NT Barry Cofield was the Iron Man of DTs in the NFL heading into Week 1 this year, with 80 consecutive starts. As soon as Rich Tandler tweeted this lovely tidbit out, the wheels started turning on how this could possibly go wrong. That turned out to be a high ankle sprain for Mr. Cofield which could cause him to miss significant time. The team is waiting for MRI results before determining what to do long term at the position. Coach Gruden said that Chris Baker will be the starting NT for now, shifting over from starting DE. The only true NT backup that had a shot at making the roster this year was Chris Neild, but he tore his ACL in the 4th preseason game vs Tampa Bay and was placed on IR before the season started.
Gruden also mentioned the possibility that Barry Cofield could be a candidate to go on short term IR. If he will miss a more than 2-3 weeks, the team could open up a roster spot by placing Cofield on short term IR, and bringing in some more depth on the DL. Jarvis Jenkins will probably step up to fill Bakers role, and they still have Goltson, Geathers, and Kearse as reserves.
Here is how the new short term IR works:
Since this rule is being adopted after the cutdown to 75 players, for 2012 only, the NFL and NFLPA have agreed to a transition procedure that permits clubs to return to their 53-player active list one player placed on Reserve/Injured since the start of preseason training camp. This selection of that player must be made no later than 9 p.m. ET tomorrow [today], Friday, August 31.
Following the cutdown to 53 players, the new Reserve/Injured rule will work as follows:
1. Only players with a "major injury" who are placed on Reserve/Injured after 4 p.m., New York time, on Tuesday, September 4, or thereafter during the season, will be eligible to be reactivated at a later time.
2. A "major injury" is defined as an injury that renders the player unable to practice or play football for at least six weeks (42 calendar days) from the date of injury.
3. Each team may reactivate only one player placed on Reserve/Injured after 4 p.m., New York time, on Tuesday, September 4. That player must be "designated for return" at the time the club places him on Reserve/Injured, and such designation shall appear on that day's Personnel Notice.
4. Such player is eligible to return to practice if he has been on Reserve/Injured for at least six weeks from the date he is placed on Reserve. He is eligible to return to the Active List if he has been on Reserve/Injured for at least eight weeks from the date he is placed on Reserve.
Gruden: NT Barry Cofield suffered a high ankle sprain vs. the Texans and "could miss some time."— Washington Redskins (@Redskins) September 8, 2014
For now, Gruden said DL Chris Baker will likely slide over from defensive end to nose tackle in Cofield's spot.— Washington Redskins (@Redskins) September 8, 2014
Depending on results of the MRI, plus his nagging groin injury/sports hernia surgery, Cofield may be a candidate for short-term IR.— Zac Boyer (@ZacBoyer) September 8, 2014