Trainer Ron Rivera has identified Luke because the Carolina Panthers signed him as an undrafted unfastened agent from Notre Dame in 2017. Regardless of Luke’s inexperience — he’s performed 15 defensive snaps up to now 4 years — he tasks the location flexibility Rivera prizes. In 2017, Luke practiced as staff’s No. 1 nickel again in coaching camp prior to struggling a season-ending Achilles’ damage, and two years later, he competed to start out at unfastened protection.
“He’s a wise, headsy participant,” Rivera instructed the Charlotte Observer in 2019. “He performed some nook, performed some nickel for us. Final 12 months we saved him at the observe squad, running on the protection place, and he’s proven some flair for it.”
In Washington, it sort of feels most probably Luke can be utilized in considered one of two roles. He may just step in at unfastened protection if the staff doesn’t like what it sees from Troy Apke, who may get started at unfastened protection as a result of Deshazor Everett’s ankle damage. (Apke began the season at unfastened protection however used to be benched right through a loss to the Baltimore Ravens in Week four.) Or he may just go back to nickel nook as a substitute for Jimmy Moreland, who has occasionally struggled in protection this season.
Luke made his NFL debut closing season, in Week nine on the Inexperienced Bay Packers. He performed particular groups simplest till the tip of the 12 months, when he gained a handful extra snaps. He totaled six tackles and nil passes defensed.
If Luke performs unfastened protection, it is going to mark Washington’s newest try at a place it has struggled to unravel since Rivera arrived. Previously 11 months, the staff has attempted Sean Davis, Apke and Everett, and Rivera lately left open the chance Jeremy Reaves may just get a shot there as neatly. Final month, the staff presented veteran unfastened protection Eric Reid a place at the observe squad however no longer the lively roster. Rivera stated he sought after to praise younger avid gamers, akin to Reaves and rookie Kam Curl, however this week, he maintained Reid remains to be an possibility.
“I don’t assume that send has essentially sailed,” the trainer stated. “We’ll see what occurs. Like I instructed you guys, we’ve were given some younger guys who we wish to watch. We will move ahead from there.”