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2018 Regular Season Snap Counts: Defense

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Despite 24 players hitting the Injured Reserve list in 2018, the Redskins defense didn’t have too many casualties. With the exception of cornerback Quinton Dunbar, who sustained a nerve injury midway through the season, starters primarily stayed healthy for the entire campaign.

What emerged early on, and what should be promising as the team builds for the future, was the mostly consistent production from defensive line, bolstered by the Redskins’ two most recent first-round picks from Alabama in Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne.

Below is the complete list of defensive snap counts from the season, along with some nuggets of info:

Total (1,033)

  • Josh Norman: 1,028
  • Mason Foster: 1,014
  • D.J. Swearinger Sr.: 961
  • Fabian Moreau: 840
  • Preston Smith: 834
  • Ryan Kerrigan: 819
  • Daron Payne: 796
  • Jonathan Allen: 779
  • Zach Brown: 703
  • Ha Ha Clinton-Dix: 566
  • Montae Nicholson: 466
  • Matt Ioannidis: 439
  • Greg Stroman: 386
  • Quinton Dunbar: 373
  • Pernell McPhee: 203
  • Josh Harvey-Clemons: 196
  • Ryan Anderson: 163
  • Stacy McGee: 137
  • Deshazor Everett: 135
  • Tim Settle: 134
  • Shaun Dion Hamilton: 129
  • Danny Johnson: 67
  • Ziggy Hood: 49
  • Cassanova McKinzy: 38
  • Caleb Brantley: 37
  • Josh Holsey: 29
  • Zach Vigil: 19
  • Adonis Alexander: 11
  • Marcus Smith: 9
  • Jeremy Reaves: 2

--Cornerback Josh Norman missed just five defensive snaps on the year, a testament to what he called one of the most intensive offseasons of his career. After missing two games last year, he had a strong season, producing six turnovers – three forced fumbles (tying a career high) and three interceptions – along with 64 tackles and nine passes defensed, matching both totals from 2017. The question that will linger throughout most of the offseason for the Redskins remains his salary for the next two seasons, and if he takes up too much cap room.

--The full potential of Jonathan Allen started to be realized this season. After playing in just five games before a Lisfranc injury in 2017, Allen returned in his sophomore season to play about three quarters of the defense’s total snaps, proving he could withstand an entire year and be effective as both a run stopper and pass rusher. Combined with his Alabama teammate Daron Payne, who played 17 more snaps than Allen, the Redskins should be confident in the trenches.

--Before off the field issues removed them from the roster, D.J. Swearinger Sr. and Montae Nicholson began the year as the starting tandem of safeties. The Redskins then traded for Ha Ha Clinton-Dix at the deadline, and the former Packer played just more than half of the defensive snaps the rest of the season. With Deshazor Everett under contract and Nicholson’s imminent future uncertain, the team will have a solid nine games of Clinton-Dix to evaluate.

--Once again linebacker Ryan Kerrigan didn’t miss a game, continuing his incredible streak of playing in every game of his career. Both he and Preston Smith accounted for more than 800 snaps each, which meant that second-year linebacker Ryan Anderson and free agent signing Pernell McPhee didn’t have huge roles on defense. Zach Brown’s snaps declined near the end of the season (Brown said he’d been playing an injured oblique) and Shaun Dion Hamilton received more opportunities at middle linebacker.

--Because of Dunbar’s nerve injury in his leg, cornerback Fabian Moreau got more chances outside while rookie Greg Stroman began to find his way in the slot. He originally split some time with undrafted cornerback Danny Johnson, who later hit IR, but started to find his footing later in the season.

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