- The Washington Times - Saturday, October 21, 2017

ASHBURN — In training camp, safety DeAngelo Hall was often seen on the sidelines, offering advice to the Redskins’ secondary. Turning into a de facto coach was all Hall could do, given he was recovering from a torn ACL.

He hated it.

“I mean I was one of those guys who still felt like they could do it, so why am I over here?” Hall said. “You get some coaches like that sometimes that tell you all the time about what their stories [were] instead of, ‘All right, man. We’re trying to win a game.’ … I felt like one of those guys.”

Hall returned to practice this week for the first time since tearing his right ACL against the New York Giants in Week 3 of last season. The 33-year-old safety is still on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list, but the Redskins now have 21 days to activate him to the 53-man roster or place him on injured reserve.

Hall said he feels “100 percent” physically and would be eligible to play for Sunday’s game against the Dallas Cowboys, if he’s activated to the roster.

While waiting to recover was difficult, Hall said he trusted his doctors to let him know the right time to come back. And considering his age, his injury history and the fact he’s in the last year of his contract, Hall conceded the obvious.

“This is probably my last chance to go out and make a difference,” Hall said. “You want to put your best foot forward. By waiting six weeks, I felt like they gave me the best chance.”

Hall said he started feeling pain-free a few weeks ago.

“It’s been interesting. It’s been different,” Hall said. “I’ve never been on PUP, so I didn’t know what to expect. It’s definitely given my body a chance to really heal. I feel like I could have been back a lot earlier, but I think sound advice from the doctors was to just wait as long as we could.”

The Redskins would have to make a roster move in order to activate Hall to the 53-man roster.

If they do, he’ll join a crowded secondary. D.J. Swearinger and rookie Montae Nicholson have solidified their spots as the Redskins’ starting safeties. Deshazor Everett and Stefan McClure have played well, too. 

Redskins coach Jay Gruden said Hall’s experience can still help, adding he has command of the safety position after switching from cornerback in 2015.

There’s also rust Hall has to work through before the Redskins make a decision.

Right now, Gruden said Hall is in great shape but not “football shape.”

“Any time you have an experienced guy like that with the production he’s had over his career, he can only help our football team,” Gruden said.

Hall is the longest tenured Redskin, having been with Washington since 2008. But he’s played only 17 games since 2014 because of various injuries. He even reportedly took two pay cuts to remain with the Redskins, one in June and another in September.

The safety turns 34 next month.

“I feel like I’m pretty good,” Hall said. “I think coaches and players are kind of mesmerized at how well I’m moving. I feel good. I’ve felt good for a while now. I’m not surprised, I’m even making a little bit of plays. I’m ready to roll whenever my number is called.”

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