ASHBURN -- Landon Collins, the Washington Football Team’s mystery man on the defense, is roughly six month out from a blown Achilles. As of Wednesday, he appears to be making positive progress.
Collins posted to his social media page proof of steps forward in his rehabilitation. While clearly not back to running full speed, the Pro Bowl safety is running a distance of at least four yards in a straight line.
Collins is also doing some shuttles in a straight line.
The real key will be this: When he's cut loose to do side-to-side cutting and drills … it will be an advancement of the story.
Collins won't be participating in the off-season on-field program. The next question is whether or not he'll be ready to go for the beginning of training camp.
If not, he'll open up on preseason physically unable to perform list, and be brought back when the medical staff thinks he can practice.
With that as the story behind the story, the next question is what is Washington planning to do with Collins?
Is he a linebacker? Is he a safety? A hybrid?
READ MORE: Landon At Linebacker?
WFT coach Ron Rivera said last month that Collins was speaking for himself when he said he wasn't planning on going to linebacker.
But now coordinator Jack Del Rio is suggesting that Collins is a safety.
Either way … He's under contract and not going anywhere this year. If hoping to earn a new deal should the two parties part ways in 2022, he’ll need to post the numbers.
READ MORE: Has Rivera Talked With Landon?
There’s a valid reason that Collins’ best spot would probably still be at strong safety, but used exclusively in the box area.
As of now, Del Rio will elect to keep Collins at the role the former Alabama star made his living at early.
The problem with starting Collins full-time in 2021? Kam Curl rapidly improved the secondary while Collins was an inconsistent tackler in the open field before his season-ending injury.
WFT coaches surely have ways to mask whatever Collins couldn't do before the injury and what he maybe won't be able to do after the injury.
It could limit the number of packages WFT runs next season but perhaps Collins can contribute in big nickel packages with Curl and perhaps Jeremy Reaves playing in zone for Del Rio’s defense.
That might be Collins’ best - and arguably only - role for now, barring a rapid improvement come training camp.