Washington Redskins Defensive End Dominique Hamilton Thrust into Starting Role
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Entering training camp that officially started July 25, Washington Redskins defensive end Dominique Hamilton was hoping to make the final 53-man roster after spending last season on the team's practice squad.
He knew he would face stiff competition at left defensive end with Jarvis Jenkins, who enters his third season with the team, and the return of previous starter Adam Carriker.
Jenkins was thrust into the starting position last season after DE Adam Carriker went down with an injury in Week 2, and he started the following week and finished the season at the starting position.
Yesterday, the team announced Carriker, who has been undergoing serious rehabilitation on his right quadriceps tendon throughout last season and earlier this year at mini camp, would need to undergo additional surgery on his right torn quad.
Team doctors put his return in the four to five month range, according to The Washington Post.
On the second full day of training camp, the NFL announced Redskins starting left defensive end Jarvis Jenkins is suspended for the first four games of the regular season, without pay, for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing drugs.
Jenkins released a statement Friday saying he was "shocked and confused" by the announcement and findings by the league.
It's an obscure substance that I've never even heard of, and I still don't know how it got into my body. My only guess is that it came from one of the supplements I was taking around the time of the test, even though none of them listed anything banned.
Enter projected third-string left defensive end Dominique Hamilton.
In a Bleacher Report article published July 7, I projected Hamilton as a dark-horse candidate for the Redskins final 53-man roster. Suddenly, Hamilton is front and center at the position and a likely starter in Week 1.
In the Bleacher Report article, I shared the following observation on Hamilton.
At his size, (6'5" and 315 pounds), Hamilton is not the quickest on his feet, nor does he have the ability to catch a runner once he has passed him. What he does bring to the table is overall size and space, creating a large obstacle to get around or get through.
Hamilton has better luck waiting for the play to get to him rather than pressuring the quarterback in the backfield.
The Redskins offered him a spot on the practice squad in September 2012, and it wasn't until February 2013 that Hamilton was activated from the reserve spot and later offered a chance during the offseason as an undrafted free agent.
In his senior year at Missouri, he started all 13 games and finished the season with 56 tackles, seven tackles for loss and three sacks—enough to earn him recognition as an All-Big 12 honorable mention.
The circumstances are unfortunate for Jenkins and especially for Carriker, who had committed himself to his rehabilitation and return to form and this season's home opener if allowed by team doctors.
Now, within a 24-hour time span, Hamilton has the opportunity he has been waiting for; the doors to his future magically opened all at once. He has the ability and he knows the defense, the coaches and the finer points in the Redskins system.
He is capable and listed by ESPN.com as third on the team depth chart at left defensive end. To be thrust into a starting role might just be something he can take advantage of—while proving all along that he belongs on the team that kept him because they recognized his talent and commitment.
Regardless of the recent events, Hamilton is a magical fit at the position who has been waiting in the wings for an opportunity to step foot on the field for the Redskins. He's been ready.
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