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Following free agency—primarily the acquisition of Jason Hatcher—the Redskins had the makings of one of the most underrated defensive fronts in the NFL. Hatcher, Barry Cofield, Stephen Bowen, Jarvis Jenkins and Chris Baker aren't household names, but they are capable of controlling the trenches together.
Bad news is, Hatcher is out for four to six weeks following knee surgery, Cofield is recovering from hernia surgery, Bowen is recovering from knee surgery and Jenkins, who was suspended for four games to start the 2013 season, has his own red flags.
Baker, the lone healthy, unblemished player on that list, just became the most valuable defensive lineman on the roster.
Injuries to his teammates aside, Baker was expected to play a big role on defense, having experience as a nose tackle and the ability to play defensive end. He can be moved all along the line and be effective at any spot.
Losing Baker, especially now, would be a crippling blow to Washington's defensive front. He excels in goal-line situations, has great quickness for his size and can make an impact against the run or in passing situations.
Labeling him a utility player doesn't do him justice. He does everything and does all of it well and is precisely the sort of player the Redskins can't afford to lose.