Chase Minnifield was trying to go from undrafted to a steal. But there was one problem: his surgically-repaired knee. And, at least for now, it was something he couldn’t overcome.
The Redskins released Minnifield Tuesday, but plan to place him on injured reserve if he clears waivers. They had debated putting him on the physically unable to perform list, but he would have counted against their 90-man roster in training camp. Considering he was unable to even practice it would have made no sense to do that, thereby freeing up another player to take that spot. The Redskins signed David Jones, who has played in 54 games over five seasons with 12 starts.
Minnifield underwent another procedure on his knee following the Redskins minicamp in mid-June, his agent Brad Blank said. He originally had microfracture surgery in January, causing him to go undrafted. Most experts and numerous scouts rated him as a second- or third-round pick if healthy. But the fear with microfracture surgery is the likelihood of further injury.
“He got hurt when he was there a few weeks ago,” Blank said. “It definitely happened on the field; it’s not like it happened on his own time….Once he got hurt reality set in. I’m not surprised and he’s not surprised [by the release].”
The Giants tried to sneak injured tight end Jake Ballard through waivers earlier this offseason, expecting no one to claim him. But New England did, knowing he couldn’t play this season. However, Ballard was an NFL veteran while Minnifield is a rookie. It’s hard to imagine another team claiming him.
Minnifield looked good during the spring when he practiced and even in the last minicamp he held his own against the Redskins’ top receivers. The coaches raved about him afterward. At best Minnifield would have been a fourth or fifth corner so this isn’t a damaging blow. With his injury there always was an eye toward 2013 with him. They also drafted corner Richard Crawford in the sixth round and have veteran Kevin Barnes. They also signed Cedric Griffin to be a No. 3 corner.
The Redskins open training camp Thursday.