Running back Tim Hightower and receiver Anthony Armstrong were cut and safety Tanard Jackson suspended as the Redskins parted ways with 23 players Friday. They’re down to 52, giving them the chance to claim a player off waivers Saturday to reach the limit.
Jackson was suspended indefinitely by the NFL for another positive drug test. The league released a statement this afternoon saying that he’ll be eligible for reinstatement on Aug. 31, 2013. One source said the Redskins have known about this test for a while and wanted to see what the suspension was before making a decision on him. Jackson has missed 19 games due to previous suspensions, all with Tampa Bay. The Redskins placed him on the reserve/suspended list.
Among some early thoughts: The Redskins only have four corners on the roster, including rookie seventh-round pick Richard Crawford, one less than usual, but they have five safeties. They kept punt returner Brandon Banks, a mild surprise because the Redskins wanted him to prove he could play receiver. In the final preseason game he caught a 47-yard pass and ran an end around for 43 yards. That showing likely bounced him off the so-called bubble.
Hightower’s release was a surprise. But he had ACL surgery last November and appeared in just one preseason game this summer. Early in camp coach Mike Shanahan said Hightower wasn’t close to 100 percent, but the sentiment appeared to be that if healthy he’d be fine. However, returning from a torn ACL is difficult for any running back, let alone one who was considered by many around the league to be a backup/third-down back.
The Redskins also kept eight of their nine draft picks, with only sixth-round tackle Tom Compton getting cut. However, they’ll likely sign him to the practice squad.
For now they have nine offensive linemen with Maurice Hurt, Jordan Black and rookies Josh LeRibeus and Adam Gettis in reserve.
They also eight receivers as of 6:40 p.m. They kept eight last season, though they considered Banks a return specialist only. However, there were initial reports about a potential trade with Miami in which the Redskins would trade receiver Anthony Armstrong for running back Steve Slaton. One league source said he knew the Redskins were interested in Slaton, but no deal was struck and Armstrong was later released. That gave the seventh and final receiver spot to Dezmon Briscoe, whose size provided a nice target over the middle.
The final breakdown by position: three QBS, four RB/FBs, 7 WRs, 9 OL, 3 TE, 6 DL, 8 LBs, 9 DBs and 3 specialists.
The list of players cut or suspended Friday:
RB Tim Hightower
WR Anthony Armstrong
WR Terrence Austin
RB Tristan Davis (injured)
QB Jonathan Crompton
C Erik Cook
CB Brandyn Thompson
CB David Jones
OT Tom Compton
OT Willie Smith
CB Travon Bellamy
OL Grant Garner
LB Bryan Kehl
LB Brian McNally (waived, with injury settlement)
DE Doug Worthington
DL Delvin Johnson
DL Marlon Favorite
LB Donnell Holt
DL Darrion Scott
FB Dorson Boyce (injured)
S Tanard Jackson (suspended without pay)
TE Richard Quinn
LB Markus White