Originally written on Blog So Hard Sports  |  Last updated 11/20/14

Washington Redskins fans have been waiting all season to see Brandon Meriweather suit up and take the field as the starting strong safety for a defense that has been struggling. 1st it was the original knee injury to his left knee, than there was the freak re-injury in pregame warmups of the Tampa game that left Meriweather sidelined again. But yesterday, Brandon Meriweather finally started for the Redskins and he certainly did not disappoint. He finished the game with 7 total tackles (1 for a loss) and an interception that he returned for 25 yards. His impact on this defense, at least for yesterdays game, went far beyond the scoreboard though. Meriweather started the 1st quarter on fire, and seemed to be in on every play whether it was making a tackle or breaking up receptions by laying big hits on Eagles receivers. What really has me excited is the emotional lift he seemed to have on this defense. It may have just been coincidence, but his play seemed to inspire other members of the defense and it looked like a completely different group than it has the first 9 games of the season. Part of this is my homer self coming back from the dead, and I don’t expect to see the defense hold teams to 6 points from here on out [yes, I know it was against Foles], but the fact still remains that this seemed like a different defense with Meriweather inserted. The semi-bad news, Meriweather tweaked his “healthy” knee when he appeared to plant wrong and had to leave the game. The Redskins are facing a short week as they turn around and play the Cowboys on Thanksgiving, so it doesn’t give the players much time to heal up from the battle wounds from yesterdays contest. According to Redskins twitter, Meriweather would have been able to return to the game if the score was not so lopsided: #bbpBox_270280668355899393 a { text-decoration:none; color:#660000; }#bbpBox_270280668355899393 a:hover { text-decoration:underline; }#Redskins S Brandon Meriweather (knee) says he was available, but was held out thanks to the lopsided score. #HTTRabout 18 hours ago via webReplyRetweetFavorite@RedskinsRedskins  That certainly seems like good news. Of course it could be positive spin by the organization, so let’s just hope that Meriweather indeed would have been able to return and that he will be starting against Dallas on Thursday. He brought tenacity, pressure, and toughness to a Redskins defense that has sorely been lacking that all year. It remains to be seen whether Meriweather’s play can continue to lift this defense, but at this point any improvement, even if minor, is a welcomed thing. If Redskins defense can turn in even average performances from here on out, the offense has the firepower to give the Redskins more victories in the final weeks of the season.

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