Decisions to keep Murphy, Gumbs on roster were ‘pretty easy,’ Shanahan says

Jerome Murphy, background, breaks up a pass intended for Aldrick Robinson during training camp (John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

Jerome Murphy, background, breaks up a pass intended for Aldrick Robinson during training camp. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

Cornerback Jerome Murphy and safety Jose Gumbs seemed like long shots in training camp to make the Washington Redskins’ roster. But when the team made its cuts to 53 players over the weekend, Murphy and Gumbs still were around.

It didn’t hurt, of course, that the team lost a player at each position during the preseason. Rookie safety Phillip Thomas suffered a season-ending Lisfranc foot injury and cornerback Richard Crawford suffered a season-ending knee injury.

Sav Rocca, Jose Gumbs, Steven Means

Jose Gumbs, center, heads up field after blocking Stephen Means of the Bucs while Sav Rocca gets a punt off during the preseason. (Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press)

Still, Murphy and Gumbs beat out others who once appeared headed toward securing roster spots. The Redskins released DeJon Gomes, a former starter at safety, and cornerback Chase Minnifield, who later was re-signed to the practice squad. Coach Mike Shanahan said Monday that the decisions to keep Murphy and Gumbs weren’t particularly difficult.

“That was pretty easy,” Shanahan said. “Murphy is one heck of a special teams player. When he has played the corner position, he’s played it well. He’s got speed. He’s got size. He’s been dominating on special teams. Gumbs came in and competed. That’s what we tell these players: We don’t care if you’re a first-round draft choice or a free agent, we’re gonna play the best players. Gumbs came in and played well, and he earned himself a roster spot.”

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:

● Mike Jones joins Post Sports Live.

● The next Redskins to hold news conferences are Mike Shanahan and Griffin after practice on Wednesday.

● The NFL season kicks off in two days, with the Ravens in Denver on Thursday night.

More about the Redskins:

Cousins says foot is improving | White thrilled, says work just beginning

Reid: Don’t be surprised if Griffin 2013 plays like Griffin 2012

Griffin official to start Week 1 | Named captain with four others

SS Meriweather uncertain for Week 1, Cofield confident

NT Cofield agrees to restructure contract, team saves $2.4m this year

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