Washington Redskins safety Montae Nicholson underwent a hip procedure this week, according to head coach Jay Gruden. Gruden described the surgery as “small” and that Nicholson shouldn’t miss much time per John Keim of ESPN.
Nicholson was the Redskins starting free safety for their first seven games, however, the team acquired Ha Ha Clinton-Dix in a trade on Tuesday from the Green Bay Packers. Clinton-Dix is viewed as one of the best safeties in the league this season and was rated as high as No. 2 by Pro Football Focus last week’s game.
Nicholson is a rangy but raw safety, who can be undisciplined in his assignments especially in pass coverage. Now, he will be able to recover as quickly as possible and play as the Redskins’ third safety when he returns. Gruden stressed on Wednesday the decision to trade for Clinton-Dix was unrelated to Nicholson’s injury.
He called acquiring Clinton-Dix as an “Opportunity to get a great player. It’s our job to get him acclimated to the defense,” per George Wallace of WTOP.
It was a golden opportunity to get an upgrade at safety, as Nicholson rates as the No. 82 safety in the league by PFF after eight weeks. The Redskins are uncertain how they will use Clinton-Dix, but his skill set is expected to give defensive coordinator Greg Manusky more flexibility in his play-calling.