EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Ron Rivera and Jack Del Rio are making changes to Washington’s defense.
After the unit has given up at least 30 points in four straight losses, Washington swapped out a number of different players for Sunday’s game against the New York Giants — benching safety Troy Apke and making veteran linebacker Thomas Davis inactive.
Davis, 37, was not listed on the injury report — making him a healthy scratch for the first time this season. Washington signed Davis in the offseason given his familiarity with Rivera, spanning back to their days in Carolina.
Following practice last week, Rivera expressed a desire to see more consistency from his linebackers. He indicated that second-year linebacker Cole Holcomb would see more playing time. Holcomb has not taken a defensive snap this season and has only played in Week 1 on special teams. He has also missed time with a foot injury.
As for Apke, Washington plans to start Deshazor Everett in Apke’s place. Apke seized the starting job in training camp, but has gotten off to a rough start to begin the season. Washington benched Apke midway through last week’s loss to the Los Angeles Rams for Everett.
“There are things that (Apke) needs to get ironed out and get better at,” Del Rio said Thursday. “We’ll continue to work and develop him. It’s just that, at this point, we feel like Shaze gives us something that we covet and he’s going to play more.”
In addition to the defense, Washington plans to shakeup its offensive line against the Giants. Pro Bowl right guard Brandon Scherff will make his return after missing the last three games, while fourth-rounder Saahdiq Charles will make his first start of the season at left guard. Washington benched Wes Martin to make room for Charles.
Washington is making the switch because Charles gives them a bigger body up front, Rivera said.
Here’s the full list of inactives:
- Quarterback Dwayne Haskins
- Linebacker Thomas Davis
- Defensive end Nate Orchard
- Guard Joshua Garnett (illness)
- Tackle David Sharpe (illness)
- Tight end Marcus Baugh
Haskins reportedly made the trip with the team after missing two days of practice last week with an illness. But he’ll be a healthy scratch as he is the team’s third-string quarterback.
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