Coaches again decided to start rookie DeJon Gomes, but early in the game brought Atogwe off the bench, and the eighth-year veteran played the bulk of the game. Turning in one of his best outings of the season, Atogwe made six tackles, broke up two passes and recorded his second interception of the season.
“I started to feel more and more like the guy I’m used to,” said Atogwe, who in the last six years had established himself as a ball-hawking safety and racked up 22 interceptions and 16 forced fumbles, but while hobbled had struggled to play at that level this season. “I felt healthy, I felt great to be able to move around comfortably. All in all, it was a great day. I felt well.”
Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett had declared Gomes the starter alongside Reed Doughty for the remainder of the season, but Atogwe ended up playing more than double the snaps of the rookie.
Atogwe’s performance against New York could land him back in the starting lineup, but he said that’s not his primary concern.
“I’m not too worried about that,” Atogwe said. “Whatever reps I get and whatever opportunities I get, I’m going to make the most out of them. Whether it’s one rep or 44 reps, it’s on his call, and I just have to be ready. … Whenever I get the opportunity to play, I feel like it’s my job and responsibility to make the best of it.”