The Washington Redskins thought they had their final roster almost ready. That is, until special teams star and punt return man Richard Crawford went down with torn ligaments in his right knee. The injury took place versus the Buffalo Bills in the third preseason game, and now the Redskins will have one week to figure out who will replace him.
Chris Thompson, a rookie running back from the 2013 NFL draft, has had the most chances so far. After Crawford’s injury, he amassed 48 yards on three punt returns, and as long as he can keep up ball security, he will most likely have the starting job.
However, Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan has already stated that 14 players are taking punt return repetitions in practice and no one is guaranteed the job.
Amassing 76 yards on seven returns this preseason, undrafted rookie receiver Skye Dawson is also competing for the position. Dawson was recognized with an All-Big 12 honorable mention as a returner, thus showing why Shanahan chose him in the first place. However, Dawson is one of the higher receivers on the depth chart, probably giving him a heads up on the competition.
Other notables at the top of the pecking order include veterans WR Santana Moss and CB DeAngelo Hall. However, Hall is the starting cornerback on the Redskins’ current roster and Shanahan will not want to risk placing him in injury-prone circumstances. Moss, a third-string receiver, will more likely be selected.