Niles Paul to handle fullback duties against Tampa Bay

Niles Paul

Niles Paul will try his hand at fullback Thursday. (Alex Brandon/The Associated Press)

With the Redskins planning to hold starting fullback Darrel Young out of the Thursday night preseason finale, and his previous backup, Eric Kettani, no longer with the team, coaches have informed tight end Niles Paul that he will play the whole game at fullback.

The Redskins have used tight end Logan Paulsen at fullback in games here and there in the past, and Paul received a couple snaps at that position in the preseason opener this year. But this will represent the third-year player’s most extensive action there to date.

“I’m hopefully just adding more tools to my toolbox. I’ll be playing the whole time, so it should be interesting,” said Paul, who entered the league as a wide receiver out of Nebraska before converting to tight end last season. He also handles kickoff return duties, and is one of the team’s best tacklers on the special teams coverage units.

The 6-foot-1, 233-pound Paul spent last season gaining comfort with the tight end position, particularly with blocking duties. He now feels more comfortable in his position as he competes for playing time with Fred Davis, Paulsen and rookie Jordan Reed.

He sees showing himself as a capable backup fullback as another way to prove his worth to coaches.

“They’re trusting me to do it, so it speaks volumes that they’re trusting me. I’m thankful they’re allowing me to. Hopefully I can get a handoff,” Paul said with a chuckle.

If he did get a handoff?

“I’m gonna take it to the crib!” Paul said with a laugh.

Have a Redskins question? E-mail Mike Jones at mike.jones@washpost.com with the subject line “Mailbag question” for him to answer it in The Mailbag.

What’s ahead:

● The Redskins do not practice on Wednesday, and play at 7:30 in Tampa on Thursday.

● The second round of cuts, due by 4 p.m. Saturday, requires rosters to go from 75 to 53.

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