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With Brandon Meriweather Injured, DeJon Gomes Ready For Second Chance

By ZAC BOYER

zboyer@freelancestar.com | @ZacBoyer

ASHBURN – With every crisis there’s an opportunity, which is how DeJon Gomes is handling Brandon Meriweather’s season-ending knee injury.

Gomes

Gomes is likely to return to starting at strong safety – a role he fulfilled during the Washington Redskins’ first two games of the season before falling out of favor.

“I thought he played extremely well in the first game, and then he wasn’t as good as we would have liked the second, third and fourth game,” defensive coordinator Jim Haslett said. “It’s just a good opportunity for him to come back and kind of show us what he’s got.”

Meriweather did not play in the Redskins’ first nine games because of an assortment of left knee injuries, then tore the ACL in his right knee with 11 minutes remaining in the third quarter of the Redskins’ 31-6 victory over Philadelphia on Sunday.

Gomes replaced Meriweather for the rest of the game and had two tackles and deflected two passes.

“When I got in there on Sunday, I just was like, ‘Man, seeing that first half, how [Meriweather] was playing’ – I didn’t want the level of play to drop since he wasn’t in there,” Gomes said. “Just his aggressiveness, his passion – you can tell that he just really loves the game, so I need to show that a little more when I’m out there.”

Gomes said it was his all-around play in the Redskins’ loss to St. Louis in Week 2 that necessitated the switch to Reed Doughty, who started the next seven games. Gomes, in fact, hadn’t played at all on defense in the three games before Sunday.

“In this business that we’re in, a lot of guys don’t get second chances, and I can really look at it as a second chance because I was in there at the beginning of the season and I didn’t play as well as coaches wanted me to,” Gomes said. “I wasn’t in there, so I’ve got a second opportunity to prove myself again, and I have to make the most of it.”

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