Redskins 10 Questions: Can Montae Nicholson return to form?

10 in 10: The Countdown to Redskins Training Camp

Craig Hoffman
July 17, 2019 - 7:46 am

Believe it or not, training camp is almost here. After one of the most consequential Redskins offseasons of the last two decades, we’ll start to answer the biggest questions we have about the football team. 

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With 10 days to go until Richmond, The Fan started asking our 10 biggest questions about the 2019 Washington Redskins. We're asking one per day and give it our best shot at an answer. Here’s number eight.

Montae Nicholson might be the biggest wild card of the Redskins season.

Nicholson’s rookie year left an almost unreasonable amount of promise. He was spectacular when healthy, but saw his season cut short due to multiple injuries. The final straw was a series of concussions that left Nicholson dealing with the after-effects through last season. They affect him in every way. He dealt with headaches. He was moody. The way he communicated changed. He had seemed to have a fog over him at all times. 

The negative turn hit its nadir in December when Nicholson was involved in an altercation at One Loudon. He was arrested and suspended indefinitely. He didn’t return. His future was in doubt. He had a lot to figure out.

The good news is he seems to have done so. Nicholson says he feels a lot better. The effects of the concussions have finally subsided. He got his legal situation figured out. He seems ready to start fresh.

If Nicholson can return to form, the ceiling of this defense skyrockets. He’s got elite range. That range can translate into interceptions on balls that went over heads last season. It can also lead to crushing, tone-setting hits. The entire tenor of the defense changes with that kind of enforcer.

There’s also a chance that Nicholson just isn’t that guy. His rookie season was a small sample size. Maybe the inferior player he was last year that was slow reacting and took bad angles is actually who he is. Maybe he’s somewhere in between.

There’s little depth behind Nicholson. Deshazor Everett isn’t a true free safety and is better suited in the same role that Landon Collins will play. Troy Apke’s rookie season was a disaster. It certainly appears like its Nicholson or bust, and with the wide swath of possibilities for Nicholson’s season, he’s more than worthy of our number eight question mark entering training camp.

Question 10:  Will Rob Ryan, Ray Horton have impact?

Question 9: Who's the odd-man out at middle linebacker?

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