Redskins' Hatcher will return to full action 'slowly but surely'

Redskins' Hatcher will return to full action 'slowly but surely'
August 10, 2014, 8:00 am
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RICHMOND—The Redskins removed defensive end Jason Hatcher from the PUP list on Saturday but it was really hard to detect a change in his status from watching practice.

Instead of doing rehab work in his surgically repaired knee off to the side, he did some work in individual drills. But when it came to the more strenuous parts of position drills, like cutting to practice blindsiding the quarterback and knocking the ball out and 11 on 11 work, Hatcher resumed his status as a spectator.

Jay Gruden was asked how the team’s plans for bringing Hatcher back to action.

“Slowly but surely,” said Gruden. “Get him in some individual drills, see how he does and hopefully we’ll get him ready by the third week of preseason, maybe fourth, but we will see how he does. It depends on how he feels after he trains and making sure there is no other damage or what have you, but he’s coming along very well.”

The Redskins have 13 days until they play their third preseason game, on August 23 in Baltimore. Their fourth game comes five days later at Tampa Bay. Typically starters and front-line reserves don’t play in the fourth preseason game but they might make an exception if they think that Hatcher needs some live work before the season opener on September 7 against the Texans.

The Houston game is Hatcher’s target. “Just individual [drills] for the first week and next week I’ll take some live reps and see how I respond from there,” he said. “From then on, I’ll just work my way back in and [I’m] looking forward to trying to play in that third preseason game to kind of knock some rust off and get ready for the Texans.”

Hatcher signed a four year, $27.5 million contract with $10.5 million guaranteed when he joined the Redskins as a free agent. He recorded 10.5 sacks for the Cowboys last year and the Redskins are counting on him to bolster the pass rush from the defensive line.