Washington Football Team places key safety Deshazor Everett on IR with torn pectoral

ASHBURN, Va. -- The Washington Football Team placed safety Deshazor Everett on injured reserve, robbing the defense of a player who had helped solidify the secondary. Everett suffered a torn pectoral muscle in Sunday's 23-15 win over the San Francisco 49ers.

It comes at an inopportune time as Washington (6-7) hosts Seattle (9-4) on Sunday. Washington has allowed a league-worst seven pass plays for 50 yards or longer this season; Seahawks receiver D.K. Metcalf is second in the NFL with three such receptions.

Washington's defense has keyed its four-game winning streak, and Everett's physical play at free safety has helped. He entered the starting line up in Week 6 after the original starter, Troy Apke, was benched. Everett wasn't a big playmaker, but he did record 31 tackles and broke up four passes in his six starts.

Washington likely will start Jeremy Reaves at free safety with Apke backing him up. Reaves started three games last season but opened 2020 on the practice squad. He was promoted the week after strong safety Landon Collins tore his Achilles tendon on Oct. 27. Kam Curl has been starting at strong safety since Collins suffered his injury.

Everett was considered a leader, both on the defense and special teams. "They feel his presence," Washington coach Ron Rivera said.

Washington also has Cole Luke in addition to Apke backing up the safety spots. The biggest injury questions for Washington remain the status of quarterback Alex Smith (strained right calf) and running back Antonio Gibson (turf toe). Neither practiced for a second consecutive day.

Rivera said he's "very hopeful" that Gibson will return at some point this season. But just in case, they signed veteran running back Lamar Miller off Chicago's practice squad on Wednesday. Rivera has said he's comfortable starting Smith even if he doesn't practice during the week.