DeJon Gomes Not Thinking About Washington Return
The strong safety, cut by the Redskins when rosters were finalized and claimed off waivers by the Lions, will return this weekend when the two teams meet at FedEx Field.
BY ZAC BOYER
ASHBURN – DeJon Gomes knows he has to board a plane Saturday and play a game on Sunday, yet he hasn’t wrapped his mind around where it will be.
Gomes, now with the Lions after two years with the Redskins, will be making his return to FedEx Field.
“When we’re in the visitor’s locker room, I think that’s when it’ll really hit me,” Gomes said by telephone Thursday night.
Gomes, who started eight games for the Redskins over the last two seasons, was cut when the team finalized its initial 53-man roster three weeks ago. It didn’t come as a complete surprise; his lack of work with the first-team defense throughout training camp was his first indication something was awry.
“I always knew in the back of my head that it was a possibility,” Gomes said. “It happens. I was blessed to get another opportunity out here in Detroit. It’s been going pretty well so far.”
It didn’t take Gomes long to find a new home, with the Lions claiming him off waivers that weekend.
He had expected to go home to California and keep himself in shape for an opportunity; instead, the strong safety made his way right to Detroit.
“I mean, most of the time when cuts first happen, not too many people get picked up off waivers, just because teams are trying to get their final 53,” Gomes said. “Honestly, I was just expecting to go home, work out there and wait for a call, and the call came sooner than I expected, so that’s always a good thing.”
Gomes has played extensively on special teams – 23 snaps in the first game, 24 in the second. Earlier this week, head coach Jim Schwartz praised the open-field tackle he made on Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson during a punt return on Sunday.
“He’s gotten up to speed on defense, but he was a guy that we sort of had our eye on in training camp as cuts were coming, and we thought we could plug him into a role here,” Schwartz said. “The past couple years, we’ve had a lot of injuries in our secondary, and depth is very important to us back there, particularly guys that have some starting experience that can come in and play right away. DeJon has that.”
Gomes hasn’t played a snap on defense in the first two games but has worked to learn both safety positions. The Lions have four other safeties on the roster, including starting strong safety Glover Quin and free safety Louis Delmas.
“At safety, you’ve got to be ready,” Gomes said. “If coach needs you, you can’t be, ‘Oh, I only know strong safety, coach.’ I’m just picking up both, and really, it’s easier to do that. If you’re at safety, I feel like you should know both positions – and even what the corners are doing on each play. You just have a better grasp of what’s going on.”
Gomes has been in contact with tight end Niles Paul and running back Roy Helu since he left – the three were teammates in college at Nebraska – as well as a few of the Redskins’ defensive backs. He also watched the Redskins’ opening loss to the Eagles on “Monday Night Football” on Sept. 9 and will play for a while.
“Those are my guys off the field, so I’m watching them and seeing what they’re doing,” Gomes said.
He’ll have an even better view on Sunday.