Meriweather has spent the preseason working his way back into form after completing rehabilitation from anterior cruciate ligament repair surgery last fall. He received clearance to resume practicing when training camp began, but has yet to play in the preseason.
After two straight weeks of consecutive days of practice, and another strong practice on Monday, Meriweather stands poised to make his preseason debut and play his first football game since Week 11 of the 2012 season.
● Related: More Brandon Meriweather news
The Redskins hope that Meriweather can make an impact in their secondary. But they will not know for sure until they see him in game action.
“That’s why we’re going to play him against Tampa and find out in game situations,” Shanahan said. “We haven’t played him because we wanted to give him as much time to heal up and give him the best chance to show us what he can do. We looked at him today, he looked pretty good in practice today. We had a good practice, went for about an hour and 15 minutes, and hit it pretty hard.”
Meanwhile, Shanahan said he expects starting right cornerback Josh Wilson to play 15 to 20 plays. Wilson, who had offseason surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder, made his preseason debut last week against Buffalo.
Shanahan called quarterback Kirk Cousins “a long shot” to play Thursday even though Cousins – nursing a mid-foot sprain – took some repetitions in Monday’s practice. Cousins, who suffered the injury in Washington’s second preseason game, he “felt good – about what I expected.” He said he “moved around pretty well” but “continued to favor it” on certain movements.
Nose tackle Barry Cofield did not practice Monday as he continues to let a fracture on the top of his right hand heal. Cofield – who also suffered his injury in the second preseason game – wore a club cast on Monday. But Shanahan said in games, his fingers will be free. Cofield remains on target to play in Week 1.
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● The roster must be cut down to 75 players from 90 no later than 4 p.m. on Tuesday.
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