By Adam Aniba
Washington's 40-20 loss to the Chicago Bears was a low point of the season for the Commanders defense. Del Rio's group surrendered 451 total yards (273 pass yards) to Justin Fields and the Bears offense in th loss.
As it stands, Washington's pass defense ranks 21st in the NFL (238.6 yards per game) and 25th overall in total yards given up per game with 372.2 yards and 16 TDs on the season.
The Commanders pass defense will be stretched thinner now, after it was announced that free safety Darrick Forrest will head to short term IR with a shoulder injury.
Forrest has registered 99.09% of the snaps through 5 games (328 out of 331 defensive snaps), but has not been productive and a liability at times. The loss of DB Coach Harris hurt the defense, but seems to have affected Forrest more than the other defensive backs.
Second year safety Percy Butler is now inline to start, after registering 46.52% of the defensive snaps (154 defensive snaps out of 331) this season in the Commanders three-safety look.
Although rookie Jartavius "Quan" Martin (Scouting Report) has only seen snaps on special teams, he'll likely get the snaps Butler was playing in sub-packages.
Martin has dealt with a concussion along with various other minor injuires this season, so durability will be something to keep an eye on with the rookie.
"We drafted Percy for a reason," Rivera said. "We got Quan for a reason, and this is why. So now it's the next man up mentality and we just gotta go forward and get ready."
Many fans have questioned if drafting Martin over a potential starting offensive lineman was the right move by Ron Rivera, but Martin will likely see a lot of action in 3-safety looks.
With Martin's ability to also cover the slot, he'll get an opportunity to carve out a role and hopefully bring much needed energy and playmaking ability to Washington's defensive backfield.