To most casual NFL fans, the name “Chris Neild” doesn’t ring many bells. But Neild, a seventh-round pick in 2011, has become a key part of the rotation on the defensive line in Washington, playing nose tackle capably as the primary backup to Barry Cofield.
Neild, who appeared in every game last season as a rookie, could now be in danger of missing some time after suffering a knee injury during practice on Monday.
“We’ll have an MRI,” coach Mike Shanahan said after practice on Monday, via comments distributed by the team. “We’ll see how it is. Hopefully it’s nothing serious, but he did hurt it enough where he didn’t practice the rest of practice. Hopefully, the MRI is negative on his knee.”
Hopefully is right. Now that the Redskins have 300-plus-pounders like Neild who, unlike Albert Haynesworth, embrace the two-gap challenge of playing nose tackle in the 3-4, they need them to be healthy.