Washington Signs A DB - And Signals A DB Starter Change

Chris Russell

ASHBURN, Va. - The Washington Football Team is making a roster move before the 4 p.m. ET Saturday deadline that will add a healthy body to their secondary as they and add beef to their beat-up safety spot.

The WFT is  promoting defensive back Cole Luke from their practice squad to their active roster and reportedly signing him to a 2-year deal, per his agents and via NFL Network.

The move signals, at least on the surface, that Washington is planning a regular role for the versatile Kendall Fuller at free safety instead of his normal cornerback-first and hybrid-safety position.

Earlier in the week, coach Ron Rivera said of Fuller "we need him at corner, but he is also an option (at safety) if it gets to that point." 

We might have reached that point. 

Luke is 5'11, 200 pounds and 25 years old. He was with the Carolina Panthers between their practice squad and active roster over the last few years so the coaching staff (outside of Jack Del Rio) is very familiar with him and Del Rio has worked with him since the season started.

The reason why Fuller likely goes to free safety to start on Sunday and perhaps in Dallas on Thanksgiving Day is because the coaching staff (correctly) does not have confidence in Troy Apke to hold up at an even solid level.

Apke replaced Deshazor Everett last week when Everett was lost to an ankle injury that has him already ruled out from Sunday's game against the Bengals and was beat badly in deep coverage on the play that resulted in the Chase Young personal foul.

The game should have been over at that point, quite honestly, and instead Young got blamed. In reality, Apke and the secondary had a major bust and Ron Rivera knew it.

The video above is from a question that 'Washington Football' on SI.com asked Rivera on Monday.

Here's exactly what Rivera said about that play and the next: “I think, first of all, the ball that was thrown deep - again, we have to stay deeper than the deepest player. That’s a must. That was something that should not have happened and, obviously, something that we’re going to work on getting corrected. We probably would’ve liked to see their guys up a little tighter.”

Rivera's not going to announce starting lineups and things of that nature at this early stage, but we say you can pretty much write this one down for Sunday's must-win game for 2-7 WFT against the beatable (2-6-1) Bengals. 

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