Oshiomogho Atogwe: ‘I hope I’ll play’

While the Redskins’ offense will have five new parts this Sunday at Carolina, the defense hopes its entire first-team unit is in tact. Safety Oshiomogho Atogwe is hopeful his sore knee will be healthy enough to play.

“We’re going to give it a shot. It’s feeling good,” he said. “We’re working towards it. I hope I’ll play.”

Atogwe likely will be a gametime decision for the Redskins. He says this is the first time his knee has caused him any problems and his mobility was improved Friday.

“It’s just something that we’re watching,” he said. “It’s healing. . . . It’s day to day. It’s getting better.”

If Atogwe can’t go, the Redskins will have Reed Doughty and rookie DeJon Gomes ready to step in. Doughty replaced LaRon Landry earlier this season when the strong safety was hurt, but he says he’s just as capable of playing free safety. Throughout his six seasons in Washington, Doughty has been called upon to play both positions.

“It may be a bit different mentality, but I feel like I have equal experience at it,” Doughty said. “I think the media puts more into than it is. It’s not like one’s deep, one’s short. Really, in our defense, we just do a lot of different variables. In each defense, you have different responsibilities [at free safety] than the strong. It’s not that it’s so much different that I’m always the deep guy or always the short guy. That’s not the case.”

Coach Mike Shanahan wouldn’t say that Doughty would definitely be Atogwe’s replacement and says he feels comfortable with both options.

“We always talk about being one play away from being the starter,” Shanahan said. “It’s always nice to have a guy like Reed and D.J., who are familiar with the system. Obviously, Reed’s been there and D.J.’s gotten better with the reps.”

Rick Maese is a sports features writer for The Washington Post.

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