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As injuries mount, Redskins look in-house for help at outside linebacker

By Master Tesfatsion

August 13, 2017 at 7:00 AM

Trent Murphy suffered a season-ending injury during Thursday’s preseason opener. (Gail Burton)

RICHMOND — The Washington Redskins’ depth at outside linebacker was thin during Saturday’s practice, the first since their preseason opener against the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday.

To help resolve the issue, the Redskins moved Pete Robertson from inside linebacker to outside linebacker to give the defense another pass rusher. The position isn’t new to Robertson, who made the change because the Redskins placed Trent Murphy on injured reserve and due to injuries to Preston Smith (ankle), Junior Galette (hamstring) and Ryan Anderson (stinger).

“I love rushing the passer,” Robertson said of his position change. “It’s something I did a lot of in college. At the end of the day, I love playing football in general. It don’t matter if I’m on kickoff, kickoff return, somewhere on the field. I just love being in the game. I love playing.”

Related: Murphy’s season-ending injury will test Redskins’ depth at linebacker

Robertson, who went undrafted in 2016 and has yet to appear in a regular season game, led the Big 12 in sacks (13) as an outside linebacker during his junior season at Texas Tech in 2014. In college, Robertson displayed his versatility as a defensive back during his first two years before transitioning into a linebacker for his final three seasons.

“At the end of the day, it’s whatever the coach wants me to do,” Robertson, who is the cousin of left tackle Trent Williams, said. “If I can do it, I’m going to do it 100 percent. Unfortunately, we had some guys go down, which I hate that the most. But it gives me [a chance] to show them what I got, and I can prove to them that I can play outside linebacker and inside linebacker.”

Robertson received reps with the first, second and third teams in 11-on-11 periods during practice. He isn’t sure how long he’ll be at the position. For now, he’s in the outside linebackers meeting room trying to re-learn the position, and the defense, in an expanded role.

“I did pretty good [on Saturday],” Robertson said. “At the end of the day, I’ve got a lot more to learn moving back to outside trying to get comfortable and trying to get back to my natural setting. But I’ve got a lot more to learn and a long way to go. I just gotta keep going 100 percent every single day.”

More on the Redskins:

Gruden isn’t losing faith in Redskins rookie running back Samaje Perine

Redskins and Richmond: A marriage in need of counseling?

Five observations from the preseason opener against the Ravens

Preseason is meaningless? Backup QBs would beg to differ.

Steinberg: The Redskins were pretty brutal to watch Thursday


Master Tesfatsion covers the Washington Redskins for The Washington Post. He previously covered the Minnesota Vikings for the Star Tribune for two seasons before joining The Post in 2015. When he’s not writing or tweeting about the Redskins, he loves to discuss music, fashion and his alma mater – Arizona State.

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