DeAngelo Hall was just waiting for the call, and the Washington Redskins really need him at the moment.
The Redskins activated the veteran defensive back off the physically unable to perform list late Friday night, and he could make his season debut Sunday at the Seattle Seahawks. Hall hasn’t played since Week 3 of the 2016 season after tearing the ACL in his right knee, but Washington is glad he’s healthy after having just three safeties on the roster.
“I’m ready,” Hall said earlier this week. “I feel good.”
The Redskins waived offensive tackle Orlando Franklin to make room on the 53-man roster. The decision came so late because they were waiting to see which of their many injured offensive lineman would be able to play.
Hall felt “in limbo” like everyone else but said he was “running around, jumping, doing back flips.” The 33-year-old was concerned about coming back from an Achilles tendon injury suffered two years ago but not this one.
“I don’t think I ever felt like (I was worried) if I was going to play again,” Hall said. “I was talking to (former Redskins GM) Bobby Beathard and he was telling me how he had an ACL (injury) in the ’70s and I’m like, ‘Yeah that’s a lot different than now.’ Now you actually probably come back even stronger than you did before.”
Good thing for the Redskins, too. They put safety Stefan McClure on injured reserve with a hamstring injury, and rookie safety Montae Nicholson is questionable with a shoulder injury.
Hall considers his body fresh but said “mentally you’re a little behind.” Of course, he’s not worried about it.
“It’s part of being a 14-year vet,” Hall said. “It’s like riding a bike. Obviously some things are going to be a little rusty, but for the most part it’s still football. … I’ve played enough football to where I can kind of get back on the bike and get going. I might stumble a little bit here and there, but I can get up and go full-speed without a doubt.”
Hall got the nod over undrafted rookie Fish Smithson, who is on the practice squad. His ability to plug and play doesn’t hurt.
While he was out, the converted quarterback served as something like an unofficial assistant secondary coach under Torrian Gray.
“He has a lot of knowledge,” second-year cornerback Kendall Fuller said. “He knows a lot of us are young, so just kind of give us as much advice as possible.”
That allowed Hall to stay involved, which he said has been evolving so much since training camp that he has to get back up to speed with the changes.
“It’s just about getting on the same page,” Hall said. “Hopefully when I get out there, there’s no drop-off because we’ve been communicating.”