The Washington Times - August 21, 2013, 05:50PM

Nose tackle Barry Cofield (broken right hand) could have played this week if it were the regular season, coach Mike Shanahan said.

“The goal is to be back for Week 1,” Cofield said. “I feel optimistic that that’s the case.”

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Cofield said he expects to wear something softer than a club-like wrap if he must wear some form of protection.

Strong safety Brandon Meriweather (right knee) might play Saturday against Buffalo. It would be his first game action since tearing his ACL last Nov. 4. Meriweather practiced with the scout team defense last week.

“He didn’t say he was sore, but he looked a little bit sore on the last day,” Shanahan said. “He would never admit that to me, which is a good sign, but he’s making progress.”

Inside linebacker Nick Barnett (knee) is expected to make his Redskins debut Saturday.

“If they let the lion off the chain, I’ll be out there roaming the jungle,” Barnett said.

Receivers Aldrick Robinson (left thigh bruise), Leonard Hankerson (right knee) and Donte Stallworth (left hamstring) practiced Wednesday. Running back Chris Thompson (left shoulder) practiced but was sore, Shanahan said.

Running back Keiland Williams (knee), cornerback Ryan Mouton (left hamstring) and offensive lineman Jacolby Ashworth (ankle) did not practice.

Offensive lineman Maurice Hurt (right knee) is not close to coming off the physically unable to perform list, Shanahan indicated.

Redskins first-stringers are not expected to play as much Saturday as Shanahan normally has them play in the third preseason game. Their participation will be limited because of the short turnaround following Monday’s win over Pittsburgh. And despite Saturday’s reduced playing time, most first stringers probably will not play in the preseason finale, Shanahan said.