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Jordan Pugh Eager To Play Against Carolina, His Former Team, On Sunday

By ZAC BOYER | @ZacBoyer

ASHBURN – Jordan Pugh was sitting at his locker earlier this week, thumbing through messages on his phone, when the topic of playing the Carolina Panthers arose.


“I was waiting on that question,” Pugh said, smiling. “Yeah, I’m kind of excited about this one.”

Pugh, a backup safety with the Washington Redskins, spent his first two seasons with the Panthers before being cut when rosters were finalized on Aug. 31. He signed with the Redskins on Sept. 10 to replace rookie Jordan Bernstine, who tore multiple ligaments in his right knee in the season opener at New Orleans.

The Redskins will face the Panthers at FedEx Field on Sunday. As his role has steadily grown in recent weeks, Pugh knew he’d have a chance to face his former team.

“You know, you’re excited about every one, but this one has special meaning,” Pugh said. “Of course it’s fun to play against the guys you played with, man, and to see them again, but do I want this one? Yeah, I want this one bad.”

Pugh, drafted in the sixth round out of Texas A&M in 2010, lost a preseason battle with Jonathan Nelson and rookie D.J. Campbell for the final spot at safety.

He has six tackles this season and broken up one pass through five games. Over the past six weeks, he went from being inactive to playing a role as a deep safety in passing downs, getting on the field for roughly 30 plays a game.

“He’s a really athletic guy, a smart guy,” defensive coordinator Jim Haslett said last week. “We’ll see if he’s a playmaker.”

Pugh said he’ll have to caution himself Sunday to not be too eager to play, as he knows it can lead to mistakes. But “it’d be sweet” to show his old team they made a mistake – and his new team, too.

“Any time you’re released from a team, man, it’s – you know, you just want to play hard,” Pugh said. “You don’t want to play out of yourself, but yeah, it means a lot to get a chance to play against them again. I’m just looking forward to the challenge.”

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