The Washington Redskins haven’t ruled out free safety Oshiomogho Atogwe for Sunday’s game, but if the knee injury that hampered him this week in practice prevents him from playing against Carolina, Redskins coaches have confidence that Reed Doughty and rookie DeJon Gomes can get the job done.
Doughty is more naturally suited for strong safety, and started at that position with LaRon Landry out, but is versatile enough to play free safety, where he has spent time during the five previous seasons of his career.
Doughty said Friday that although some responsibilities of the two positions are differernt, he feels comfortable at either spot. Through five games – two of them starts – Doughty has recorded 20 tackles.
Meanwhile, the Redskins have been grooming Gomes – their fifth-round pick out of Nebraska – to play either position. He started one preseason game at free safety, and in four preseason games recorded 11 tackles and a sack.
“It’s always nice to have a guy like Reed and [Gomes] that are familiar with the system. Obviously, Reed’s been there and D.J. has gotten better with the reps,” Coach Mike Shanahan said. “You have to know both because of these situations. They’re interchangeable with all the motions, all of the shifts. You never know when you’re going to play strong or free safety. Sometimes, depending on the motions, you have to do both.”