The Washington Post

Mike Shanahan plans to play Brandon Meriweather one half on Thursday

Brandon Meriweather, right, working with Raheem Morris, had another encouraging practice on Monday. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said he plans to play strong safety Brandon Meriweather for roughly one half of the preseason finale at Tampa Bay.

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.

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

What’s ahead:

● The roster must be cut down to 75 players from 90 no later than 4 p.m. on Tuesday.

More about the Redskins:

Redskins place Thomas, Robinson on IR, announce cuts | More cuts

Royster expects to play in Redskins’ preseason finale | Meriweather, too

Moss willing to return punts if asked | Cousins says he’ll be back for Week 1

D.C. Sports Bog: Wale talks to Regis about RGIII, Wall | More Bog

Reid: Kerrigan’s increasing impact is no fluke

Mailbag: Emergency QB, the Lisfranc and Richard Seymour

Follow: @MikeJonesWaPo | @MarkMaske | @Insider | Insider on Facebook

Mike Jones covers the Washington Redskins for The Washington Post. When not writing about a Redskins development of some kind – which is rare – he can be found screaming and cheering at one of his kids’ softball, baseball, soccer or basketball games.
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