said. "I'm going to do whatever they ask. I'm not going to buck the system. I know I could, but I choose not to because it's grace."

Interim coach Bill Callahan has said they wanted to play the younger players. Sunday, they used second-year Danny Johnson, who was just activated this week, ahead of Norman. They also used Aaron Colvin, an early-season pickup who played five snaps before Sunday.

"We're not going to the playoffs. Everyone knows that," Norman said, "so whatever [the coaches are] doing, they're doing. There's nothing I can do. I know it's God's grace to be in this situation, and I'm truly humbled by it. I really am. I think you've got to hold your head high no matter what the situation."

The Redskins would save $12.5 million in cap space if they cut Norman after the season. There's a chance they'll not only have a new coach, but possibly new decision makers in the front office.

"I'm still under contract for a year, so we'll see what happens," he said. "Someone higher deals the cards, I just have to play the hand. I don't deal those cards."

As for the final play, Norman was covering receiver Greg Ward on a crosser. Safety Montae Nicholson, aligned on the opposite side, started to rush the passer but then stopped and retreated as if he was supposed to have stayed in coverage.

"You saw what happened," Norman said. "I don't think there's nothing to follow up on. I'm not going to put nobody under the bus. That's what we don't do. So, what you see is what you get, and I'm going to leave it at that."