Atogwe: I can help Redskins

Atogwe: I can help Redskins
December 12, 2011, 5:32 pm
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UPDATED 4:39 p.m.

Replaced Redskins safety O.J. Atogwe said Monday morning he is healthy enough to play.

Atogwe, who has fought multiple lower-body injuries this year, sat for most of Sundays 34-27 loss to New England. Rookie DeJon Gomes started for Atogwe and Reed Doughty started for LaRon Landry.

I feel like Im able to play and go out there and contribute and help the team, Atogwe said. But its the coachs decision who plays and who doesnt play and I support that decision.

But that doesnt necessarily mean Atogwe agrees with it. He signed a five-year, 26 million contract on the eve of the lockout, he has 50 tackles and one interception. The Redskins expected him to fortify the back line with Landry, but the two have combined to miss eight games because of injury.

The Redskins allowed a season-high 352 yards passing; they entered with a 208.8-yard average and had not given up more than 264 yards in any game.

Coach Mike Shanahan cited Atogwes injuries after the game Sunday as the reason for turning to Gomes.

On Monday, Shanahan said: O.J. will never tell that he doesnt feel good thats the way he is, and thats great because thats what you want them to say.

Atogwe did play in the second half and said hes felt like himself at times, this year.

I believe its been a process of building up to full speed, but things are out of my control, he said.

Shanahan said Atogwe played eight snaps against New England.

The coaches felt he looked better out there, Shanahan said. Part of that is the evaluation during the week in how we see players practicing and seeing if theyre full speed. Our coaches felt he played at a very high level and so did I, which gives him an opportunity to play more.

Contact OHalloran at rohalloran@comcastsportsnet.com