LANDOVER -- The last-minute reveal by head coach Jay Gruden that several of the starters for the Washington Redskins wouldn't play in Friday night's preseason home opener was done with the best of intentions. His choice may have put Josh Norman in trouble with a visiting family.
"My brother is town so we'll probably hang out and get something to eat and I guess chop it up," the cornerback said of his Friday night plans shortly after his earlier agenda changed. "I thought I was going to be out there today so they could see me. That didn't happen so I know we're going to talk about that."
If Norman's brother paid any attention to media reports this week, he knows there wasn't a hint of the full-scale sitdown.
"Right before we got ready to get out there, in the locker room. I was warming up like I was going to play," Norman told Breaking Burgundy about when he found out it would be a no-showering postgame. "I felt good. It's the coach's call, so you just have to respect that."
That means in two preseason games with his new team, Norman has played one series. The Redskins have yet to tackle during training camp. The regular season starts Sept. 12. Any worries about being ready physically for that Monday night?
"Nah, man, we're players, ballers, man," he said through a wide smile. "It's all good. Hey, once you're in the heat of the battle, that stuff kicks in real fast, boy. That's when you work on it, get in there, do drills in practice."
While Norman claimed surprise about the sitting, he stood up for Gruden's decision.
"It's preseason. The league is probably leaning a little more toward that," Norman said. "If someone gets hurt before a game that really doesn't count in the wins and losses column, you start to look at things like that as a professional coach, the GM, in the administrative office. I guess that's their take on it. As players, we have to respect that, honor it and do the best we can."
Gruden said the choice involved providing rest for the starters but also getting more work for reserves. Norman and company shouldn't expect much downtime before the next preseason game against Buffalo.
"We're going to play them a lot next week against Buffalo," Gruden said. "We are going to treat Buffalo very seriously and prepare and get a good week of preparation and get them some good work next week."
From his perch on the sideline, Norman spent this week's game trained on his fellow defensive backs.
"All of them did a great job. ... They played their butts off," he said.
"Will Blackmon came up with one (turnover). D-Hall came up with one. Stripping, force fumbling, picking, batted down," said the excited Norman. "The young guy Kendall Fuller came in and made some plays. ... Guys were getting their hands on the football. That's all that matters."
We'll see if his brother feels the same.
"Plan for tonight? Stay out of trouble," the joking corner said. "Nah, I'm just playing."
When it came to resting key contributors, Gruden wasn't playing even a little.
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