Barry Cofield hasn’t practiced since breaking his right hand Aug. 19 against Pittsburgh. But the Redskins nose tackle remains confident he’ll be ready for Week 1 of the regular season.
Cofield said on Tuesday that the tentative plan is for him to wear a cast that covers the broken bone in his hand but also allows the use of his fingers.
“The hope is to wear as little protection as possible in the game, depending on how it feels,” Cofield said. “We just have to be smart about it. It’s a break and breaks take time to heal, regardless of when the season starts.”
Although Cofield has not participated in drills since getting hurt, the defensive captain has worked to maintain his conditioning so that when he’s cleared, he’ll be able to step right back into the lineup.
“I’ll be able to help the team,” Cofield said. Asked if he’s 100-percent certain he’ll suit against the Eagles, he said, “Absolutely.”
Cofield watched from the sidelined during the portion of practice that was open to the media on Tuesday and was wearing a hard cast that completely covered his hand. On game days, however, the cast will have an opening that will allow him to use his fingers.
“I really don’t know how long he’ll wear the cast,” Coach Mike Shanahan said. “He’ll wear a cast for a while until we feel that there is no chance of injury with that bone, to protect himself, but his fingers will be free so he’ll be able to use his hand.”
It’s not an ideal situation, but Cofield says he’ll use practice time next week to find creative ways to overcome the cast.
“You just have to adjust,” he said. “You have to play as if you’ve got two good hands. You can’t go out there thinking about it. I’m going to go out there and do my best. There’s a lot of different ways to disengage from blocks. I’ll have a full week of practice leading up to it. It’s a Monday night game so I even have an extra day, so I have plenty of time to get accustomed to my one-handed life.”