The knee injury Brandon Meriweather suffered in the Washington Redskins’ second preseason game creates an opportunity for fellow safety Tanard Jackson to make a push for increased playing time immediately nd perhaps a starting job entering the regular season.
Jackson said Wednesday he hopes to take advantage of his chance.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for me,” Jackson said. “With this team we believe the next man needs to come in and play like the starter. That’s what’s expected of me. I expect it of myself. I’m just anxious for the opportunity.”
Meriweather hurt his left knee during Saturday’s loss at Chicago. Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan said this week the injury is not serious but he does not expect Meriweather to play in the final two preseason games.
The Redskins signed veteran safeties Meriweather, Jackson and Madieu Williams as free agents during the offseason. Meriweather and Williams have been working with the starting defense since the outset of training camp.
Jackson, a former starter for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers who signed with the Redskins in April after being released by the Buccaneers, got a slow start in camp. He was coming off shoulder surgery and then was sidelined early in camp by a strained calf muscle. But he said he’s healthy now and has familiarized himself with the defensive scheme.
“That’s what it is right now,” Jackson said. “Obviously Brandon is out. So I’ll fill in there…. That will be a good chance for me to play with some of the guys that I’m not used to playing with.”