Rookie cornerback Chase Minnifield didn’t have too bad a day at minicamp Tuesday, picking off a Rex Grossman pass and converting it into a nice return. Minnifield almost had a second interception as he broke up a pass from Robert Griffin III that was intended for Santana Moss in the end zone.
The University of Virginia product is coming off an impressive two-year run as a starter for the Cavaliers. He compiled eight interceptions over those final two seasons and was projected in some mock drafts as a third- or fourth-round pick, before a knee injury forced him to miss the Chick-fil-A-Bowl.
Now as he nears 100% physically, Minnifield is happy to be back playing football.
“I’m feeling pretty good out here,” Minnifield said after Tuesday’s practice. “I just thank God for giving me health; if I’m healthy I’m all right.”
Minnifield has been rehabbing his knee through much of the spring, which has allowed him to focus on the nuances of defensive coordinator Jim Haslett’s playbook.
“I had a lot of time to read the playbook, go over the playbook while they were giving me time to let my knee heal as much as possible,” Minnifield said.
Minnifield is one of eight cornerbacks the Redskins have at this week’s minicamp, as they try to build depth at every position. Minnifield said he isn’t worried about that now and is confident he can be successful.
Haslett praised Minnifield Wednesday, saying “he’s got ball skills, he’s got football intelligence and awareness.”
Haslett said that the Redskins had Minnifield rated as a high draft pick, but like other teams, shied away from him after he ran a slow 40-yard-dash time at the NFL Combine before his knee was completely healed.
“He should’ve never ran the 40,” Haslett said. “We were happy to be able to get him as an undrafted rookie.”
Defensive backs coach Raheem Morris said he was “ecstatic” that Minnifield fell into the Redskins’ lap.
Haslett said the Redskins plan to carry five cornerbacks and Minnifield certainly has a chance to be included among them.