Phillip Buchanon ready if called upon

Washington Redskins cornerback Phillip Buchanon said that he is available to play in this weekend’s game at Charlotte, but didn’t yet know if he would get the nod or not after spending his first matchup back from a four-game suspension on the inactive list.

Buchanon is part of a crowded secondary that features starting corners DeAngelo Hall and Josh Wilson and third-year pro Kevin Barnes, who has served as nickel back.

Defensive coordinator Jim Haslett said last week that Buchanon still had some catching up to do in learning all the responsibilities of the nickel back, who covers the slot receiver. And Buchanon last week was listed as limited with a neck injury on Washington’s injury report following every practice.

Buchanon said he didn’t feel limited in any way, however.

“I was never limited. I don’t understand why they put limited. I was doing everything,” the 10-year veteran said. “I’m still practicing, so I’ll just be ready when my number is called.”

Coach Mike Shanahan said later in the day that Buchanon was listed as limited because coaches chose not to give him a full load of practice reps because of the neck injury, not because he was limited in his physical capabilities.

Buchanon said that although his experience as a nickel back is limited, he believes that he is capable of doing fine at that position thanks to his knowledge of the game and study habits.

“I consider myself a student of the game, so picking up the defense won’t be a problem for me,” Buchanon said. “But learning something new, as far as the nickel stuff, I’m learning that, but it’s football.”

Mike Jones covers the Washington Redskins for The Washington Post. When not writing about a Redskins development of some kind – which is rare – he can be found screaming and cheering at one of his kids’ softball, baseball, soccer or basketball games.

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