Washington Redskins’ cornerback Phillip Buchanon has yet to receive word whether he’ll make his season debut on Sunday, but if given the nod, the 10th-year veteran believes that he can help his team against the Philadelphia Eagles.
“If my number is called, and I’m suited up, I’ll be ready to play,” said Buchanon, who was suspended for the first four games of the season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.
Buchanon -- who last season served primarily as Washington’s third cornerback, recording 49 tackles and two interceptions – was activated by the Redskins last week. Wednesday marks his third practice with the team. Coach Mike Shanahan said last week that Buchanon “can help us right away,” but so far, Buchanon hasn’t received any indication whether he will play against the Philadelphia Eagles Sunday.
Buchanon said he has worked to ensure he remained in game-ready shape, but conceded that there’s nothing like game action. At the same time, he said he wouldn’t lobby for playing time if he wasn’t ready to take the field.
“I’m a person and a player that I take pride in playing football and I want to do the best,” he said. “I don’t want to embarrass myself or my teammates or my coaches, so I’m ready to play whenever the coaches are ready for me to play.”
With Buchanon out, third-year pro Kevin Barnes has held down the nickel corner spot, lining up against the opposing team’s slot receiver. Although Buchanon has received work at both the inside and outside positions and says he feels comfortable at either, Barnes said as far as he knows, nothing about his role has changed.
“I’m still the nickel. Still the nickel,” Barnes said. “You’re better off asking coach, but right now, it’s as is and I’m sure we’ll find a way to get Phil in there whenever and I’m sure he’ll produce.”
Barnes, who has recorded eight tackles, one pass deflection and an interception, added that he feels like he deserves to keep his job, however.
“I did what the coaches asked me to do and made some plays here and there, and pretty much staked my claim that I should be playing,” he said.
Fellow corner Josh Wilson, who starts opposite DeAngelo Hall, said whenever coaches decide to put Buchanon on the field, it will help the Redskins’ secondary. He joked that he hopes Buchanon stops offering his coaching expertise whenever he does get on the field.
“I’m about tired of hearing him talking and ready for him to get out here and do something,” Wilson said with a laugh. “He’s out there talking about plays, how you can jump something, make a play on this, make a play on that. I’m like, ‘I feel you, I feel you.’”
Wilson then expressed appreciation about having Buchanon in the mix.
“That’s a great player,” he said, “and any time you get great players back off of whatever, it makes your team better.”