Former Virginia cornerback Chase Minnifield to be promoted from practice squad

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Cornerback Chase Minnifield will be signed off the Washington Redskins’ practice squad for Sunday’s game against the New York Giants, filling a void left when defensive end Stephen Bowen was placed on injured reserve on Tuesday.

Minnifield, 24, has been on the Redskins’ practice squad the entire season and was on injured reserve all of last year. Undrafted out of Virginia in 2012, he tore the ACL in his right knee on the final day of the team’s minicamp for the second time – the previous time was in high school – and he also had microfracture surgery on that knee the previous January.

He practiced often as a slot corner during training camp and had 11 tackles in the preseason, including five against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

“I’m glad to get an opportunity and I want to thank everybody that’s been supportive,” Minnifield said. “I just needed to get football speed underneath my belt and practice every day has been a good situation for me.”

He was told of his promotion by coach Mike Shanahan before the Redskins’ practice Friday morning.

“We feel like he’s earned a right, the way he practices, the way he handles himself,” Shanahan said. “He can play the corner or he can play inside in a nickel situation. We just like the way he’s developed and how he’s handled himself, and that’s what you’re constantly doing, evaluating guys in practice. We just thought he would be a guy that we should bring up, and we’ll see how it goes. Hopefully, we stay healthy.”

Minnifield did not make the initial 53-man roster after the preseason because of his inability to play special teams, with the Redskins choosing to keep cornerback Jerome Murphy instead. Murphy, a gunner on the kickoff and punt coverage teams, was waived on Tuesday.

The promotion may be short-lived: the Redskins need to make a decision on activating offensive lineman Maurice Hurt from the physically-unable-to-perform list by Tuesday, and Minnifield could be waived to make room for Hurt.

“It’s just an everyday thing,” Minnifield said. “Whether I’m on the team or not on the team, I’ll continue to work hard.”

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