With Brandon Meriweather’s appeal of his two-game suspension rejected, the Washington Redskins claimed veteran safety Duke Ihenacho from waivers Sunday to bolster their defensive backfield and set about building their practice squad.
Ihenacho, a third-year pro from Denver, was among those who didn’t survive Saturday’s league-wide roster cuts from 75 to 53 players.
Washington officials believe he can help bridge the gap created by Brandon Meriweather’s two-game suspension. Meriweather, Washington’s starting strong safety, will miss for Sunday’s regular-season opener at Houston and the Sept. 14 home-opener because of a helmet-to-helmet hit in the third preseason game. It was his sixth such infraction, explaining the severity of the punishment and the NFL’s refusal to reconsider it.
To make room for Ihenacho, the Redskins waived rookie safety Akeem Davis, but officials hope to bring him back as a member of the practice squad.
The NFL increased the size of practice squads from eight to 10 this season. Sunday, it served as a second chance for eight players who had been culled from the Redskins’ roster the previous day:
● Running back Chris Thompson, who intrigued coaches with his speed and elusiveness but raised alarm, at the same time, because of his vulnerability to injury.
● Second-year cornerback Chase Minnifield.
● Third-year CB Richard Crawford.
● Tevita Stevens, a first-year offensive lineman who works primarily at center.
● Second-year pro Nick Williams, a wide receiver who caught two touchdown passes during the preseason.
● Tight end Ted Bolser, a seventh-round pick who had been fourth on the depth chart at his position.
● Second-year safety Phillip Thomas.
● Rookie nose tackle Robert Thomas.
That leaves to spots to be filled.
Ihenacho tweeted the good news of his signing mid-afternoon Sunday, writing: “God works in mysterious ways! Blessed to be able to continue my journey. See ya soon DC! Let’s work”
Clark, the team’s veteran free safety, replied via Twitter that he’d be “a welcomed addition”
Ihenacho started 14 of 15 games at strong safety for Denver last season, recording 73 tackles and three forced fumbles. He had nine tackles in Denver’s Super Bowl loss to Seattle.